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In 1961, vocalese stalwarts Lambert, Hendricks & Ross waxed the seasonal novelty “Deck Us All With Boston Charlie,” and the tunesmithery attached to a certain comic-strip possum was accorded a place in the annals of jazz. The “Deck the Halls” spoof did not, however, represent Pogo’s first assault on delicate musical sensibilities. Five years earlier, the slow-footed, quick-witted marsupial’s master, Walt Kelly, had teamed up with composer Norman Monath for Songs of the Pogo, 18 tracks of voluble nonsense set to polished parodies of pre-rock pop. As producers of the reissue, Velvet Crush drummer Ric Menck and Parasol/Reaction label boss Geoff Merritt have accorded this offbeat collectible an appropriately worshipful entree to the digital age, penning and commissioning bios, reminiscences, and exegeses—and, of course, reprinting lyrics. Without them, the casual listener could mistake for the genuine article a smooth lampoon such as “A Song Not for Now,” falling for Fia Karin as for the wistful ingénue who leans on a split-rail fence and unburdens her soul to a reddening paperboard sun in some Broadway prairie opera. But wait, what’s that she’s singing? “The notes for the Does-not/Will sound as the Does/Today you can sing/For the Will-be that was”—there’s some serious hooey sweepin’ down the plain on that wind they call Maria. Elsewhere, Kelly and Monath stick it to the tack-hammer Dixieland travelogue (“Go Go Pogo”), the hand-on-heart glee-club testimonial (“Man’s Best Friend”), and the bump ‘n’ grind stripper number (“Don’t Sugar Me”). And in the 58 seconds of “Parsnoops,” arranger Jimmy Carroll decorates the cartoonist’s absurd account of vegetables gone wild with a Sousa beat, mariachi horns, and an undercurrent of Bingle-fied “Irish” patter song. It’s all great fun, but be forewarned: In the wrong hands, this could prove a dangerous disc. If you share living quarters with, say, a smart-alecky teenage aficionado of cabaret and show tunes who’ll swan around in his bathrobe belting out Kelly’s tongue-twisters as if he had thought them up himself, you could be in for a long spring. But, hey, at least the kid may finally be persuaded to put aside those Tom Lehrer records. —Glenn Dixon