Allan Sherman's "My Son, The Box" -- the complete works of the Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah guy


I got my first Allan Sherman LP when I was five: My Son, the Nut. It had been my mother's, and soon we both knew all the lyrics to all the songs. Not just the canonical "Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah," but also "RATTFINK," "Eight Foot Two, Solid Blue" ("Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue"), "You Went the Wrong Way Old King Louis" ("You Came a Long Way From St Louis") and many others.

I can tell you why I loved them: they were subversive, they had wonky, comic rhymes, they were sung in a broad, nasal borscht-belt comedy voice, and they reminded me of the MAD Magazine parody songs that were my favorite part of every issue. I sang those songs everywhere I went. When I heard the originals, it was another revelation, the original lyrics revealing even more clevernesses in Sherman's lampoons.

Over the years, I've picked up a few more CDs as they were issued, and discovered more of his great material (the medley that contains "Do not build a stingy sandwich/pile the coldcuts high/customers should see salami/coming through the rye," and "When you go to the delicatessen store/Don't buy the liverwurst," is a major favorite around our household). But it wasn't until last week, when I finally got my hands on a copy of "My Son, The Box," that I got to hear every damned thing Sherman ever recorded.

Cross "The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz" with MAD Magazine, throw in the Smothers Brothers and Dr Demento (Weird Al clearly owes a debt to Sherman) and you've got this remarkable box-set. Listening to these discs prompted me to do some digging on Sherman, which led to the revelation that Sherman was a prude who thought that the sexual revolution had destroyed America, which is just weird enough to be the icing on the cake.


When you go to the delicatessen store
Don't buy the liverwurst
Don't buy the liverwurst
Don't buy the liverwurst
I repeat what I just said before
Don't buy the liverwurst
Don't buy the liverwurst

Oh, buy the corned beef if you must
The pickled herring you can trust
And the lox puts you in orbit A-OK
But that big hunk of liverwurst
Has been there since October first
And today is the 23rd of May

My Son, The Box

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