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There was a comedic version of it, that was playing constantly on the local easy-listening radio station in the early 1970s. Wish I could remember who it was, or find it. It was Ray Stevens, or some other novelty singer...but he he just took it apart.

It was only years later I heard Johnny Cash do it straight.

A bit of history on this song:

The song was the first collaboration between guitarist Eric Clapton and artist Martin Sharp. Clapton composed the music, inspired by the Lovin' Spoonful's 1966 hit "Summer in the City".[5] "I just started chatting to Eric", said Sharp, who lived in the same building. "I told him I had written a poem. He, in turn, told me he'd written some music. So I gave him my poem. Two weeks later, he turned up with it on the B-side of a 45 record."[6] Sharp had written the lyrics to the melody of Leonard Cohen's song "Suzanne", specifically the Judy Collins version.[7]
The song was the B-side for "Strange Brew" in June 1967, several months ahead of the group's second album, Disraeli Gears, which included both songs. Cash Box called it a "visionary hard rock excursion."[8] AllMusic's Matthew Greenwald calls it, "One of a few overtly psychedelic songs to have aged gracefully ... Lyrically, it's a relatively factual and colorful rendering of the great Greek tragedy Ulysses".[1]
In his 2007 autobiography, Clapton recalls:​
When [first meeting Sharp] he heard that I was a musician, he told me he had written a poem that he thought would make good lyrics for a song. As it happens, I had in my mind at that moment an idea inspired by a favorite [sic] song of mine by the Lovin' Spoonful called "Summer in the City," so I asked him to show me the words. He wrote them down on a napkin and gave them to me ... These became the lyrics of the song "Tales of Brave Ulysses".[9]
The song uses a descending tetrachord bass line of D/C/B/B-flat, which Greenwald describes as "simple but effective".[1] Jack Bruce, on bass, also provides the vocal, and Ginger Baker is on drums.​
Cream recorded the song at Atlantic Studios in New York City in May 1967, during the sessions for Disraeli Gears.[9] Atlantic brought in engineer Tom Dowd and producer Felix Pappalardi to work with Cream on their next album. For the recording, Clapton used a wah-wah pedal guitar effects unit for the first time.​
Cream performed the song in concert and a 10 March 1968 recording from Winterland in San Francisco is included on Live Cream Volume II.[1] In May 1968, the group were filmed performing it for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour television programme.[10] "Tales of Brave Ulysses" was later overshadowed by "White Room", which utilised the wah-wah and a superficially similar chord progression (although starting on Dm instead of D major) to create one of Cream's biggest hits.[1]

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