New meaning of loony tunes

Kevin Cowherd

March 26, 1993|By Kevin Cowherd

At one point in the stand-off in Waco, Texas, the FBI took to playing the chants of Tibetan monks over loudspeakers in an effort to get David Koresh and his merry band of lunatics to surrender.

An FBI spokesman said facetiously that the suggestion had been made to bombard the Branch Davidian compound with "Achy-Breaky Heart," the gooey country hit by Billy Ray Cyrus.

Apparently, though, it was felt this would ratchet the levels of psychological terror too high, and that pretty soon Koresh and his fellow boobs would be breaking out the cyanide-flavored Kool-Aid in a frantic effort to escape the sounds.

Still, if it's annoying music the feds are looking for, they could do a hell of a lot better, annoying-wise, than Tibetan monk chants.

They could, for instance, play the single most irritating song of all time, which is, of course, the Singing Dogs version of "Jingle Bells."

Although traditionally heard on the radio at Christmas, when it's been known to unhinge motorists to such a degree that they end up ramming their cars into the nearest bridge abutment, this is a song that causes intense psychological pain no matter what the season.

For those fortunate enough to be unfamiliar with the, ahem, lyrics, imagine two or three skittish fox terriers trapped in a burning building.

As the song begins, the dogs are heard barking frantically. Suddenly the barking takes on a hauntingly familiar cadence, which corresponds roughly to . . . well, YOU be the judge:

"Wroof, wroof, wroof, "Wroof, wroof, wroof, "Wroof, WROOF, nTC wroof, wroof, wroof." As you can imagine, the effect of all this on the central nervous system is incredible.

Within minutes, scores of Branch Davidians would be literally hurling themselves out the windows and into the arms of law enforcement personnel.

Amid anguished cries of "Turn if off! Turn it off!" and hysterical wailing, Koresh would no doubt be set upon by his own followers and beaten to a bloody pulp.

If the Singing Dogs fail to unnerve Koresh and his nutty playmates -- and I don't see how that's possible, - the FBI should consider playing the supremely terrifying "Bingo Was His

Name-O."

Here is a little-known fact: The sappy children's song that has reduced hundreds of thousands of parents into blithering idiots was once used by North Vietnamese interrogators to "break" U.S. airmen captured during the Vietnam War.

Yes. I read that somewhere. At least I think I read it. Certainly you could see how that could be within the realm of possibility.

I had the misfortune of listening to "Bingo" the other day in a pre-school program, where the song was played as part of a hand-clapping, foot-stomping, kick-out-the-jams exercise session.

As a scratchy tape played, the children sang in shrill, hyena-like voices:

"There was a farmer had a dog

"And Bingo was his name-o!

"B-I-N-G-O

"B-I-N-G-O

"B-I-N-G-O

"And Bingo was his name-o!"

Well. The music had its usual unpredictable effect on me. Within seconds, I commenced ramming my head against the wall for absolutely no reason.

The teacher became understandably alarmed and rushed over. But having listened to two full choruses, I was, of course, too far gone to be helped, and continued to batter my head until mercifully achieving unconsciousness.

Koresh keeps saying he's waiting for a message from God before he surrenders.

If the Lord has to listen to "Bingo," His message will be simple: "David, wave the white flag."

Assuming both the Singing Dogs and "Bingo" fail to dislodge the Branch Davidians, the FBI would have yet another musical card to play.

Imagine yourself as a scared, exhausted cult member, dozing fitfully on the dank cement floor of some subterranean bunker, only to be jolted awake in the middle of the night by the first horrifying strains of . . . "The Hokey-Pokey."

Can you imagine?! My God, you'd . . . well, you'd go out of your mind right there!

By the fourth or fifth snappy stanza ("You put your right hip in, you put your right hip out"), you'd be frantically banging on the door to Koresh's quarters and screaming: "David, this is too much! I'm sorry, but we're outta here!"

Look, I've seen the effects of this song at weddings, never mind pre-Armageddon get-togethers like Koresh is holding.

Believe me, "The Hokey-Pokey" makes Tibetan monk chants sound like the gentle chirping of robins.

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