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Music Monday: Diddy Kong Racing

Issue 156 of the Cane and Rinse podcast is out now, and it’s all about the jolly japes of Rare’s 1997 kartie/kitey/kraftie klassic, Diddy Kong Racing.

Much of our lingering affection for the game revolves around our fondness for David Wise’s irrepressably bouncy music – some of which you can hear on the podcast itself – and some of which we should gather around the virtual log fire and share together here.

We’ll start with Darren’s favourite, Hot Top Volcano, as he selflessly elected not to squeeze it into the show.

If you’d like to try to sing along with Taj (?!) in this sitar and tabla treat then here, apparently, are the lyrics you need:

Garmane hula mungna
Garmane hula muckna
Hula mungna hula muckna
Hula mungna mungna mungna

Whew, now let’s cool off over on Everfrost Peak. The refrain here gives more than a melodic nod to the Swiss Werner Thomas’ accordion-led oom-pah favourite Chicken Dance, perhaps better known as The Birdie Song following a dispiriting 1981 novelty hit by ‘The Tweets’.

Produced by entrepreneur Henry Hadaway, the knuckle-gnawingly irritating track was voted “The Most Annoying Song of All Time” according to a web poll in 2000.

Back to DKR though, and somehow Wise’s brazen appropriation makes for a fitting theme for piloting super-deformed vehicles around one of Rare’s typically evocative snow stages.

At the base of Everfrost Peak lies the mysterious and beautiful Walrus Cove, with its crisp slopes bathed in multi-coloured light and famous clear ice loop-de-loop. At least Hard Drivin’ had tarmac.

Here Wise engineers a pitch-perfect Christmas medley using large chunks of Here Comes Santa Claus, Santa Claus is Coming to Town and Walking in a Winter Wonderland.

Wrap up in duffel-coats, bobble hats and scarves for the short walk to Frosty Village.

Again Wise unashamedly borrows entire sequences from Winter Wonderland (as well as perhaps a little bit of Rockin’ Around the Chritmas Tree) and the result is a scene as Christmassy as pink sugar mice, angel hair on the tree and all those nut cracknels left in the bottom of the chocolate tin.

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