10 Underrated South Park Songs

Trey Parker and Matt Stone's Book of Mormon is only the latest example of their towering songcraft.

By Sean O'Neal

Although few have seen it yet, Matt Stone and Trey Parker's The Book Of Mormon is already one of the most promising shows on Broadway. That's because the duo has spent their entire career proving that, in addition to being consummate smart-asses, they're also extremely talented (even Oscar-nominated) songwriters, creating catchy, funny tunes from their early days on Cannibal: The Musical to Team America: World Police and throughout fourteen seasons of South Park. And while South Park songs like "Uncle Fucka" and "Chocolate Salty Balls" have rightfully gotten plenty of accolades, the show also boasts this equally great roster of less-heralded musical numbers — a commitment to quality that bodes well for filling out two hours on Broadway.

1. "Montage" (Season 6, Episode 3, "Asspen")

Paul Engemann's propulsive synth-rock number "Push It To The Limit" — best known as the song that soundtracked Tony Montana's swift rise to the top of the coke heap in Scarface — may have no bigger fans than Matt Stone and Trey Parker. The duo has used the tune several times in versions both straightforward (as during Cartman's training for the Special Olympics in "Up The Down Steroid") and satirical — specifically, as the self-aware "Montage," which bluntly notes the training sequence's power to convey gradual improvement over a stretch of time without everything taking too long. First appearing in "Asspen" and later reworked into Team America: World Police, "Montage" is parody so powerful it should've effectively killed off any and all unironic montage sequences for ever after.

 

2. "Jesus Baby!" (Season 7, Episode 9, "Christian Rock Hard")

Cartman forms the Christian rock band Faith +1 not only because of its gullible, built-in audience (one that also presumably considers illegal downloading a sin), but because Christian songwriting is as easy as pulling out all the "baby" references from regular pop songs and replacing them with "Jesus." The result:  A communion come-on, an invitation to a little between-the-shroud action, a holy roll in the manger — in other words, some super-hot blasphemy. (A note for aspiring pop stars: swap the "Jesus" for "baby" and you're Katy Perry.)

3. "Fightin' 'Round The World" (Season 6, Episode 4, "The New Terrance and Phillip Movie Trailer")

This song will dog Russell Crowe until the day he dies, or at least until he retreats to the caves to hibernate forever. And for that reason alone, it's indispensable.

 

4. "The Prostitute Song" (Season 4, Episode 15, Fat Camp")

Before Scientology stole him away, Isaac Hayes' Chef was the heart-and-soul songbird of South Park, and even with his life cut short, most of this list could consist of underappreciated, non-"Chocolate Salty Balls" gems. But few of Chef's musical education moments were ever as instructive as this number from "Fat Camp," which turned James Taylor's "Your Smiling Face" — with an assist from (a fake) Taylor himself — into a no-nonsense dissertation on what makes a prostitute so special, with sentiments that Charlie Sheen clearly took to heart.

 

5. "Getting Gay With Kids Is Here" (Season 3, Episode 1, "Rainforest Shmainforest")

Much of the focus on South Park's early musical hits centered on Chef, but this song from season three's "Rainforest Shmainforest" shouldn't be overlooked. A masterfully crafted parody of an Up With People-style sing-along, "Getting Gay With Kids Is Here" is, admittedly, built on an overly obvious "gay also means happy" premise. But the straight-faced gusto with which it recreates unbearable glee-club-style "rock" songs makes it work. If the line "being an activist is totally gay" doesn't make you laugh, then South Park is not a show for you.

 

Commentarium (23 Comments)

Apr 04 11 - 8:09am
bk

Vote or Die is my personal fave here - but what about Christmas Time in Hell, or Mr. Garrison's Merry Fucking Christmas? I'm just a sucker for holiday music.

Apr 04 11 - 10:57pm
Laila

Haha I LOVE all of the holiday ones! I watch that episode every Christmas. My favs from the list have to be Taco-Flavored Kisses and Montage.

Apr 04 11 - 10:44am
Mmhmm

I always had a soft spot for "Now You're a Man", which plays during the end credits of the episode "Big Gay Al's Big Gay Boat Ride" and the opening credits for Orgazmo. So much love for "Montage" and "Let's Fighting Love", though!

Apr 04 11 - 9:37pm
G

Great list, but what about "I've Got Something in My Front Pocket for You" from the episode "You Got F'ed in the A"? Though my comment just supports the fact that South Park was writing great songs from day 1.

Apr 06 11 - 12:36am
S

Agreed. Should be number 1!

Apr 04 11 - 11:31pm
lavoixinconnue

always loved "the most offensive xmas song ever." genius. :)

Apr 04 11 - 11:39pm
Mel Gibson

Team American: World Police, is some of their finer work.

Apr 05 11 - 1:40am
Secret Character

"Lets Fighting Love" was a landmark effort. Not to mention I will always, always die laughing whenever I hear this song.

Apr 05 11 - 10:05am
Theodore

"Vote or Die" was hilarious and timely, and it perfectly ridiculed Diddy's (or whatever he was calling himself back then) laughable campaign.

I also have to agree with my friend Mel Gibson: The music from Team America was awesome, especially the country parodies.

Apr 05 11 - 12:33pm
billlll

make it right is my favourite by a mile! anyone reading this, seriously, youtube make it right!

Apr 05 11 - 6:22pm
SpacemanSpif

No love for "What Would Brian Boitano Do?"

Apr 05 11 - 8:09pm
asdf

top 10 UNDERrated songs, that one is a classic

Apr 05 11 - 7:40pm
John

What about Make it Right when Cartmen thought he was dead and had to do good deeds?

Apr 06 11 - 11:44am
bma83

Thank You!! I was hoping that Make It Right would be on here. It is definitely one of the best. I’m still singing it after all these years.

Apr 07 11 - 1:02am
Charles

Too Many Minorities At The Water Park.

Apr 07 11 - 8:42am
Roo

I'm a little disappointed to not see the song from Season 7s Mormon Episode that at first seemed like a catchy 1800s jingle but turned out that it was mocking everyone agreeing with Joseph Smith.

Apr 13 11 - 12:26pm
jynn

That's one of my favorites, too...dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb! :P

Apr 07 11 - 4:11pm
luke

Stinky Britches, you got Stinky Britches.

Apr 07 11 - 6:39pm
tricia

where's butter's song "what what in the butt"

Apr 08 11 - 12:24am
KAT

what about Fingerbang?!

Apr 08 11 - 7:48am
Mothman46

My all time favorite is cartmans cover of sail away

Apr 13 11 - 9:51am
Zavrina

h1JrSu At last, soomene comes up with the "right" answer!

Jan 28 12 - 7:33pm
:D

'cause you gotta do what you wanna do! That was the best!