Funny Freud Friday: The Ballad of Sigmund Freud

Funny Freud Friday: The Ballad of Sigmund Freud

As far as I can tell, the only time this song by the Chad Mitchell Trio  was recorded was for a live album of Harry Belafonte performing at Carnegie Hall in 1994; I can’t find it listed on any of the albums or DVDs on the trio’s website.

I’m ambivalent about whether I like it or not — what would Freud say? — so I decided to follow the video with this blog’s first poll. Please vote. I’ll feel very insecure if you don’t.

[poll id=”2″]

10 Responses to Funny Freud Friday: The Ballad of Sigmund Freud

  1. There should be a button for annoying and funny.

  2. Edie Jarolim says:

    Hmmm. Maybe I should add that. If you vote from another computer, of course, you can put in a bid for both.

  3. I would add clever, but offensive. The line about Freud, and by extension, Jung and Adler—but mostly about Freud, creating psychoanalysis for the money struck me as, well, just a tad anti-semitic. Okay, more than a tad. Maybe I’m more neurotic today than usual or simply in the tank for post-modern ironic humor, but the lyrics struck me as something stupid, ill-informed people would say about psychoanalysis and it’s related off-spring created by Jung and Adler. Now I disagree with my first comment. I don’t think the song is clever (although it could have been) it’s just dumb. Good find, though, Edie.
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    • Edie Jarolim says:

      Interesting analysis, Deborah. I hadn’t thought of it that way — and far be it from me not to think things are anti-semitic. But you’ve got a point. I think my annoyance stemmed from the idea that psychoanalysis and other treatments of mental illness could be dismissed so easily, as though Freud, Adler and Jung weren’t “real” doctors — which they all were.

    • Pat O'Leary says:

      Anti Semitic? The whole evening was appealing to a heavily Jewish audience – including Jewish/Israeli songs like Hene Ma Tov and Viachazkem.

  4. Jacob Bruinsma says:

    I don’t see the trio making anti-semitic statements. It’s ironic anti-psychiatry and psychiatrists as a rule make quite a bit of money. They als sung jewish folk-songs, (Dana Dana rendered in English dona, dona,for instance) and also the “I vas not a Nazi -Polka”. So the suggestion that Freud was only in it for the money had nothing to do with his semitic origins. However, the thought is interesting, I wonder what Freud would make of it.

    • Edie Jarolim says:

      Thanks for coming by. I think Freud would have considered antisemitism as a possible interpretation. His works were routinely dismissed as “Jewish science” and his books were burned by the Nazis as early as 1933. Whether or not that was the song’s intention is a different question!

  5. Larry Glasser (all three authors minus Bob March and Dave Lazar) says:

    Why can’t we all get along.

  6. Pat O'Leary says:

    Belafonte Returns to Carnegie Hall -1994??
    LOL! It was released in 1962.

  7. C says:

    you all missed the last line it seems. if you listen to the last line, the whole song changes from a riff on psychoanalysis and twists it into simply being the authors anger at how much he has to pay to lie on a sofa and talk. it legitimixes psychoanalysis, as the singer actually GOES to a therapist, presumaly because he knows it helps him, but he is still annoyed that he has to pay so much just to “lie down and talk” (you have to look at it from a laymans point of view like the song does). at the end of the day he wishes sigmund freud had been differently employed just so that he wouldnt now be paying big sums to a psychologist.

    sure, it is still a sort of dumb song, but the last line puts it squarely in territory of jokes, rather than proper criticism. also, it wasn’t written by some idiots either, one of the writers was a professor of physics.

    this is kinda hastily written on my phone so theres some dumb stuff there but i think my main point is solid.

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