Bugs are so cute and lovable except when they’re crawling on you. Or in your food. Or the bathtub. Come to think of it the only time bugs are okay is in song, and this week’s Record Bin Roulette celebrates some of our most beloved chitinous arthropods in melody.
Like a human, if you’re a bug, your survival depends a lot on whether you are rich and/or good looking. Though beauty is only exo-skeleton-deep, we do make judgments based on a bug’s basic cuteness factor. Take Jiminy Cricket, one of the cutest bugs of all time, he’s done really well for himself. He’s a movie star, beloved by children everywhere. But underneath his tophat and tails, he’s basically a bug. A sweet, endearing, giant green bug. Saved from the windshield by cuteness.
Bumblebees are cute and furry, so we generally tolerate them and even buy little stuffed bumblebee dolls for our kids. “The Flight of the Bumblebee” remains one of the most famous orchestral moments, however the theme was appropriated by a much less cute bug, The Green Hornet, for his television show. Just cashing in on bumblebee cuteness.
“Madame Butterfly” was a hugely popular opera, but if they had named it “Madame Silverfish”, it would never have had the same success. Again, butterflies have an appeal, they’re cute and colorful and we generally don’t squash them.
Perhaps the most famous buggy song is about one of our most despised creatures, the cockroach. “La Cucaracha” has been performed by everyone from Louis Armstrong to Charlie Parker to Bill Haley’s Comets. Cockroaches are notoriously hard to get out your house, and the song is just as hard to get out of your head!