Ishka Babel, the Small God of Novelty Songs

[image description: A squinty fellow with a dark unbecoming bowl-cut cocks his head. He wears a gray jacket and a black tie, but the musical bars that behind him bend run riot through his shirt. Text reads, “174, Ishka Babel, the Small God of Novelty Songs”]

He is NOT the small god of jingles, and he really wishes people would remember that, and stop calling on him every time they have the plop plop fizz fizz song stuck in their heads again.  That domain belongs solely to Belle Ringer, who claims the little subliminal hooks that clutter your prefrontal cortex.  Ishka practices a more subtle art, a more beautiful calling.

He is the small god of novelty songs.  Of grandmothers getting run over by reindeer, mothers kissing Santa Claus, and Peter Cottontail heading down the bunny trail.  His hand moves through the dead puppies and the fish heads, and because she’s a blonde, he’ll help her win the homecoming crown.  He is in the flash and the dazzle, he knows how to do the monster mash, and he’ll tell you when to run from the blob and the purple people eater.

Does he wish more people would take him seriously?  Oh, sometimes.  He remembers a time when he was but a wisp of faith, when all songs were novelty songs, because people were doing things for the first time they had ever been done.  A time before baby belugas, baby sharks, or itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikinis.

But time passes, even for gods.  Maybe especially for gods, with as much time as they have to spend.

He is here to open your mind, broaden your horizons, and shock your ears with sounds that they have never heard before, and he knows better than any that what seems innovative and exciting today will fade into expectation tomorrow.

Except for Mr. Blobby.  He’s not sure anyone will ever get used to Mr. Blobby. He’s quite sure he doesn’t want to.

Sing for him, if you have the opportunity.  He’s always happy for the chance to hear something new.


Join us Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for a guide to the many small deities who manage our modern  world:





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