Pair #11: "It's Halloween!"

"IT'S HALLOWEEN!"
Original Post Date: October 27, 2010
Runtime: 4:07
Genre: Pop/Hip-Hop/Reggae/Holiday
Compilation Album: Corduroys, with Tassles

Prompt Summary: [Paid Song] write an "Andrew-esque" Halloween song to fill the void of good Halloween songs


As far as titles that are more than a little on the nose…. I present to you, "It's Halloween!" Because it is. Or it will be a few hours after when I am writing this. Or maybe you're reading this in the future…? Gah, time is wibbly-wobbly nonsense.

Given that this song is the result of a paid commission, Andrew went all out with this song, and it shows. It's a fun celebration of everything that makes Halloween what it is today, from the costumes and characters to the candy and spoops. And it's all packaged in a catchy, upbeat pop/rap song.

"It's Halloween!" comes from late into Songs to Wear Pants To's life cycle, released about two weeks before "PFUDOR," and while a smaller percentage of songs at that point were rap songs, this one is a clear demonstration that Andrew's rhyme-spittin' skillz had not atrophied a bit and, in fact, had bulked up.

This song features cultural references galore, namedropping superheroes, sidekicks, supporting characters, and more. Perhaps the only reference that's dated is also the funniest in retrospect: "Swine Flu Guy," a reference to the H1N1 pandemic that was winding down at the time. (Remember when global pandemics only lasted a year and then went away? Good times.) Andrew's nerd character also makes a special appearance starting from the bridge, after a flawless transition.

But the worst/best part of the song is its extremely catchy chorus that is properly stuck in my head as I type this. You've been warned. Fuahahahahahahaaaaaa!

Suck it, "Monster Mash," "Thriller." This should be the most iconic Halloween anthem.* Yeah, I went there.



*Also, petition to make "Shoot the Zombies" another Halloween anthem. (If I'm still doing this blog in a year, that's next year's Halloween song. If I don't cover it before then. Must…resist…)

Pair #10: "Pink Fluffy Unicorns Dancing on Rainbows"

"PINK FLUFFY UNICORNS DANCING ON RAINBOWS"
Original Post Date: November 10, 2010
Runtime: 1:33
Genre: Children's
Compilation Album: Corduroys, with Tassles

Prompt Summary: literally, just the title of the song, with a little extra punctuation


Wait just a dang second! This song is from Songs to Wear Pants To‽ What

Yes! It's true! Viral sensation "Pink Fluffy Unicorns Dancing on Rainbows," that song that your seven-year-old child has blasted on a loop for hours on end* is an Andrew Huang original, through and through, and it's the reason that his YouTube subscriber count multiplied by some power of ten (from an already hefty 3,000) in a matter of weeks. Heck, you probably knew about this song and about Andrew's YouTube channel before you'd ever heard of Songs to Wear Pants To. But the truth is, without Songs to Wear Pants To, this song probably would never have happened.

So how did it happen? According to Andrew's retrospective making-of video, this STWPT prompt wasn't so much as an intentional song request emailed to him, as it was some random comment someone left on one of his YouTube videos—okay, foreshadowing. Shortly after posting the video a day after posting the song on STWPT.com, the song apparently made it to the front page of Reddit(!), where the fandom of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic—a fandom known for its pony-themed music videosate. it. up. Soon, cartoon pony music videos and amateur covers eclipsed Andrew's original in popularity, to the point where Andrew was being accused of ripping off himself, a magic trick so impressive that, were it true, it could have earned Andrew an honorary doctorate from the Interwebs School of Witchcraft and Intellectual Property Magicks.

"But Eden, I don't have kids or spend time on the internet, and now I feel old for not knowing that this song existed." Fair enough, although the real reason you feel old is that Soul Train is over half a century old and Friends is 28, and that's just as of the date I originally wrote this.

"Pink Fluffy Unicorns Dancing on Rainbows," referred to by Andrew—and, starting right now, yours truly—as "PFUDOR," is an upbeat, kid-friendly song that's exactly as cute as the title would suggest. A bright ukelele serves as the rhythm section for a bright xylophone and a bright flute. It's a very bright-sounding song, as you can imagine. Perhaps blindingly so.

Lyrically (and technically musically, too), "FPUDOR" follows an ABA structure. The "A" section consists of the song's title, sung repeatedly to the melody. The "B" section is my personal favorite part: a pop-quiz break about "what we've learned so far." The questions concern facts one can glean from the title, while the Andrew-voiced chorus answers them with absolute glee. The funniest part is the last question and answer, which I won't spoil but will just say that the comedic timing is legendary and should have been the only reason this song went viral.

While I shake my head that this is the STWPT that went truly viral—it's totally a good entry and fits snugly with the rest of the STWPT oeuvre, but…"Shoot the Zombies"? "Celtic Techno Burrito"? "Don't Feel Bad"? All meme-worthy songs—at least Andrew has finally found the internet fame he has deserved all along. It just boggles my mind that it didn't happen until the final year or so of the STWPT project.



*Hey. Hey. It's not "Baby Shark." So remember: it could always be worse.

Pair #9: "When a Cow Snapping over Friend Chiken XD"

"WHEN A COW SNAPPING OVER FRIEND CHIKEN XD"
Original Post Date: December 19, 2008
Runtime: 1:58
Genre: Rock Ballad
Compilation Album: Sweat Pants

Prompt Summary: "a song when a cow snapping over friend chiken XD." That's the whole request. Verbatim.


Many Songs to Wear Pants To are fantastic standalone tracks that would fit right in on the radio.* Then, there are those that would baffle anybody unfamiliar with the premise of Andrew's project. This fits snugly into the latter group. (And incidentally, understanding the website's premise doesn't really help with the bafflement in this particular case, as the prompt is…barely coherent.)

If you ever wanted to feel like you're on a half-decent hallucinogenic trip without the need for actual hallucinogens, just listen to "When a Cow Snapping over Friend Chiken XD." This slow ballad consists of the title repeated several times, with a backup vocal dropping in at the end of each phrase with a riff on the title. At the end, we get a little unintentional, behind-the-scenes glimpse into Andrew's process because his guitar pedal apparently lost power while he was recording this song. He adlibs about the event, tossing in a reference to the song title for good measure. No retakes here; that adlib is canonically part of the song now.

There are a million possible explanations for what the requester's original intention was, here. One commenter on the official STWPT site proposed that they meant to type "fried chicken." Someone else—clearly a fellow '90s child—thought it could have been a reference to the bonkers, late-90s Cartoon Network show Cow and Chicken.

The "XD" at the end of the prompt is probably the least ambiguous part: it's a classic emoticon indicating riotous laughter. This would suggest that the requester thought they'd come up with something truly hilarious, even though the meaning still eludes us well over a decade later.

Some of my favorite Songs to Wear Pants To are the results of Andrew's reading a prompt and then coming up with a cheeky interpretation. (See also: "Lyrics to a Song." I can't wait to write about that on this blog; it is perfection.) "When a Cow…" definitely at least leans against that box, especially given his inclusion of "XD," which was not meant to be included for real, considering it's an emoticon.

I don't know what else he could have done with the prompt. But that's okay because this song is perfect just the way it is. Well, except that I do wish it weren't such an earworm.



*Well, at least on Dr. Demento's show. Also, a radio station of just STWPT would be just swell. Please?

Pair #8: "Department Store vs. Predator"

"DEPARTMENT STORE VS. PREDATOR"
Original Post Date: December 15, 2004
Runtime: 0:45
Genres: Ska
Compilation Album: Blue Pants

Prompt Summary: [Paid Song] write a ska/rock song about a girl named Myssy [sic] who wears Predator armor and hunts humans in a department store, complete with gory imagery but also lighthearted


I just saw the original Alien movie for the first time over the weekend, so…here's a song about Predators, I guess!*

Andrew stayed true to the requester's wishes: the narrative in this song is very gory. What makes the song absolutely hilarious (in a very twisted sort of way) is that, musically, it's an upbeat ska track. As Andrew lists off each horrific act of violence committed by Myssy, the titular Predator, he does so in a cheerful, almost matter-of-fact way. It's a combination straight out of Happy Tree Friends.

Yeah, I think that just about covers it. Uh, content warning for graphic, violent imagery. In case you couldn't tell.



*Yes, I know: obviously, they're two different franchises. And yes, I know there was a crossover. No, I don't care. :D

Pair #7: "We Want to Thank You, Sister Rees"

"WE WANT TO THANK YOU, SISTER REES"
Original Post Date: June 20, 2005
Runtime: 3:22
Genres: Rock Ballad
Compilation Album: Blue Pants

Prompt Summary: [Paid Song] a goodbye song for Sister Kathy Rees, a seminary teacher, from her graduating students


Here's another one of my personal favorites: "We Want to Thank You, Sister Rees." There's no gimmick here, no laughs; just a heartfelt tribute to someone who touched the lives of her students.

Sister Rees taught an LDS seminary school in Washington State.* If this song is anything to go by, she was an inspirational figure who not only brought out the best in others but also bent over backward to support her students, waking up at ungodly hours of the morning to bring them closer to their God. She gave them all wristbands with inspirational messages about doing the right thing and persevering in the face of adversity.

One of Sister Rees' students paid Andrew to write this song, which is a slow rock ballad in a similar vein to Michael Bolton's hits, as a gift that they could give to her prior to their seminary graduation. It's not about the one student, though, so much as an appreciation from students past, present, and future.

It's extremely wholesome (and oddly catchy), and you might want to have some tissues nearby, just in case.



*Late last year, while listening to "We Want to Thank You…," I decided to find out where Sister Rees is today. Sadly, she passed away in 2019. I hope that this song serves her memory well. It sounds like she was a wonderful human being.

Pair #6: "Reverse Escargot"

"REVERSE ESCARGOT"
Original Post Date: July 3, 2005
Runtime: 1:02
Genres: Pop/Electronic/Hip-Hop
Compilation Album: Pink Pants

Prompt Summary: write a song about snails who eat people


There's Weird, and then there's STWPT Weird. And it's not even necessarily Andrew's fault; sometimes the prompts that fans sent him inevitably led to some really weird music.

Enter "Reverse Escargot," an electronic pop song that's genuinely about what happened "when the snails came" and started eating people. As far as titles go, this one's pretty on the nose. Is it perfect? Yes. Yes, it is.

Another one of Andrew's personal favorite Songs to Wear Pants To, this one is incredibly catchy, thanks in large part to its repeated middle section. (I hesitate to call it a refrain because it's only repeated once, after itself.) The opening features Andrew tossing out some pretty cool rhymes, and the last section is a rap* that doesn't take itself seriously and then falls apart completely in a burst of unprompted defensiveness. Very good content.

Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?



*The rap contains descriptions of what exactly happens when someone is eaten by a giant snail, so if you're squeamish about snail sustenance, peace out.

Pair #5: "I Am a Tree"

"I AM A TREE"
Original Post Date: May 11, 2004
Runtime: 1:08
Genre: Rock Ballad
Compilation Album: Green Pants

Prompt Summary: write a song about a growing tree, referencing all four seasons


If you have been following the blog up to now—all four posts—then you are probably thinking that STWPT is all wacky nonsense. In fact, a not-insignificant portion of these songs are wholesome and sweet. "I Am a Tree" is one of them.

This is one of the many "I Am…" songs that Andrew wrote, particularly earlier on in STWPT history. What (almost)* all "I Am…" songs have in common is: 1) the title starts with "I Am," and 2) the lyrics are written from the perspective of the song's subject.

Based on this information (and the prompt itself), you've probably figured out that "I Am a Tree" is a song about a tree, from the tree's perspective. The lyrics are rather existential in nature—heh, nature—focusing on how the world changes around the titular tree as time passes, whereas the tree itself, leaves notwithstanding, remains the same. One could even argue that the song is about aging in general, but I'm totally over writing literature analyses for the next fifty years, so I'll leave—heh, leaves—that to you.

Musically, the song is very much a rock ballad, with an ABA structure. The "A" sections are slow and contemplative, while the "B" section is louder and more emotional.

Who knew that a minute-long song could give anyone so many feels?



*An example of an "I Am…" song that is such in name only is "I Am a Clam," which is just hold music for when someone's on the phone. I honestly can't wait to write about that song because it's one of my absolute favorites. Priceless.

Pair #4: "Celtic Techno Burrito"

"CELTIC TECHNO BURRITO" (Extended Version)
Original Post Date: April 16, 2004 (Extended: October 26, 2004)
Runtime: 0:42 (Extended: 4:01)
Genre: Celtic/Techno
Compilation Album: Green Pants 

Prompt Summary: write a song about a man who's intimidated by the size of the burrito he just ordered, and the style should be Celtic techno, "or any other blend of two genres that would not be caught eating a burrito together"


Probably one of the most legendary Songs to Wear Pants To for a whole slew of reasons, all of them good, "Celtic Techno Burrito" is a meeting of two genres who could only ever blend successfully in a Song to Wear Pants To. Much like the title suggests, the song is an unholy mixture of traditional Celtic and modern techno music. Topping it all off is the repeated line, "Intimidated by the size of my burrito."

The original 42-second version may sound familiar to anyone who frequented the Flash portal Newgrounds in the late aughts; it was one of the tracks used as the basis for an animated short in the collaborative project Shorts to Wear Pants To (link also in the Navi bar on this blog). If that short was accurate, then the size of that burrito is, indeed, quite intimidating.

Besides the lyric, the first thing you'll notice, after the fade-in, is the instrumental hook: a blend of Celtic flute and acoustic guitar, backed by a heavy but driving techno beat. It will probably put you off at first because you have likely never heard these sounds together. Also, the words are about a giant burrito. As you adjust to the sound, you might start rocking out, as you realize that this is the blend of genres that you've been waiting for your whole life without realizing it.

About 6.5 months after posting the original version, Andrew posted an extended version that's about six times as long. This came about after someone paid him to extend either this song or the whimsical "Skamurai."* Obviously, Andrew chose "Celtic Techno Burrito." The extended version is identical at first, but it continues from where the original cut leaves off. There's no real transition into the new part of the song, as the original cut ends abruptly, but the new stuff starts with a short flute solo that leads to another beat drop, which works surprisingly well. Andrew also has a lot of fun with his "Intimidated by the size…" sample, working it over the music in increasingly wacky fashion, culminating in a satisfying climax.

Embedded below is the Extended Version, as the first 40 seconds or so are just the original cut, anyway.


 

*Still holding out for an extended version of "Skamurai." I want to learn more about the samurai flying on the back of a giant eagle, or at least I want to hear more of that line set to music.

Pair #3: "The Toothbrush Song"

"THE TOOTHBRUSH SONG"
Original Post Date: May 3, 2010
Runtime: 2:20
Genre: Children's
Compilation Album: Skinny Jeans 

Prompt Summary: write a song that inspires someone to brush their teeth, with a tempo and rhythm that is good for tooth-brushing


This late-STWPT entry is another personal favorite of mine, on account of its utility. Sometimes, I use a manual toothbrush, and timing out two minutes can be hard. Luckily, this song is almost exactly two minutes long,* and boy! is it catchy.

One of the most wholesome of Andrew's songs, "The Toothbrush Song" is a full-throttle celebration of that basic act of personal hygiene, brushing one's teeth. It's even got some great pointers, like using circular motions. The driving beat is great for manual brush-users to scrub along with.

Go ahead: put this song on while you next brush your teeth. It'll make the whole experience so much more fun. I dare you to try not to dance while you're brushing.


 

*The extra 20 seconds are random. He couldn't resist making it weird, I guess! The song itself is exactly two minutes long, though, give or take a second.

Pair #2: "Librarians Rule the World"

"LIBRARIANS RULE THE WORLD"
Original Post Date: January 20, 2005
Runtime: 0:36
Genre: Bossa nova/Ska
Compilation Album: Blue Pants 

Prompt Summary: [paid song] lyrics to first stanza included + write something about how librarians are sexy and helpful


I may be a little biased, but this is one of my favorite Songs to Wear Pants To. Because I, myself, am a librarian by day. Go figure. (Also, the tune is oddly catchy.)

This song has an upbeat ska feel that'll make you want to dance. Lyrically, it throws around a couple of classification systems* before absolutely fawning over librarians, or at least the singer's librarian friends. I'll pretend I'm one of them; it feels nice to be called "sexy."

It's a short but sweet ode to librarians. What more could any librarian want?


 

*I respectfully disagree with the assertion that LCC "whoops butt all over" DDC. LCC's classes are so rigid and ethnocentric; DDC's are at least highly extensible. But let's be honest: they're both trash.</hot_take>

Pair #1: "The History of Stwpt.com"

"THE HISTORY OF STWPT.COM"
Original Post Date: January 20, 2009
Runtime: 2:03
Genre: Spoken word
Compilation Album: Sweat Pants 

Prompt Summary: to write a song about the history of a website called "stwpt.com" from the birth of the website "to into the future"


What better way to begin this dive into a legendary part of Internet history than with the history of the website that this blog is about? Or at least a website that doesn't exist? Pretty sure there's no "stwpt.com."* The prompt-writer probably meant "songstowearpantsto.com" but was too lazy to spell the whole thing out.

Andrew, or Beethoven, as we learn at the end of the song, spends the whole track talking, using a very bad English accent. It's not really a song per se, although there is sweeping, inspirational music playing in the background. No, the real focus of this track is the story.

I'm not going to recap the whole thing because that's not what I'm here to do. Indeed, I'm here to introduce you to these songs, not replace them. Instead, I'll just say that it starts out kind of weird and ends up making all the sense in the world. By which I mean, no sense. But nobody's ever listened to STWPT for sense.

"The History of Stwpt.com" is a classic Song to Wear Pants To, even tagged as one of Andrew's Favorites on the original site. It doesn't really answer any questions that you have going in, but it does provide many answers to questions you will undoubtedly have by the end.


 

*(Incidentally, the Wayback Machine does have a snapshot of a website with that domain from around the time Andrew released this track. It's…something.)