Few songs are as creepy and distinct as the 1966 track, “They Are Coming to Take Me Away Ha-Haaa!”, recorded by Jerry Samuels under the star name of Napoleon XIV. A baby boomer music goes, that was an icon and one that will never be forgotten by any baby boomer. The song was something of a one hit wonder because the man who created it didn’t have any other big hits before or since then, but this one was a baby boomer music icon.
The novel track is bizarre, featuring a music video of a man (Samuels) wearing a tin-foil hat, producing a satire on mentally disturbed individuals who are characterised by their outlandish beliefs and tirades.
“They Are Coming to Take Me Away Ha-Haaa!” gained large attention by Baby Boomer audiences for its unusual musical composition and delivery, including erratic instrumental tunes and Samuels singing in a non-melodic style, befitting an incoherent commentary rather than a conventional song.
The track was met with great success, reaching the 3rd spot on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, 2nd in Canada and 4th position even as far away as in the UK.
Samuels originally intended for the character in his song to be affected by the recent loss of his girlfriend but as he feared that the track would be poorly perceived as a mockery of mentally-disturbed people, Samuels decided to “water down” the subject in reference of a missing pet dog.
The tweak was a success and the song has gone down in history as being one of the most eccentric and popular hits of the 60s and some of the most talked about Baby boomer music in history. Want to check out some other Boomer music? Here’s a little hit that had everyone tapping their foot —Dancing in the Street by Martha and the Vandellas