Spencer the Gardener

Four fateful years ago, Santa Barbara’s quirky surf-mariachi-indie pop band Spencer The Gardener unleashed a new Thanksgiving theme song to the world. Since 2006, “The Gobble Song” has registered nearly 650,000 views on YouTube, been named the third all-time best Thanksgiving song by major newspapers, and become the centerpiece for Spencer’s Organic Gangster album, a collection of songs about gardening, nature, and sustainability that’s aimed at kids.

With the turkey-stuffed holiday upon us today, “The Gobble Song” is expected to tally another few hundred thousand views, perhaps even eclipsing the one million mark as you chomp down on that pumpkin pie. Repetitively simple and ear-catchingly easy to remember, it’s a song you either love or love to hate — but no matter what, if you’re a Santa Barbaran, you gotta love the video, shot by Russ Spencer one Tuesday afternoon during the Farmers Market and featuring a number of familier State Street faces.

“I get emails from folks across the country saying that ‘The Gobble Song’ is a Thanksgiving tradition in their various homes,” said singer and songwriter Spencer Barnitz earlier this week. “And I get lots of invites, ‘Oh and can you play that song’.”

Barnitz wrote the song at the end of October 2006 on a whim, but due to its odd success, he’s thinking about other similar adventures. “I’ve thought about doing a holiday CD for all neglected holidays,” he said. “Flag Day is begging for a song. Easter, wide open. Although what I like about ‘The Gobble Song’ is that it’s not calculated, which is why it stands up well.”

He’s considered a remix or new video if the video reaches a to-be-defined “tipping point” — perhaps a zombie version, though Barnitz thinks that might be a bit harsh. He’s happy that the song found a permanent home on the Organic Gangster CD, which gets a boost each holiday season.

Overall, he said “The Gobble Song” has turned out to be much like politics. “People that already like us feel a positive reinforcement,” he said. “Although, by the same token, people recently introduced to Spencer The Gardener can feel a bit confused.”

Altogether though, Barnitz thinks “The Gobble Song” makes for a great Thanksgiving. “Next year, it’s Good Morning America and the Macy’s parade,” he pledged. “This year I might play it at Roy.”


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