Ernie K-Doe – Mother-in-law

First hit #1: May 22, 1961

One could almost characterize this as a novelty song, albeit an extremely bitter one. It’s about a mother-in-law, who is characterized as being basically Satan in a dress. It manages to straddle the line between funny and kind of depressing as so much humor does, and it’s popular because it connects with a load of people who hate their mothers-in-law. Saving it from the novelty ghetto is the otherwise straightforward execution. It doesn’t really try to do much other than being a pretty solid doo-wop number, just about something different from love for a change. Getting a number one basically saying your mother in law is the world’s biggest bitch seems like it might make Christmas dinner a bit awkward, but it does make for a pretty fun little song.

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