The Joy of Patter

All my life I’ve loved and collected songs that have quick, intelligent, and tongue-twisty lyrics. Back in 2005 I even started a thread on Ask Metafilter requesting recommendations for such songs. But I only recently learned that this style of lyricism has a name: the patter song. Here is a selection of patter songs old and new on YouTube. All are safe for work and fun for kids.

I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General — Pirates of Penzance

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Rock Island — The Music Man

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Hardware Store — Weird Al Yankovic

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Pinch Me — Barenaked Ladies

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The Name Game — Shirley Ellis
Mad Dogs and Englishmen — Noel Coward
One Week — Barenaked Ladies
The Elements — Tom Lehrer
Yakko’s World — Animaniacs
The Presidents — Animaniacs
State Capitols — Animaniacs
Be Careful What You Eat — Animaniacs
Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious — Mary Poppins
It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine) — R.E.M.
• We Didn’t Start the Fire — Billy Joel [official vid] [slide show]
Life is a Rock (But the Radio Rolled Me) — Reunion

More? Here is Wikipedia’s list of patter songs.

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