Follow TV Tropes


Music / Barry Louis Polisar

Go To

Barry Louis Polisar is an American singer/song-writer and author best known for his whimsical, often outrageous, and borderline nonsensical, children songs. A five-time winner of the Parents’ Choice Award, Polisar have written several songs for Sesame Street and various TV commercials. The most famous of his songs, "All I Want Is You" is used in the opening credits in Juno. Polisar himself is a frequent guest on TLC.

Tropes found in Polisar's songs:

  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: In "Oh No, I Like My Sister!", the narrator is constantly bickering with his sister, but now that she's gone to Australia, he can't help but worry about her, and wishes that she comes back soon.
  • Black Comedy: Some of Polisar's songs are rather dark/creepy, such as "I Eat Kids" (which is about the narrator switching his normal meat diet with children), but the tune and the lyrics make it clear that the whole thing is meant to be funny rather than disturbing.
  • A Dog Named "Cat": Exaggerated in the aptly titled "I've Got A Dog And My Dog's Name Is Cat", where the narrator sings about having a dog named Cat, a cat named Dog, a fish named Bird and a bird named Fish.
  • Doting Grandparent: In the song "I Can Do Anything", the narrator loves visiting his grandparents because they let him do anything he wants, such as roll around on the floor, play loud music on the radio, chew on cables, stay up late. etc., which his parents would almost certainly forbid. They also frequently take him for outings, such as visits to the zoo, and buy him anything he tells them to.
  • Elective Unintelligible: "I've Got a Teacher, She's so Mean", the protagonist deliberately speaks in gibberish whenever his teacher asks him a question, but can otherwise speak coherently enough to sing the other verses.
    She always calls on me when I don't raise my hand,
    So I answer her in ways that she can't understand.
    She says, "What is the answer to number two?"
    I say, "Ock nock ditty wok, dickie pickie poo."
  • Escalating Brawl: In "When Suzie Sneeze", the titular Suzie's sneeze caused Emily to accidentally push Debbie, which somehow escalated into a massive brawl between them, Tommy, Richard, Jack, Johnny, Laura, Steve, Billy and Timmy. Somehow tanks and guns got involved in the fight, and after the narrator declines his friend's invitation to join in the fun, he laments that he's the only one left to sing the song, implying that all the others have somehow killed each other over a sneeze.
  • Held Back in School: Mostly implied, due to the Vague Age of the various songs' characters when they mention about their school.
    • The boy who lives next door from " He Eats Asparagus" is 34 years old, but apparently still goes to school. Of course, this could very well mean that the "boy" in question is a teacher, but narrator also mentions that he "loves to do his homework, especially maths", which makes that unlikely.
    • The narrator from "I Don't Brush My Teeth" is old enough to have a beard (which is infested with flies), but he's still living his mommy and goes to school to learn grammar.
    • In "I've Got a Teacher, She's so Mean", the protagonist is still in first grade because he never answers his teachers' questions properly (speaking in gibberish whenever she calls on him) and he sees this as a proof that she secretly loves him because she keeps him around.
  • I'm a Humanitarian:
    • In "I Eat Kids", the narrator decides to swear off eating animals, but doesn't want to become a vegetarian/vegan, so he eats children instead.
    • In "I'm a 3-Toed Triple eyed Double-Jointed Dinosaur", the narrator can eat pretty much anything—from toast and roast to cars and airplanes—but claims that what he likes to eat the most is kids.
  • Manchild: Tommy from "I Don't Wanna Go To School" hides under his covers while crying and whining about not wanting to go to school despite being said school's (presumably adult) Principal. His mother is suitably exasperated by his antics.
    ''Only little boys and girls ever act like you do."
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: In "My Mommy Drives a Dump Truck", the narrator's mother is the breadwinner of the family and always drives the car, while the father is a House Husband who cooks, cleans, sews and takes care of the children. The mother even grew a beard at some point.
  • Motor Mouth: Aunt Anna from "Aunt Anna Came To Our House" who incessantly talks and complains about the house, the mess, the quality of the food, the pets, etc. when she comes to visit for a week.
    She talked and talked and talked and talked
    When she didn't talk she'd speak
  • Paste Eater: Played for Drama in "I am very Sad to say that Cindy Won't Be Out to Play", where the eponymous Cindy decides to eat random household objects (which includes, among other things: the fish from the aquarium, the cat, rocks, sand, a hose and its clamp) when she gets hungry while her parents are away. She dies as a result.
  • No Name Given: The narrator of "I've Got A Dog And My Dog's Name Is Cat" actually have five pets, but his pet goose is never mentioned by name, and is only described by the sound it makes ("Hank hank").
  • The Pig-Pen: The narrator in "I Don't Brush My Teeth" is an unhygienic man(?) who never brush his teeth, comb his hair, change his clothes or generally clean himself up. Whenever he gets on a public ride, everyone moves aside because of the smell, and he says that even skunks run away from him.
  • Rhyming Title:
    • "I am very Sad to say that Cindy Won't Be Out to Play"
    • "The Skatter Brak Flath Who Lives In My Bath"
    • "Hey Jack, Whats in the Sack?"
  • Road Trip Plot: "Its My Mother and my Father and My Sister and the Dog" is about a family going on a long car trip to visit relatives, and the chaos that happens throughout the journey, especially in the car. The protagonist gets into a fight with his two little brothers, and the dog keeps on making a mess. At one point, the father gets so fed up with the chaos that he threatens to send the kids out the car to walk to their destination. The song doesn't end so much as it fades out while the chorus is being sung.
    We're going on a trip
    And we're riding in the car,
    We've been driving all day it seems.
  • Sequel Song: "With a Giggle and a Hug and a Tickle and a Kiss" is the direct continuation to "You're As Sweet As Sugar On a Stick", and the last verse of the latter is used as the chorus to the former song.
    I never thought I'd fall again least not like this
    With a giggle and a hug and a tickle and a kiss
    It's hard to think I'd let myself be captured by your charms
    In the middle of a snowstorm I'm melting in your arms
  • Vague Age: Polisar is an adult who writes children's songs, and usually narrates the songs from a child's perspective. But he has several songs where it is implied that the characters are actually older than they initially seem, this adds to the whimsiness and near-nonsensical nature of his songs.
    • The narrator of "I Don't Brush My Teeth", who has a full beard but still lives with his mommy and goes to school.
    • The narrator of "I've Got a Teacher, She's so Mean", who has been held back in first grade—probably more than once—but with no indication of how long he's been there, so he could be anywhere between seven to actually a grown adult.
    • There's also the people involved in the Escalating Brawl in "When Suzie Sneeze". At first, it seems like a harmless playground fight between kids, but gets a lot more ambiguous when the narrator's friend start bringing up grenades and mines, tanks and guns (although he also mentions the war that "grown-ups" get themselves into, so they're probably not fully adults). In the end, it's implied that the all the people involved in the fight eventually killed each other.
  • Why Couldn't You Be Different?: In "He Eats Asparagus, Why Can't You Be That Way?", the narrator complains about his parents unfavorably comparing him to the boy who lives next door, who is apparently a perfectly well-behaved angel.
    And Mommy wishes I was him and that he was me.
  • Witch with a Capital "B": "I've Got a Teacher, She's so Mean" has the narrator call the eponymous teacher a witch after she calls him stupid. While this may be a child seeing his mean teacher as a Wicked Witch, it is likely that he is actually using "witch" in place of the other slur, considering that he's much older than a first grader should be.