Q: What is the ideal weight for a mother-in-law?
A: About 2.3 pounds, including the urn.
Rocks Off has more or less been content with bachelorhood our entire life, so we have no idea what having a mother-in-law is like. We're fairly certain we're not going to be finding out anytime soon. But from what we can tell, our few married friends seem to get along with their mothers-in-law just fine.
They make good babysitters, we hear.
On this day in 1936, a man was born who immortalized these supposed harpies and battle axes in song forever and ever. Written by fellow New Orleans native Allen Toussaint, Ernie K-Doe's "Mother In Law" topped the R&B and pop charts in 1961, and has since been covered by a long list of people including Herman's Hermits, Clarence Carter, the Coasters and Huey Lewis & the News.
K-Doe died in 2001, after being identified with "Mother In Law" and little else for a solid 40 years. He even named the nightclub he and wife Antoinette owned in the Big Easy - what else? - the Mother-In-Law Lounge. That song dominates the field of musical mother-in-law tributes (cough) so completely that Rocks Off had some difficulty even finding five other ones.
But we managed.
5. B.B. King & Bobby "Blue" Bland, "Mother In Law Blues": Credited to Little Junior Parker, this blues standard is probably the second most famous mother-in-law song of all time. It's hard to go wrong with Bland and King's version, appropriately paired with "Mean Old World" on 1976's Together Again...Live, which goes a little something like this: Man gets drunk and comes to at sunrise to witness his mother-in-law leading his baby away by the hand. Damn right he's got the blues.
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4. Vybz Kartel, "Mother In Law": Vybz Kartel, whose other songs include "Pussy Jaw" and "Tightest Punani," has such a thick Jamaican patois on this 2010 dancehall bumper it's a little hard to make out what he's saying. But he doesn't sound happy about it at all.
3. Phil Alexander, "Mother In Law": Among the hundreds of parodies Alexander has recorded, this one tweaks the lyrics of Judas Priest's 1980 speed-metal anthem "Breakin' the Law": "To the floor I tried to stick her, and sneak out of the room/ I bought her a bumper sticker: 'My other car's a broom'" Mmmkay.
2. Anne Johnston-Brown, "The Mother In Law Song": L.A. Christian singer and acting teacher Johnston-Brown, a member of Fred Willard's sketch-comedy troupe the MoHos, puts the 10 Commandments on hold to recount an especially disastrous Thanksgiving dinner. After noting brown gravy is not supposed to "fizzle," she reveals her plan: "What do you do if your mother-in-law wants you dead?/ Purchase a shotgun on eBay and hide in the shed."
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1. Rascal Flatts, "Bless the Broken Road": Told you we had a hard time coming up with five. This unbelievably saccharine 2004 ballad has nothing to do with mothers-in-law per se, but during the course of our search efforts, we came across a commenter on countrymusicstore.info who said her future MIL was going to sing this at her wedding.
Now we're scared.