Bill Murray Sings Musical Message America Needs Right Now

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Like Busby Berkeley and his relentlessly happy movies bringing comfort to the lives of Americans being battered by the Dirty Thirties, Bill Murray and Paul Shaffer have teamed up on a song and a video with a relentlessly happy message that every American could use right about now in these troubled times. We’re talking Bill Murray, over-the-top, nod-and-a-wink happy, which means it’s pretty funny too.

The track “Happy Street” is taken from the upcoming Paul Shaffer and the World’s Most Dangerous Band album due out March 17. We talked about this album before and its earlier single release, Jenny Lewis singing the McCoys hit “Sorrow”. I mistakenly said at the time that the Bill Murray track was a cover of an old Slim Whitman song, but it’s clearly a Murray/Shaffer composition, the kind of silly song they used to come up with on The Late Show:

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Take a step outside
It’s so great to be alive
Smiling at those you meet
When you’re walking down Happy Street

It’s a nice little groove, Murray actually sings pretty well and soulfully, and Paul Shaffer delivers a really nice piano solo. But you need to watch the animated video for full effect. The Murray and Shaffer characters are hilariously drawn, slightly reminiscent of Charles Schultz’ Charlie Brown animation. As the characters walk down the street there are all kinds of “easter eggs” revealed, at least 20 subtle references to the careers of both men. It’s fun to pick them out.

There’s a sign for Venkman & Sons Pharmacy, a Ghostbusters reference, and I saw a bottle of Tripper Pale Ale, a Meatballs nod. Playing the song over and over to find the other easter eggs won’t kill you, in fact it will put a smile on your face and may help “change your point of view”, not an easy thing to do in today’s America. Doctor Feelgood is in, real in.

Photo credit: By jdeeringdavis from San Francisco, CA, USA (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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