“THE MOST SANCTIMONIOUS SONG.” I was pleased to see Christopher Hitchens quoting Tom Lehrer that “Little Boxes” was “the most sanctimonious ong ever written.” The song was a staple of folk music in the sixties. It was taken as a protest against conformity. I was always troubled by the song once I realized that it was the voice of the rich ridiculing people who bought houses that were mass-produced and that those people were probably thrilled to live in houses that were the nicest that they had ever lived in.

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  1. Mary Jane Schaefer says:

    How about “I Did It My Way”? Does that count?

  2. phil says:

    I agree. “I Did It My Way” can never be surpassed in sanctimoniousness.

  3. Howard Johnson says:

    Bob Koch, an artist who was my best friend in high school and who remained my closest friend for over 30 years until his death 15 years ago, also expressed his strong disapproval of that song for the same reason. I recall it as a staple of Oscar Brandt on WNYC’s “the folksong festival” and, regrettably, of Pete Seeger in his post-Weaver days.

  4. Morgan says:

    The song IS NOT literally talking about the small houses that working class people live in. Those are not the “little boxes” the lyrics address. The song does not ridicule or even reference working class people. I believe that the point is that if diversity is tolerated only if it “all looks just the same” then diversity is being mocked. Is the song humorous irony or malicious sarcasm? That’s another question.

  5. Morgan says:

    Here’s an implied question I see in the song: You’re doing good? What good are you doing?

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