Annoying Music For Labor Day Monday is Labor Day, which means it's a good time to turn to the hardest-working man in the annoying-music business: Jim Nayder, a man with whom every conversation is a labor of love. Here, he describes a passel of tunes with which to wind down the summer.

Annoying Music For Labor Day

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript


Monday, Labor Day, so we thought we'd turn to the hardest working man in the annoying music business, a man with whom every conversation is a labor of love. And youve got to love the labor. I speak, of course, of Jim Nayder, who is at WBEZ in Chicago. He has a passel of tunes with which to wind down the summer.

Jim, how are you?

Mr. JIM NAYDER ("The Annoying Music Show): Scott, I feel like a debutante with thick ankles.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: Well...

Mr. NAYDER: Not in a good place right now.

SIMON: Its the end of the summer, my friend. So the ankles are swelling. Look, we have some music cued up that youve guided us to. So for reasons known only to you and Rod Blagojevich...

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON:'ve requested we open up now (unintelligible) the Singing Sisters of Syracuse?

Mr. NAYDER: Yes. Theres nothing that can usher in the end of summer better than nuns with kazoos.

(Soundbite of song, Shine on Harvest Moon)

SINGING SISTERS OF SYRACUSE: (Singing) Shine on, shine on, harvest moon up in the sky...

SIMON: Well, it puts me in a difficult position because, I mean they're nuns, theyre wonderful people. You dont want to criticize a group of nuns. But...

Mr. NAYDER: Well, wait for the kazoo...

SIMON: ...theyre not the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Mr. NAYDER: Bring up the kazoos.

(Soundbite of kazoos)

SIMON: I like that kazoo part. I think thats very endearing.

Mr. NAYDER: Weve only just begun, so hang in there.

SIMON: Well, we have the, my notes say the "Juanita(ph) Banana Song"?

Mr. NAYDER: Well, yeah. Today for Labor Day, we are honoring the worlds hardest laborers. A recent study by the World Health Organization, or as I like to call them, The Who, determined that banana growers are the hardest working workers in the world.

SIMON: Are you you being serious about this?

Mr. NAYDER: Youre asking me if I'm being serious?

SIMON: Yeah.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: It's the subtext - every one of my questions. But, yeah, is that a real study or something youve contrived for the convenience...

Mr. NAYDER: Its a study I heard about on the street.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: All right. So this is a song to salute them?

Mr. NAYDER: Yes.

(Soundbite of Juanita Banana Song")

Mr. J.R. CORVINGTON: In a little Spanish town just south of the Mexican border...

SIMON: Excuse me, lovely Spanish town would not be south of the Mexican border.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: But I digress, yes?

Mr. NAYDER: Only NPR would know that.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. CORVINGTON: Dear Juanita would sing each day in day in the fields, soon as her work was done.

Unidentified Woman: (Singing)

SIMON: Jim...

Mr. NAYDER: Yes, Scott, I'm here. I'm here.

SIMON: Who did this, because I feel I should contact my member of Congress...

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: ...and let them know that they're I feel like I should contact Interpol and let them know that they're out there.

Mr. NAYDER: This is done by J.R. Corvington. And you may not know this but a banana growers daughter who sings opera attracted the documentary efforts of Ken Burns. So you can look for that series on PBS soon.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: My notes now say we have next what could be the original mash-up.

Mr. NAYDER: Well, outside of July 4th, Labor Day is considered the most important barbecue day in America, which is why we must announce, ladies and gentlemen, start your barbecues.

(Soundbite of Oscar Mayer Weiner song mixed with National Anthem)

Unidentified People: (Singing) Oh I wish I were an Oscar Mayer Weiner...

SIMON: This is sacrilege. This is taking the Oscar Mayer Weiner whistle song and mashing it up with the National Anthem? I mean Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wouldnt do this to the National Anthem.

Mr. NAYDER: Every time I see it, I've never seen so many bratwursts standing at attention.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. NAYDER: And we're right on theme for Labor Day.



Mr. NAYDER: Are you still there?

SIMON: Yes, I'm here. Right on theme for Labor Day, yeah. Yeah.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. NAYDER: Well, often interviewers will just leave the studio.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: Believe me, I'm trying but they dont know enough to throw the bolt.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: You know that we profiled an artist years ago named Morris Katz. He was known as the world's fastest artist.

Mr. NAYDER: Yeah, that sounds familiar.

SIMON: And he was painting and he said, last night, last night, the woman on my door, pounding on my door, pounding on my door, pounding on my door; 3:00 a.m., I got up, I let her out.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: Reminds me of doing two-ways(ph) with you. But I digress. Go ahead. Yes?

Mr. NAYDER: Well, Scott, do you read the newspapers or listen to the news?

SIMON: As little as possible. Of course I listen to the news.

Mr. NAYDER: Well, from listening to your program I can never tell.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. NAYDER: But any avid reader knows that around Labor Day newspapers are filled with advertisements for mattress sales. And these bedding discounts extend even to Finland.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: They sleep in Finland too. Did you - what, did you think they stood up like horses when they slept? Of course, no, they have mattresses.

(Soundbite of song)

Unidentified Man: (Singing in foreign language)

SIMON: Is this Finnish?

Mr. NAYDER: Yes.

SIMON: How do you know its Finnish?

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: If youre so sure it's Finnish...

Mr. NAYDER: Prove it's not. Prove it's not.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: You first. You first. I mean, say two other words to me in Finnish.

Mr. NAYDER: Well, I can say the name of the group; it's Ecclesias(ph), so...

SIMON: Right.

Mr. NAYDER: I don't know if that's two words, but...

SIMON: And what's the song about?

Mr. NAYDER: Well, you know, it's beds are burning. It's the famous, you know, by Midnight Oil, I believe. And actually, medical experts say the only way to deal with this bed bug epidemic is to burn your bed with midnight oil, so it's kind of a synergy thing going there.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: Well, this...

(Soundbite of doorbell)

Mr. NAYDER: Oops, Scott, can you hold for a second?

SIMON: Of course, Jim. Yes.

(Soundbite of doorbell)

Mr. NAYDER: That's my FedEx that comes every day.

(Soundbite of paper rustling)

Mr. NAYDER: See what we have here. Oh my gosh. It's the "Telly Savalas Sings" album.

(Soundbite of song, "Something")

Mr. TELLY SAVALAS (Actor): (Singing) Somewhere in her smile she knows that I dont need no other lover.

SIMON: He was one of the greats, wasnt he?

(Soundbite of song, "Something")

Mr. SAVALAS: (Singing) Something in her style that shows me...

Mr. NAYDER: Scott, isn't "Who Loves You Baby" the title of your new book?

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: Very similar.

Mr. NAYDER: And having "Kojak" do the forward is really an interesting choice.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: Inspired.

(Soundbite of song, "Something")

Mr. SAVALAS: (Singing) Youre asking me...

SIMON: He was one of the greats.

Mr. NAYDER: He was. And speaking of babies...


Mr. NAYDER: ...when you think of Labor Day, well, you think of Labor Day.

(Soundbite of song, "Having My Baby")

PARANA MAN FROM PAKISTAN: (Singing) Having my baby, what a lovely way of saying how much you love me.

SIMON: Oh, my gosh.

(Soundbite of song, "Having My Baby")

PIRANHA MAN FROM PAKISTAN: (Singing) Having baby, what a lovely way of saying what you are thinking about me.

(Soundbite of laughter)


(Soundbite of song, "Having My Baby")

PIRANHA MAN FROM PAKISTAN: (Singing) I can see it's your face is...

Mr. NAYDER: I could wipe some of the tears off my microphone.

SIMON: Yes. No. It's...

(Soundbite of microphone distortion)

SIMON: So it's, we know its not Paul Anka.

Mr. NAYDER: That's Piranha Man from Pakistan.

SIMON: One of your favorites, Parana Man.

Mr. NAYDER: He's a favorite of "The Annoying Music Show," and pretty much no one else.

SIMON: Well, he's a real strong - he's a real song stylist.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: I don't know, you know, I'm trying to end this as soon as possible but I can see that...

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: I'm seeing this is going to be difficult because we have another song to hear because the days are getting shorter, right?

Mr. NAYDER: Yeah, Scott, like me. Being from the Midwest, you know, Labor Day signifies the end of summer and cold, snowy days are ahead. So naturally our thoughts head to the West Coast and sunny California. Unfortunately, our plane overshot its runway and ended up in Leningrad with the Alexandrov Red Army Ensemble.

(Soundbite of song, "California Girls")

ALEXANDROV RED ARMY ENSEMBLE: (Singing) The East Coast girls are hip. I really dig those styles they wear. And the Southern girls with the way they talk, they knock me out when I'm down there. The Mid-West farmer's daughters really make you feel all right.


Mr. NAYDER: I hear the beaches in Siberia are lovely this time of year.

SIMON: I, you know, their are East Coast girls are hip, it - to those guys it means from Vladivostok. That's the East Coast to them.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: That is one of the most stupefying pieces of music that I've ever heard. Were they serious?

Mr. NAYDER: Yes. They, you know, they...

SIMON: I mean, look, theyve all got great voices. They're wonderful performers. Of course it's a classic song, but whose grim idea was it to put it together like that?

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. NAYDER: Well, it wasnt John Lennon, I'll tell you that.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: Jim, thank you very much.

Mr. NAYDER: Scott, you are not an NPR host; you are paradise.

(Soundbite of laughter)

(Soundbite of song, "California Girls")

ALEXANDROV RED ARMY ENSEMBLE: (Singing) I wish they all could be California...

SIMON: "Annoying Music" man Jim Nayder is speaking with us from WBEZ in Chicago, where he manages desperately to hold on to some kind of job.

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

Copyright © 2010 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.