Annoying Music: Beatles Cover Songs In honor of the new Beatles remasters, Jim Nayder of The Annoying Music Show! offers even more Beatles music — but without John, Paul, George or Ringo. Nayder presents a sampling of some of the worst and most irritating Beatles cover songs.
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Annoying Music: Beatles Cover Songs

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Annoying Music: Beatles Cover Songs

Annoying Music: Beatles Cover Songs

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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You've probably already heard plenty about the reissue of The Beatles' entire catalog, and the release of the new Rock Band video game. Well, our friend Jim Nayder has even more Beatles music, but without John, Paul, George and Ringo.

Jim Nayder, the Fab Uno, is of course the host of The Annoying Music Show on Chicago Public Radio, which is syndicated to dozens of prison systems across the country. He joins us from the studios of WBEZ. Jim, how are you?

Mr. JIM NAYDER (Host, The Annoying Music Show): Scott, as always, when I'm on your show, I feel as lonely and Eleanor Rigby. I just put my face in a jar…

SIMON: Jar that you keep by the door. I was about to say that myself.

Mr. NAYDER: Who's it for, Scott, who's it for?

SIMON: All the lonely people. Where do they all come from? But, listen, I'm glad you raised that question because it's tough enough for a good singer to do a cover, as it's called, for another song that somebody's made popular. But it's got to be particularly tough for someone to do a re-recording of a Beatles song.

Mr. NAYDER: Absolutely. All kinds of artists have done their own versions of the Beatles. Tom Jones, even Elvis Presley. But this next song is not by Tom or Elvis.

(Soundbite of song, "Hey Jude")

Mr. TINY TIM (Musician): (Singing) Hey Jude, don't make it bad. Take a sad song and make it better. Remember to let her into your heart. Then you can start to make it better. Hey Jude, don't be afraid. You were made to go out and get her. The minute you let her into your skin, then you begin to make it better…

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: Who is this?

Mr. NAYDER: That version of "Hey Jude" by the great Tiny Tim from a…

SIMON: This is Tiny Tim?

Mr. NAYDER: Yeah. A great CD called "Girl," when he combined with Brave Combo. And who thought of doing it as a cha-cha? We love him here at The Annoying Music Show.

SIMON: Mash-ups have become popular in recent years, right? Singer/DJ mixes two different songs to form a new track.

Mr. NAYDER: Absolutely. And with the remastering of the Beatles library, as you said, getting such great acclaim, you would think every Beatles song is on there. But we think they left one out. It's by Alan Copeland - who will never be confused with Aaron Copeland.

(Soundbite of music)

SIMON: "Mission: Impossible" theme, right?

(Soundbite of song)

ALAN COPELAND SINGERS (Music Group): (Singing) Once I had a girl, or should I say, once she had me.

SIMON: Wrong.

(Soundbite of song)

SIMON: Again, let me understand. This is not like two Yale students just cutting up with a laptop. This was recorded by professional musicians who were trying to sell something?

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. NAYDER: This was recorded in 1969, Alan Copeland Singers. You can laugh all you want, but 40 years ago, this won a Grammy award for Best Contemporary Pop Paranoid Schizophrenic Arrangement.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. NAYDER: It's true. Part of it's true.

SIMON: One of my favorite categories, yeah.

Mr. NAYDER: And people were upset because when they bought it, five seconds after they played it, the tape self destructed. Little "Mission: Impossible" humor.

SIMON: Couldn't get their money back, could they, come to think of it, yeah. All right. Now, I remember the first time a few years ago, in the elevator I heard a Bob Dylan song. And there was a part of me that thought, he didn't grow up in Hibbing, Minnesota thinking, Someday they're going to be playing my music in elevators all over the world. Now, that's happened to the Beatles for years now, hasn't it?

Mr. NAYDER: Yeah, it's a Catch-22. It's, oh, the cash but then, oh, the humanity.

(Soundbite of song)

Mr. TELLY SAVALAS (Actor): (Singing) Something the way she knows, attracts me like no other lover. Something the way she moves me, I don't wanna leave her now. You know I…

Mr. NAYDER: That's the great Telly Savalas, of course.

SIMON: Telly Savalas?

Mr. NAYDER: And admit it, you like it.

SIMON: Is that Telly Savalas?

Mr. NAYDER: Admit it, you liked it though, Scott.

SIMON: I did, I did. I was always a big Telly Savalas fan. Telly Savalas. You know, the only way that I know that he once recorded an album of his music is because he has figured into your little paeans to music before.

Mr. NAYDER: Well, you know, I have some of his songs but we all know you have the definitive Telly Savalas sings anthology.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. NAYDER: Scott…


Mr. NAYDER: …Scott, do you mind if go off script just for a moment?

SIMON: No. I've been looking forward to it.

Mr. NAYDER: As you know, it was just a few years ago when I was privileged to make it passed security and attend your wedding.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. NAYDER: And I was not surprised at the beauty of Caroline, your French bride. But was surprised at how beautifully she sang. Remember that Beatles tune she sang for you at your wedding? Well, I taped it.

(Soundbite of song)

Ms. MIMI SAINT-AUGER(ph) (Singer): (Singing in French)

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. NAYDER: I think it's telling that Caroline chose "Help" at your wedding.

(Soundbite of laughter)

(Soundbite of song)

Ms. MIMI SAINT-AUGER(ph) (Singer): (Singing in French)

SIMON: Ed, you know, I want you to know…

Mr. NAYDER: I kid, I kid…

SIMON: …both of our daughters have inherited her beautiful singing voice.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. NAYDER: That's actually the great French singer Mimi St. Auger. I apologize to Caroline. She sounds nothing like that.

SIMON: No, no.

Mr. NAYDER: She's actually much worse.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. NAYDER: I'm sorry.

SIMON: My wife does everything beautifully. I mean, she's too young to remember the Beatles when they were the Beatles. But anybody, even my wife's age, has grown up listening to the Beatles.

Mr. NAYDER: And it's not just in America, of course, or Britain, it's around the world.

(Soundbite of song, "Yellow Submarine")

Ms. SAINT-AUGER: (Singing in French)

Mr. NAYDER: When I play this version backwards, it says, Paul has the swine flu.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. NAYDER: Try it. Well, people don't have turntables, so it's hard to do that.

SIMON: No, I know. We'll figure out a way. Well, come to our Web site, we'll do it for you.

I understand we have one last clip, is that correct?

Mr. NAYDER: Well, yes. We thought we could prove our theory that the best annoying music is produced when two great forms of music are combined that creates music so annoying it's actually dangerous. And this Cathy Berberian demonstrates this.

(Soundbite of song, "I Want to Hold Your Hand")

Ms. CATHY BARBERIAN (Singer): (Singing) Oh yeah, I'll tell you something. I think you'll understand. When I tell you something, I want to hold your hand. I want to hold your hand, I want to hold your hand. Oh please…

SIMON: Is this serious?

Mr. NAYDER: Yes. Cathy Berberian in the 1960s did operatic versions of contemporary songs, and luckily for The Annoying Music Show, she chose The Beatles.

SIMON: Oh, my word. But she's really trying there. I mean, she has obviously an exquisite voice.

Mr. NAYDER: Well, and that's the beauty of the best annoying music. It's when it's a serious attempt, for whatever reason - you know it when you hear it -when it just goes awry, much like your show.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. NAYDER: That's off the record.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: Well, Jim, I'd love to say that it's lovely to talk to you, but…

Mr. NAYDER: You lie.

SIMON: …that would be…

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: Thank you. Well, that's our friend Jim Nayder, who hosts The Annoying Music Show on Chicago Public Radio, which is carried by scores of public radio stations across the country who've lost all sense of self esteem. Jim, nice talking to you.

Mr. NAYDER: I'm glad someone had a good time.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. NAYDER: Same to you, Scott.

SIMON: This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

(Soundbite of song, "I Want to Hold Your Hand")

Ms. CATHY BARBERIAN (Singer): (Singing) I want to hold your hand. I want to hold your hand, I want to hold your hand, I want to hold your hand…

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