Music Quiz: Can You Identify These 1966 Haiku-Converted Hits?

Okay, first off, I’ve never been fan of haikus, no, not even in the 5th grade when a writing assignment was limited to 17 syllables.  Given that Japanese characters have a built-in visual component that the Roman alphabet lacks, I don’t think haikus work well in English.  They’re so ripe for parody:

hummingbird hovers —

basset hound lifts leg to piss —

the blind sun moves on

Nevertheless, haikus are compact and well-suited for riddles, or this little quiz for you Medicare-eligible music lovers out there.  I’ve chosen the year 1966 and written 5 haikus that represent songs from Billboard’s Top 100 of that year, the year that preceded the Summer of Love, the year when the #1 song was Sgt. Barry Sandler’s “The Ballad of the Green Berets.”

So see if you can identify the song from the haiku, and to get the answer, click on the audio sample below.

Here’s Billboard’s #3 song of 1966:

digits 9 and 6

lying back to back in bed

too many teardrops


Here’s #20:

sledgehammer of hurt,

funereal organ moan

she bring misery



girls in summer clothes

walk past red doors to the tune

of sitar strum – drums!


poor Saint Stephen ain’t

alone, no, eventually,



the word calamine

don’t appear in this itch song –

he needs some scratching


slip harpo



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