Song of the Day #5,176: ‘Canned Ham’ – Norman Greenbaum

Continuing my look at the second biggest hits of one-hit wonders…

In 1969, the Jewish singer-songwriter Norman Greenbaum had a smash hit name-dropping Jesus in a rocking gospel song called ‘Spirit in the Sky.’ The song reached the top five in 11 countries, and spent 15 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #3.

‘Spirit in the Sky’ makes Greenbaum the definition of a one-hit wonder, but he did a have a follow-up single that made a tiny splash on the charts.

‘Canned Ham’ is a goofy little novelty number that has none of the elegance or resonance of ‘Spirit in the Sky,’ but I guess it found enough of an audience in the wake of that smash hit to keep Greenbaum’s name on the radio a little bit longer.

Greenbaum released two more albums in the early 70s and never recorded again. He maintains a website at spiritinthesky.com that, among other things, lists films and commercials that have featured his hit track. On Twitter, his bio reads “One Hit Wonder.”

When you gonna buy me a canned ham
I’ve been waiting so long
When you gonna buy it
When you gonna satisfy me

When you gonna buy me a canned ham
I’ve been waiting so long
When you gonna buy it
When you gonna satisfy me

I like a canned ham baby (baby)
Canned ham that’s for me
When I think about it
Sends me into ecstasy

Put it in a skillet
Fry it nice and brown
Put it in my pocket
Gonna carry it around and around and around and around

When you gonna buy me a canned ham
I’ve been waiting so long
When you gonna buy it
When you gonna satisfy me

When you gonna buy me a canned ham
I’ve been waiting so long
When you gonna buy it
When you gonna satisfy me

I like a canned ham baby (baby)
Canned ham that’s for me
When I think about it
Sends me into ecstasy

Put it in a skillet
Fry it nice and brown
Put it in my pocket
Gonna carry it around and around and around and around

Been waiting, I’ve been waiting so long
When you gonna buy me that canned ham Greenbaum?
Someday

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #5,176: ‘Canned Ham’ – Norman Greenbaum

  1. Peg says:

    Goofy song is a kind description

  2. Dana Gallup says:

    Love the twitter bio!

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