Lonesome Onry and Mean

Plus-Size Songs For Those Post-Holiday Pounds

One of the reasons Lonesome Onry and Mean's local waterhole is our local waterhole is its excellent, eclectic, even exotic jukebox. There's truly something for everyone.

For the novices and/or narrow-minded, there are easy defaults like Willie Nelson & Family's Live, the Stones' Exile on Main Street or Tom Jones. For those into newer stuff, there's everything from Arcade Fire to Glasvegas to Mumford & Sons and Danny Barnes' Pizza Box. The amount of foreign music, particularly South American, is staggering and, with the Pogues and Chieftains, the Irish get their nod. Classic rockers can roam from Bo Diddley to Nirvana live.

But what really makes this jukebox special is oddities like Breaking It Up! by Louis Prima and His Orchestra featuring Keeley Smith. And one of the most played items from that album is Prima's hilarious tongue-tripper, "The Bigger the Figure." There really is nothing else quite like it, and it never fails to turn heads when it comes up in the mix.

In this day of political correctness, it would be considered suicidal to pen a love song to plus-size women, but back in the day no one thought much about it. Here are a few that pay homage to ladies who don't fit the Kate Moss mold.

1.Louis Prima, "The Bigger the Figure":

LOM has heard this song at least 50 times this year, and still can't keep up with Prima as he dances suavely over its lyrical tightrope with no net. And we don't know how big this woman is, but we know Prima loves her immensely.

2. Merle Travis, "Fat Gal":

Merle Travis was a master at comedic lyrics and double entendres like "I like my chickens fryin' size when they're hangin' around my pen." "That Fat Gal of Mine" almost matches Prima's tune for lyrical cleverness with lines like "When things get tough, times get hard/ I render my gal and sell the lard."

Yeah, it's hard to imagine Brad Paisley or Kenny Chesney singing this one, although Toby Keith might be hoss enough to have a go at it.

3. Queen, "Fat Bottomed Girls":

This anthem to oversized posteriors is just... well... so Freddie Mercury. We got nothing else to say, it speaks for itself. If LOM never hears this one again, it will still be too soon.

  4. Joe Tex, "Ain't Gonna Bump No More With No Big Fat Woman":

The late Joe Tex needs to make up his mind. The Baytown-born '70s soul/R&B star seems philosophically stuck between this one and his much more popular hit, "Skinny Legs and All."

  5. Willie Nelson, "Big Booty":

This list might've been complete without this one, but we're going to put it on anyhow.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
William Michael Smith