Tracks of the Decade: “Funny Little Frog” by Belle and Sebastian

“Funny Little Frog”
by Belle and Sebastian
from THE LIFE PURSUIT (2007)

belleandsebastian_brm_052109“Funny Little Frog”
by Belle and Sebastian
from THE LIFE PURSUIT (2006)

When Belle and Sebastian briefly figured front and center in the 2000 film HIGH FIDELITY, they were instantly harangued by record store clerk Barry (played by Jack Black) as “sad bastard music.” I don’t know if Stuart Murdoch took those fictional words to heart or not, but what I do know is that the band’s subsequent post-millenial output has taken a northern trajectory in mood and tempo. The culmination of that trajectory is “Funny Little Frog,” arguably the greatest power pop song of the decade, one so good that Stuart Murdoch decided he needed to record it with two different bands (see GOD HELP THE GIRL). Simultaneously muscular and hilarious, Murdoch proclaims such lyrical inanities as “You’re the funny little frog in my throw-ette!” with the same conviction that Chilton had when he belted “When my baby’s beside me, I don’t a-worry!” Nope, nothing too complicated here. This is feel good music, just a few marks short on the smile-o-meter from Barry’s counterpoint, Katrina and the Waves’ “Walking on Sunshine.” It’s a celebration of finding acceptance in someone else, a song to lift your spirits coming from a decade the seemed to crush them time and again.