Social Question

Jeruba's avatar

Is "Purple People Eater" a political allegory?

Asked by Jeruba (45931points) November 14th, 2012

The pop song “Purple People Eater” (lyrics here) was released in 1958 and went to the top of the charts. Here’s Wikipedia’s account of its history. (Ok, it’s on YouTube—here you go.)

In the novel I’m currently reading, part of which takes place in the mid-fifties, the narrative refers to this composition as “thinly disguised political allegory.” Is it? Do you see it, and can you explain it? I thought it was just a silly novelty song that was popular mostly for its absurdity.

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10 Answers

janbb's avatar

I don’t get that either.

bookish1's avatar

Good question @Jeruba. I usually overanalyze the hell out of lyrics looking for social and political commentary, but it never would have occurred to me to do so with this one…
What book are you reading? Was it written in the 50s or more recently? And are you sure that that was not a bit of sarcasm?

SpatzieLover's avatar

Possibly this author is attempting to make it so, but it’s just a goofy song with no hidden agenda.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

No, I don’t think so either.
I thought it was Carl Eller, Alan Page, Jim Marshall, and Gary Larsen.

PhiNotPi's avatar

I don’t think it is a political allegory. The author of the book may have simply made that up, in order to some have it fit into the plot.

filmfann's avatar

I agree. It’s a stupid novelty song, with no underlying meaning or hidden agenda.
It’s a throw away song.

glacial's avatar

Sounds like ironic humour to me.

zensky's avatar

I always thought it was phallic: one eyed, one-horned…

augustlan's avatar

Definitely not seeing it…

rojo's avatar

While I can usually read more into something than is actually there, I cannot put any political rhetoric into this one.


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