Fish Heads (song)
"Fish Heads" is a novelty song by comedy rock duo Barnes & Barnes, released as a single in 1978 and later featured on their 1980 album Voobaha. It has often been played on the Dr. Demento show, and is the most honored song in Demento show history.
|Single by Barnes & Barnes|
|from the album Voobaha|
|B-side||"High School Gym"|
|Songwriter(s)||Barnes & Barnes|
The song is about fish heads and all the things they are not able to do, such as answering questions, playing baseball, wearing sweaters, dancing, playing drums, or being seen "drinking cappuccinos in Italian restaurants with Oriental women" (the song also notes that fish heads can do some unique things, like get into movies without having to buy tickets). It is accompanied by a high-pitched chorus, achieved by speeding up the tape, which repeats the original's chorus: "Fish heads! Fish heads! Rolie polie fish heads! Fish heads! Fish heads! Eat them up! Yum!".
Actor Bill Paxton, a filmmaker at the time, directed and appeared in the music video for the song, along with cinematographer Rocky Schenck and Robert Haimer's girlfriend at the time, Joan Farber, who designed the costume look. The video aired on NBC television on Saturday Night Live, on December 6, 1980 and the following week. Dr. Demento had a cameo as the bum.
The song is featured in The Simpsons episode "Treehouse of Horror VII." Alan Arkin sings the song in the 1993 movie Indian Summer. In Season 4 Episode 8 "Goodwill" of Halt and Catch Fire Joe and Haley listen to the song while driving in Joe's car.
In "The Wide Window: Part 1", an episode from the Netflix adaptation of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, when Aunt Josephine is walking through the marketplace to buy limes various venders are calling out their produce and the fish monger calls out "Fish heads, fish heads, rolly polly fish heads!"
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- Wild Man Fischer released a cover of "Fish Heads" on his album Pronounced Normal.
- Eagle-Eye Cherry released a cover of "Fish Heads" as a Desireless B-side.
- Buck 65 recorded a cover of "Fish Heads" set to the music of Wire's "Three Girl Rhumba". The cover appears on a 2007, tour-only CD-R titled, Heck.