51 Weeks: 51 Songs From The Past: Week 26: Hot Butter – Popcorn

Here’s a little teaser for you. When is a song not a song? Have a little think about the answer while I whizz us off in my music time machine to the year 1972. Not only that, but I’m going to give many of you a handy tip that I know many of you will be thanking me for.

51 weeks 51 songs from the past poster

We previously visited the year 1972 back in week nine of this feature. Who could forget the week I introduced you all to a song that featured a pigeon and a 60-year-old lady who is still one of the oldest female artists to have had a number one hit single in the UK? Click here to relive that memory. But, what about the answer to that question I asked at the beginning of this post? Take a look at this video, and I’ll then give you the answer.

I’ve featured strange pop music videos in this feature before. For me, this has to be another one of the most bizarre videos I’ve seen for a song. But, is ‘Popcorn’ a song? Technically, no it’s not. Why? Well, doesn’t a song need to have lyrics in order to be classed as a song? Maybe you’ll disagree.

Although Popcorn was written in the year 1968, it was the group Hot Butter who went on to make the tune (note, I’m not saying song), a worldwide hit. In Australia, Popcorn stayed at the number one spot for eight weeks. However, the Swiss were having none of that! They managed to buy enough copies of Popcorn to ensure it stayed at the number one spot for ten weeks! It also went to number one in another four countries and enjoyed many weeks in the top ten of the singles charts around the world. In the U.S.A, it reached number nine, number two in Canada, while in the UK it peaked at number five.

Now, that handy tip I promised you. Take a look at the first video featuring the dancers again, and tell if me if this tune and that dance is not the perfect tune to dry your nails too! Nice tip, yes?

Do you have a favourite song that features no lyrics? Leave a link to it in the comments section.

Thank you to everyone who left a link to a favourite song in the comments section of last week’s post, and to RuthKatMarie, Cookies & Moo, and Barbara who all published posts about favourite songs and linked back to this feature.

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  1. When I first read the title of the song, I mistook it for Buttered Popcorn, the first record released by the Supremes with Florence Ballard leading. However, that song was released in 1961.

    My favorite instrumental from the 1970’s is Love is the Message, released in 1974 by MFSB. It became the theme song for the television program Soul Train.

    1. Thanks so much for your comments. I removed the ‘rel=0’ from the YouTube links, but am still getting a 404 Page Not Found error message when clicking on the links. Please resend them and I’ll include them so readers can view the videos.

      Thanks so much.

      1. Hugh, Thanks so much for your kindness and patience.

        Here’s the Supreme’s first record, lead by Florence Ballard.

        Here’s my favorite instrumental from the 1970’s. Love is the Message, released in 1974 by MFSB.

        1. Oh, no problem at all. Thanks for resending the links. I’ve never heard that Supremes song before. However, I have heard ‘Love Is The Message’. I agree it’s a lovely tune to listen to. Music often helps me write. I’ve written many of my short stories while listening to instrumental tunes.

      1. Satriani is great! I had a good Pride Day this year. Got some great shots. San Francisco’s crowd was huge and very political. It seems ‘Pride’ has evolved into something larger but I haven’t fully thought it out.

  2. Soooo, while I recognize the tune, that video is really a keeper! It’s unique with really interesting dance moves. I hadn’t given the song any thought in years but since I began reading your post yesterday, it’s been stuck in my head. 🙂

  3. Ok, what’s really strange is that I remember this song but I’ve never seen the video before. In fact, while I remember the song I had no idea what the title was until reading it here and haven’t heard this over 40 years! You really outdid yourself with this one Hugh..:)

  4. In 1972 I was a skinny, insecure 12 year old with braces. But I LOVED this song–it was on the radio all the time. I never did see this video though. Weren’t people so ridiculously thin back in the 70s? This was a great song to share. My hubby prefers a lot of instrumental Latin Guitar, which makes wonderful background music. I almost prefer instrumental music these days over lyrical! I also love the old and new surf instrumental. Here’s Apache https://youtu.be/EzgbcyfJgfQ

    1. Yes, people did seem to be very skinny back in the 70s, Terri. I put that down to little if any junk food, no ‘best by’ dates, and us being outside a lot more rather than sat in front of the TV or a computer screen 😀
      The Shadows have so many instrumental songs, and they make great background music, especially when having people over for dinner. I’ll be showcasing a few more instrumental songs because I have so many favourites. Thanks for sharing a favourite tune.

  5. You posed a most interesting question, Hugh! I consider a song, anything that is played on the radio, lyrics or not. There are some great instrumentals out there. The song you’ve featured, I’ve heard it before, and like it. For some reason I didn’t know it was called Popcorn. I thought it was about coffee percolating! 🙂 Here’s my entry… enjoy! http://wp.me/p3RE1e-3e1

    1. Well, I suppose it does have the sound of coffee percolating as well, Barbra. In fact, it could probably be any number of items, but I like your take on it.
      Thanks for answering the question I asked as well.

  6. LOL. That did make me laugh. I remember this “tune” but I have no idea why. I am still contemplating the question of whether lyrics are inherent is a song. I have always said I only like songs with words, so maybe I agree. 🙂

    1. It’s an interesting question, isn’t it? There are many other instrumental (only) tunes that I enjoy, and over the years many have become huge sellers. There will be a few more coming up in this series.

    1. A very seasonal choice, Elizabeth. Dare I mention that we are now officially nearer this Christmas than we are last Christmas? 🎅
      Glad my choice of song, and its video, gave you a laugh. I always enjoy hearing that I’ve made somebody laugh. Keep on laughing. 😀

  7. Well, just what the world needs.. lame choreography, totally random camera switching, a technical director with a fondness for women’s bits AND one of the funkiest tunes of the day! I had a great laugh. Thanks, Hugh! 🙂

    1. Yes, I meant to mention the dodgy camera angles of the director, but I guess it was the early 70s. 😀 It must have been chaos in the director’s box when the video was being filmed. Glad it made you laugh, Annette. I’ve always loved the tune but never seen the video before.

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