1968. Mom and dad came home from K-Mart with a new console stereo system and a big stack of records that were included free in whatever blue-light-special they’d lucked into. I’ve forgotten every one of those records save one: Animal, by The Tokens, which sounds something like this:
My family wasn’t what you’d call “prone to joy”, but every time Animal came on, we were joyful for at least a few minutes. From the youngest, myself at 8, through four older siblings and to my 45-year-old father, we all loved to sing those inspired lyrics “animal … animal animal … animal animal animal … animal”.
Most of the family are no longer with us, but the memories of a few good moments remain and when I’m together with brothers Alan or Andy it’s always easy to get them to join in on an Animal chorus.
So, in appreciation, here is my own tribute to The Tokens’ Animal. Thanks, mates.
BONUS MATERIAL: The Tokens were known much more for their version of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” than for “Animal”, and so here is a second tribute to The Tokens. This is my friend Sean Flynn singing along to that ditty at the singalong on the night before Amy and I were married.