Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Merry Marvel Marching Society

I figure we gotta start somewhere, so why not start the musical discussions with "The Merry Marvel Marching Society?" ('m sure Steve Ditko can give you a lot of reasons, actually, but anyway...)


The Merry Marvel Marching Society (referred to throughout as the M.M.M.S.), was a fan club for Marvel Comics started by Marvel editor Stan Lee and/or Marvel publisher Martin Goodman in 1964. This was their snazzy theme song:

Lyrics to the Marvel Superheroes Theme!

Meet the sulky over-bulky kinda’ hulky superhero. Altruistic and electrically-transistored superhero.
An exotically neurotic and aquatic superhero. The Marvel Super Heroes have arrived!
Super powered from the forehead to the toes. Watch them change their very shape before your nose.
See a cane-striking superhero change to Viking superhero. A humdingin’ real swingin’ shield-flingin’ superhero.
They’re the latest, they’re the greatest, ultimatist superheroes. The Marvel Super Heroes have arrived!


Lyrics to the Mighty Marvel Marching Society Song!



Stand a little straighter. Walk a little prouder. Be an innovator. Clap a little louder.
Grow forever greater. We can show you how to. Where will you be then?

You belong, you belong, you belong, you belong to the Merry Marvel Marching Society.
March along, march along, march along to the song of the Merry Marvel Marching Society.
If you growl, if you groan with a down sour outlook, if you howl, if you moan, you can lose your sour grout
by keeping trim and in step with the vim and the pep of the Merry Marvel Marching Society.

Be an early riser. Strive to be ambitious. Speak a little wiser. Try to be judicious.
Be a good advisor, never ever vicious. Where will you be then?

Face front... Lift your head... You’re on the winning team... ’NUFF SAID!
You belong, you belong, you belong, you belong to the Merry Marvel Marching Society.
March along, march along, march along to the song of the Merry Marvel Marching Society.
If you growl, if you groan, and your star is nearly zero, do not howl, do not moan, you can be a superhero,
marching right along to the fighting song of the Merry Marvel Marching Society.
The words here, on the surface, seem innocent enough, especially to the parents and children of the sixties. They promote good values, heroism, inspiration, goodness, etc.. But notice a little word in the very beginning: "altruistic." Also notice: "exotically neurotic." Those two words, I submit, are a diagnosis of the kinds of heroes Marvel would ultimately produce. It's no wonder that, after reading Ayn Rand, Ditko refused to participate! (Well, it could also be the thought of a grown man marching around singing corny songs, but still...). At any rate, after seeing this, some of the things I post about Superheroes in pop music won't come as such a surprise...

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