Top 40 chestnut "Kung Fu Fighting"

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Yujan Chou, Jan 31, 2016.

  1. Yujan Chou

    Yujan Chou Senior Member

    I was reading a film review of Kung Fu Panda 3 that concludes as follows:

    "The actors, especially Black, Cranston and Hong, provide terrific vocal support for their highly expressive characters. But please, let's give that Top 40 chestnut "Kung Fu Fighting" a rest!"

    I was wondering what "Top 40 chestnut" is?
  2. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    "Top 40 chestnut" means "an old song that is/was ranked among the 40 most popular tunes." Radio stations often broadcast the "top 40" most popular tunes. "Chestnut" usually means "an old joke/story", but here it means "an old song."
  3. Aardvark01

    Aardvark01 Senior Member

    Midlands, England
    British English (Midlands)
    This is a combination of two idiomatic phrases:
    1/ The idiom 'an old chestnut' means 'an old favorite' - something popular or proverbial.
    2/ The best selling music charts would be broadcast as "the top 20" , so "the top XX" is an extension of the popularity principle.
  4. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    English - England
    An [old] chestnut is a joke, story, phrase, action, song, mannerism, etc., that has been heard/seen hundreds of times and has become trite, stale, or clichéd. Thus the writer wants the song omitted.

    Top 40 = one of the 40 greatest chestnuts
  5. Edinburgher Senior Member

    German/English bilingual
    I guess the implication is that this one was nearer number 40 than number 1. The reviewer is saying the acting is good, but the story is dreadful.
  6. Yujan Chou

    Yujan Chou Senior Member

    Thank you so much for all your answers!
  7. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    English - England
    In fact "Kung Fu Fighting" is a song: If you search for it, I feel certain you will have heard it 100 times. :D
  8. Edinburgher Senior Member

    German/English bilingual
    I had assumed it was a film, because actors were mentioned.
    Oh wait, different titles! Now I get it. They use the dreadful song in the film.
  9. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    English - England
    You are very restrained and polite...
  10. Glenfarclas Senior Member

    English (American)
    It reached #1 on both the U.S. and UK charts. The point of the expression here is simply that the song is characteristic of Top 40-style (pop) radio.
  11. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    American English
    Actually, Kung Fu Fighting is a song released in 1974 (the "chestnut" part). Wikipedia
    "Kung Fu Fighting" is a song written and performed by Carl Douglas and composed and produced by Biddu. It was released as a single in 1974, on the cusp of a chopsocky film craze, and eventually rose to the top of the British and American charts, in addition to reaching number one on the Soul Singles chart. It received a Gold certification from the RIAA in 1974 and popularized disco music. It eventually went on to sell eleven million records worldwide, making it one of the best-selling singles of all time.

    More on that link, of course.

    You may not want to listen to it because as hokey as it is, it could stay will you forever – to the extent that as much as I don't like it, I just had to go listen again. :rolleyes:

    Edit: Ah, I see that self-correction has been implemented in post 8 while I was gathering details – sorry. But I'll leave the details for those interested.
  12. Edinburgher Senior Member

    German/English bilingual
    But it wouldn't now, would it? Well, perhaps it would. There's no accounting for taste.
    In other words, it's dreadful by definition. :cool: I'd rather watch paint dry.

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