March 1, 2010: “Splish Splash”
Today’s producers of Top 40 music are making some promising advances in developing the worst music imaginable, but it seems unlikely they’ll ever write a song more stupid than 1958’s “Splish Splash,” by Bobby Darin. The music itself is an inoffensive 1950s rock & roll arrangement and nothing to be concerned about, but the lyrics are grotesque:
Splish splash, I was taking a bath
Long about a Saturday night
A rub dub, just relaxing in the tub
Thinking everything was alright
Right away we are assaulted with this vile image of Bobby Darin bathing in his tub; and not only bathing, but splashing about like a child. It’s as if somebody had stolen the music to a bubble bath commercial from the early ’90s and then went back in time in some bizarre plot to make Bobby Darin a commercial success. And why should this be successful? The 1950s were not so long ago, but I cannot understand a culture that would allow this to be an acceptable subject for a song. I find it easier to comprehend segregation, and I’m barely even a racist. We should have segregated this song into a garbage can.
Well, I stepped out the tub, put my feet on the floor
I wrapped the towel around me
And I opened the door, and then
Splish, splash! I jumped back in the bath
Well how was I to know there was a party going on?
“How was I to know there was a party going on?” I don’t know, Bobby, don’t you fucking live there? Now we have this monstrous notion of Bobby Darin wrapped in a towel and strolling into his living room, where he unexpectedly encounters some sort of party. Bobby’s mysterious reaction to this is: “Oh well, I guess it’s back in the old tub for me.” What is wrong with this guy? He should have yelled: “Hey, not to be a nuisance or anything, but would you people mind clearing the fuck out before I call the police?” Don’t just jump back into your lukewarm bathwater you lunatic!
To make a retarded story short, the rest of the lyrics describe Bobby’s return to the party. He “puts his dancing shoes on” and forgets “about the bath,” and then begins caterwauling on about a-splishing and a-splashing and a-rolling and a-strolling and a lot of that type of horseshit. There is no real conclusion to the song, and absolutely nothing in the way of an explanation. Maybe it’s best not to decipher 1958 pop songs, but I would nevertheless like to condemn this song on the grounds that it is idiotic and insufferable. It is easily one of my ten all-time least favorite songs about bathing.