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December 10, 2004 1:57 PM   Subscribe

self-reference in song led me to self-reference in story, to quines in brainf**k, also alarm clocks for some reason, and finally here.
posted by 31d1 (28 comments total)

 
They missed one of the best self-referential songs ever. "Title of the Song", by Da Vinci's Notebook:

Declaration of my feelings for you
Elaboration on those feelings
Description of how long these feelings have existed
Belief that no one else could feel the same as I
Reminiscence of the pleasant times we shared
And our relationship's perfection
Recounting of the steps that led to our love's dissolution
Mostly involving my unfaithfulness and lies
Penitent admission of wrongdoing
Discovery of the depth of my affection
Regret over the lateness of my epiphany

(Chorus)
Title of the song
Naïve expression of love
Reluctance to accept that you are gone
Request to turn back time
And rectify my wrongs
Repetition of the title of the song

Enumeration of my various transgressive actions
Of insufficient motivation
Realization that these actions led to your departure
And my resultant lack of sleep and appetite
Renunciation of my past insensitive behavior
Promise of my reformation
Reassurance that you still are foremost in my thoughts now
Need for instructions how to gain your trust again
Request for reconciliation
Listing of the numerous tasks that I'd perform
Of physical and emotional compensation
CHORUS
Acknowledgment that I acted foolishly
Increasingly desperate pleas for your return
Sorrow for my infidelity
Vain hope that my sins are forgivable
Appeal for one more opportunity
Drop to my knees to elicit crowd response
Prayers to my chosen deity
Modulation and I hold a high note...
CHORUS
posted by bondcliff at 2:03 PM on December 10, 2004 [1 favorite]


The clocks and stuff at that next-to-last link is cool. (Although you have to register to get any pricing... :-P) The self-referental link is cheap.
In the future, might be helpful to present some other general information about self-referential items, and also to use some capitalization in your post. ;)
posted by SpecialK at 2:05 PM on December 10, 2004


This is the 3rd post in this tread.
posted by Hanover Phist at 2:06 PM on December 10, 2004


All this meta is making my head hurt.
posted by xmutex at 2:07 PM on December 10, 2004


This fifth post, is an empty follow-up post that adds nothing to the discussion.
posted by Flem Snopes at 2:08 PM on December 10, 2004


i always thought that self-reference in artistic works was the lowest form of hackery. "I don't know what to write about... how about what I am doing at this exact moment!"
posted by sandking at 2:15 PM on December 10, 2004


Inevitable 9622 mention.
posted by gwint at 2:19 PM on December 10, 2004


The self-referential song list is missing Jawbreaker's post-sellout "Sluttering":
This is your honeymoon, in separate rooms,
It's neither sweet nor bright.
I made a word to give this state a name, this game a guess.
I call it "sluttering."
It means as little as your little test.
You are your worst revenge.
Your very means, they have no ends.
This is a story you won't tell the kids we'll never have.
If you hear this song a hundred times it still won't be enough.
And the Aesop Rock track "The Greatest Pac-Man Victory in History" from Bazooka Tooth is somewhat self-referential. It's about how he got over being an acidhead, and and at one point you hear "LSD (flash the message)" right before he launches into
Lazy Summer Days
Like Some Decrepit Land Shark Dumb Luck Squad Dog
Lurk Sicker Diluted
Last Sturdy Domino Leans Secluded
Don't Let Stupid Delusions
Lessen Super Duty Labor Students
Dragnet Lifer's Solutions
Daddy Loves Sloppy Dimensia Like Son-Daughter Links
Such Determinated Lepers
Successfully Disheveled
Little Soldiers Developed Like Serpents Despite Life Sentence
Dumping Lemmings, Some Don't Like Sobrieties Dirty Lenses
Some Do
Let Sleeping Dogs Lie Still, Don't Look So Damn Lackluster (Suck Defeat)
Lump Sum Damage? Load Sample, Delete
Late Show Dave Letterman, Shitty Diner, Lips Slide Dutch
Low Self Discipline Liter See Death Lung Self Destruct
Life Sucks Dickhead
Lost Summers Display Laminates Showcasing Divinity Live
System Definitive
Liturgy Soaked Depict Lowly Spectacular Delight

Why, what kind of LSD you like?
posted by jbrjake at 2:30 PM on December 10, 2004


Brainfuck isn't self-referential.

Also doesn't include the song "Kew. Rhone." from the eponymous album (by Greaves/Blegvad/Herman):

(Who?)
We who knew no woe
We who were her hero
(When?)
When we were on her knee
When we knew her
When were were one
(Where?)
Kew.Rhône.
We won renown
(How?)
We were her worker
We won honor enow
When we knew her
When we were one
Where?
Kew.Rhône.

Not a set animal
Not a set animal, laminates
Laminates a tone of
A set animal
Animal, laminates
A set animal
Animal, laminates
Laminates a tone of sleep
A tone of sleep

Peel's foe
Not a set animal
Laminates a tone of sleep

It's reprised later in the album; one of the lines is about how you can "eke out a few more" words formed from the letters in "kew rhone". That album is full of weird lyrics tricks; including lines in songs like "see figure B" (figure B is in the liner notes).
posted by kenko at 2:35 PM on December 10, 2004


Holy cow, gwint! However, question about what original link was, with hypothesis based on context. Observation about bookmarking and reserving plenty of time to read entirety of ridiculous thread.
posted by 31d1 at 2:36 PM on December 10, 2004


I bet you think this song is about this song.
posted by Foosnark at 2:38 PM on December 10, 2004


Also a song by Bob Drake, called maybe "Move the King", from 13 Song and a Thing, that begins "Well it would take some kind of fool to insist that this song is not the one you're listening to now."
posted by kenko at 2:41 PM on December 10, 2004


"Grunge Song" by The Vestibules

This is the part of the song
That's really quiet
We play very soft
It sounds like a ballad

And this is the part
Where we play real hard
It's much louder
Than at the beginning

etc.
posted by joelf at 2:42 PM on December 10, 2004


self-reference in song led me to self-reference in story, to quines in brainf**k, also alarm clocks for some reason, and finally here.
posted by 31d1 at 1:57 PM PST (11 comments total)

They missed one of the best self-referential songs ever. "Title of the Song", by Da Vinci's Notebook:

Declaration of my feelings for you
Elaboration on those feelings
Description of how long these feelings have existed

[snip] ok, you get the joke.
posted by Extopalopaketle at 2:45 PM on December 10, 2004


Obviously, none of ya'll have kids:

This is the song
La la la la
Elmo's song.
La la la la,
La la la la,
Elmo's song.

La la la
La la la la, la
La la la
La la la la, la

He loves to sing,
La la la la,
Elmo's song.
La la la la,
La la la la,
Elmo's song.

He wrote the music.
He wrote the words.
That's Elmo's song.
posted by Devils Rancher at 2:47 PM on December 10, 2004


Last week, on my birthday, I was sung the following:

This...
Is...
Your...
Birthday song!
It doesn't last too long!
Hey!
posted by Specklet at 2:48 PM on December 10, 2004


Also, just because a song includes the words "this song", that doesn't mean those words refer to the containing song.
posted by kenko at 2:51 PM on December 10, 2004


kenko - It may be a bit of a reach but Brainfuck is an accurate description of what learning of it did to me. I hadn't thought of it that way though, so if it hadn't happened to be the way it was I'd be out of luck for sure.
posted by 31d1 at 2:56 PM on December 10, 2004


I've read a book that was titled "How to Write a How To Book".
posted by bigtimes at 2:56 PM on December 10, 2004


snide reminder that this has already been done, better.
posted by quonsar at 3:43 PM on December 10, 2004


necKro23's post only contains inane complaining that a whole bunch of songs are self-referential, since many songwriters write about their own lives, and that life involves writing a lot of songs.
posted by neckro23 at 3:51 PM on December 10, 2004


Those of you who are mentioning songs that they missed, go add 'em yourselves - that's the whole point of Wikipedia, after all. Kenko's right that a lot of those songs aren't self-referential.

Nice example of self-referential literature:

"You are about to begin reading If On A Winter's Night A Traveller, by Italo Calvino" - the opening line of If On A Winter's Night A Traveller, by Italo Calvino.
posted by Infinite Jest at 4:19 PM on December 10, 2004


A subculture of programming quines is to create source code that exactly matches the error message displayed when it is compiled. (I think this was mentioned in Gödel, Escher, Bach by Hofstadter.)

For example, create a file called quine.c with the following line:

quine.c:1: parse error before '.'

In gcc 2.96, the error message is almost identical, but not quite:

quine.c:1: parse error before `.'

I tried this for a while in Perl as well and got nowhere. Starting with "Can't" looked promising, but including the entire message changed the error.
posted by kurumi at 5:41 PM on December 10, 2004


hey, that's cool.
Traceback (most recent call last):
    File "<stdin>", line 1, in ?
    File "error.py", line 1
      Traceback (most recent call last):
                           ^
SyntaxError: invalid syntax

does it when you "import error" from an interactive prompt.
posted by kenko at 6:54 PM on December 10, 2004


Apparently the only qualification to appear on the self-referential song page is that the lyrics contain the word "this".

For those of you who feel compelled to paste the entire lyrics of various songs into this thread: The new technology of hyperlinks now allows you to refer to sources without having to quote them in their entirety, or indeed at all.
posted by jjg at 8:20 PM on December 10, 2004


This is a song about this song.
That blows my mind.
Pass me the bong.
posted by TimeFactor at 10:48 PM on December 10, 2004


There's something about this song.
This is a song about something there.

posted by eyeballkid at 11:20 PM on December 10, 2004




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