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Songophobia

What inoffensive songs do people find scary? A list asked for by a curious Jarvis Cocker, former frontman of the band Pulp.
My favorite entry:
"Laughing Gnome - Bowie. Scared the crap out of me as a kid. I remember getting my parents to check under the bed. My father, a bit of an evil electronics bastard put a speaker under my bed one night and played the song just as I was drifting off. He then ran in when I started screaming and pulled out a doll from under the bead and chopped its head off with a machete. God I need therapy."
posted by w0mbat on Oct 3, 2006 - 152 comments

Bob Dylan Annnotated and Tablaturated

Artur J's Annotated Lyrics of Bob Dylans Love and Theft has expanded and now features Annotated lyrics for Street Legal, Knocked Out Loaded, Oh, Mercy and Modern Times. And he is already on top of Dylan's quotes of Henry Timrod on the new album. On a related tip, someone waved a lawyer at Eyolf Østrem, so he removed all his tabs from his Dylan tablature site, My Back Pages. But, fortunately there are some mirrors and the blog of this one has a tab page for Modern Times already.
posted by y2karl on Sep 14, 2006 - 13 comments

It's like 10 000 spoons when all you need is a knife

32 worst lyrics of all time
posted by mr.marx on Jul 21, 2006 - 254 comments

Gracenote.com announces legal lyrics downloads

An end to mondegreens? It looks like Gracenote, the company behind the CDDB (CD database), is looking to enhance your music-listening experience by providing an expansive and "legitimate" lyrics database in association with major on-line digital music providers. Will this be the end of the road for existing lyrics sites? [more inside]
posted by persona non grata on Jul 14, 2006 - 35 comments

i was standing by the window

Made most popular to many Americans as the closing song for the Grand Ole Opry programs, Will The Circle Be Unbroken was written in 1907 by Ada Habershon, an intensely religious young woman and acquaintance of Dwight Moody and Ira David Sankey. The music was "composed" by Charles Gabriel, a popular songwriter and composer of the era who is often solely credited with the song, but while he may have put the notes down on paper, the tune itself already existed as the African-American spiritual Glory Glory / Since I Laid My Burden Down. [lots more inside]
posted by luriete on May 26, 2006 - 18 comments

Music CopyRight Cops Strike Again

Now they're after the lyrics. The MPA isn't stopping at the MP3 files.
posted by IronLizard on Dec 10, 2005 - 58 comments

Singhing the blues

When science meets art. Science writer Simon Singh was annoyed with the lyrics to British singer Katie Melua's latest single. He rewrote them to be scientifically accurate, and she sings the unfortunate result (RealAudio file).
posted by smackfu on Oct 22, 2005 - 21 comments

the saddest song I've ever heard

The Streets of Laredo: The Cowboy's Lament was originally written as the Irish drover balled Bard of Armaugh (or Armagh), which later mutated into A Handful of Laurel, about a young man dying of syphilis in a London hospital, musing back on his days in the alehouses and whorehouses. Immigrants settling in the Appalachians brought their own version, The Unfortunate Rake, sung as early as 1790, about a young soldier dying of mercury poisoning, a result of treatment for venereal disease, who requests a military funeral - a slight but important evolution from the previous version. The current lyrics are most popularly attributed to cowboy Frances Henry "Frank" Maynard, who copyrighted them in 1879. While various versions of the song were popular in the US before Maynard took pen to paper and needle to wax cylinder (under such titles as Locke Hospital, St. James Infirmary Blues, Tom Sherman's Bar and Way Down in Lodorra), his version is the one with which we are most familiar today.

beat the drum slowly, play the fife lowly / sound the death march as you carry me along / cover my body in sweet-smelling posies / for I'm the young (rake, soldier, man, girl, lass, etc) cut down in (his/her) prime (or and I know I've done wrong)

The song has been recorded by pretty much every country, western and folk-identified musical artist since recording music became practical, although the most popular versions must be those by Arlo Guthrie (who once said it was "the saddest song I know," and who sings it on his album Son of the Wind) and Johnny Cash (who added a few verses to his 1965 version, improving the song a bit and making it more emotionally complex). Roger McGuinn's creative commons-licensed version is one of my personal favorites, as is Bobby Sutliff's version.
posted by luriete on Aug 3, 2005 - 26 comments

People have a problem with me, cause I ain't lazy...

"I Ain't Lazy" (lyrics NSFW) featuring Skratch Bastid, John Smith & Pip Skid. A day-in-the-life indie hip-hop video directed by Jason Lapeyre featuring another top notch crew of PCRs.
posted by boost ventilator on Apr 16, 2005 - 16 comments

Fuck Fuck Motherfucker Ass

Edits of NWA's Straight Outta Compton and Fuck the Police... with anything not offensive removed. Just the swears, ma'am. via /dev/null
posted by Jimbob on Apr 15, 2005 - 13 comments

songs in list form

• Things which we will rock:
- you

Songs in list form:
- the best thing ever to come from LiveJournal
- Amazingly addictive
- via waxy.org
posted by me3dia on Mar 28, 2005 - 86 comments

Deep Inside Jon Bon Jovi

Deep inside the poetic stylings of John Bon Jovi. To begin, I'd like to look at the opening verses of "Bed of Roses". You may think you understand the meaning behind this poem - that John Bon Jovi likes a lady, and is upset about it. This is just a sign of the brilliant, interweaving complexity of Bon Jovi. You can love the poem at that level, and many have, but let's go... inside.[Coral Link - In case the other doesn't work]
posted by KevinSkomsvold on Feb 23, 2005 - 23 comments

Things to do when bored

Jenny, from every block. The results of dialing 867-5309 for every area code in America. Now, no one else ever has to, "just to see."
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Jan 3, 2005 - 48 comments

Twelve STIs of Christmas

Twelve STIs of Christmas I can't decide if the lyrics are better than the animated men or not, but the twelve STIs of christmas is possibly the best public health propoganda I've ever seen. [Flash][SFW. Probably][And technically double post, but it's a great one. And it's christmas.]
posted by twine42 on Dec 20, 2004 - 12 comments

Fifty Ways To Eat Your Oysters

I know we're all contemplating leftovers today, so I thought some food safety music would be appropriate. Dr. Carl Winter's website includes lyrics, video clips, and streaming audio of such songs as "A Case of Norwalk", "Don't Get Sicky Wit It", "I Sprayed It On The Grapevine", and "Beware La Vaca Loca."
posted by Vidiot on Nov 26, 2004 - 10 comments

beyond lyrics

Song meanings is a site where you can read the lyrics to a song and then post your thoughts on what the song means.
posted by bargle on Nov 18, 2004 - 57 comments

If you see your mom, tell her I said SATAN!!!

Ceci Nes't Pas Une Satanic Message • "Years ago someone told me that if you played Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven song backwards that you could make out 'satanic messages'. It is not my opinion that Led Zeppelin and the other artists here were given some kind of evil power to make these backwards sounds have a satanic message. And, no, I did not create this to show the evils of Rock and Roll. Instead I made this flash piece for two reasons: 1. I was new to Flash and wanted to be better at it and 2. The reverse files sound cool. "
posted by dhoyt on Oct 8, 2004 - 15 comments

"To say what you feel is to make your own grave."

Hootenanny songbook. "Music is our bomb."
posted by xowie on Jun 6, 2004 - 4 comments

It's plucky!

Chordie: Did OLGA leave you in the lurch? Or when she came back, did it just never feel the same? Do text-based song transcriptions make you rub your eyes and stumble over missing lyrics? [after the bridge, there is more inside]
posted by mwhybark on Apr 27, 2004 - 12 comments

Lyric Test

Lyric Quiz - Test your knowledge of memorable lines from various hits of the 80's. Watch your spelling. warning: It's a tad cheesy, but fun.
posted by Witty on Nov 14, 2003 - 35 comments

Me Gotta Go Now....

Duh Duh Duh, Duh Duh, Duh Duh Duh. Inspired by part of a Latin dance record by Rene Touzet, transformed into a quickie R&B b-side by Richard Berry & the Pharoahs made legendary by the Kingsmen covered by everybody in the universe and investigated by the FBI and the subject of a book. Yes, I'm talking about "Louie Louie" one of the most famous, controversial and influential rock and roll records of all time and origin of the uber-riff and the famously indecipherable lyrics. So let's give it to 'em right now....
posted by jonmc on Oct 4, 2003 - 15 comments

Ella Fitzgerald And The Lyrics Of The Great American Standards

The Song Is You: If ever there was a perfect singer - and I do mean perfect - it was Ella Fitzgerald. Her Songbooks (please scroll down for the listings and samples) are still - and will always be - the best collection there is of the great American standards. That is, if you don't mind crying and having the little hairs on the nape of your neck stand up and revolt. And swing. They'd be the last records objects I'd be willing to part with: they're the mother's milk of American Western popular culture. So imagine my surprise when I found their perfect counterpart on the Web: the best-ever collection of lyrics to the songs of the greatest American composers: Harold Arlen, Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Duke Ellington and Richard Rodgers. Admirably, the compiler has gone way beyond his duty and included wonderful standards (quite a few unknown to me) that even Ella never got around to singing. Thank you, Todd. And God bless you, Sir!
posted by MiguelCardoso on Sep 22, 2003 - 26 comments

Pirate Karaoke!

Avast, ye scurvy dogs, wi' a good wind, we'll have naught to do but sing 'til we strike land again!
posted by headspace on Sep 19, 2003 - 4 comments

Stairway to Heaven

Stairway to Heaven - a deep, philosophical rendering of the crappy contracting work at Page's castle. Better yet is the feedback from fans who take exception to satire.
posted by PrinceValium on Jul 13, 2003 - 35 comments

dylan love & theft

If you liked the lyrics on Dylan's last album, you'll probably also like the Japanese gangster novel he lifted some of them from. Verdict: Not guilty, on grounds of prior artistic achievement. (Long article in today's WSJ not linked because the old WSJ free-linkification doesn't work anymore!!?)
posted by stupidsexyFlanders on Jul 8, 2003 - 42 comments

Radiohead fan sites have been asked to remove their lyrics and tabs archives

Radiohead fan sites have been asked to remove their lyrics and tabs archives. Yesterday, two popular Radiohead fan sites, Green Plastic and At Ease, were sent this email by a legal representative of Warner Bros. Publications and Warner/Chappell Music asking them to take down any lyrics and tabs from their site. The letter claimed "their distribution constitutes an infringement of our rights under U.S. Copyright Law. More than that, the availability of these files have a direct impact on our ability to market and sell our musical arrangements and songbooks, and that adversely affects the royalties that we are able to generate and pay to the band." Those opposed have started a petition online. Who's right on this one?
posted by josephtate on Jun 3, 2003 - 48 comments

Hey Jude, what does that song mean?

Hey Jude, what does that song mean? The Beatles Discography lets you look up almost any Beatles song, and find out about its history and meaning. According to this, one of my favorite Beatles songs, "Paperback Writer," was written after Paul's aunt challenged him to write a song that wasn't about love. And "She's Leaving Home," another favorite, was based on a newspaper article about a runaway 17-year-old girl. and supposedly was attacked in the U.S. as being somehow pro-abortion. I always wondered if there was a real "Polyethene Pam," but I had no idea her name was really Pat, and that she ate plastic. Fascinating stuff.
posted by GaelFC on Mar 30, 2003 - 25 comments

I'm your only friend, I'm not your only friend, but I'm a little glowing friend, but really I'm not actually your friend but I am.

"I'm your only friend, I'm not your only friend, but I'm a little glowing friend, but really I'm not actually your friend but I am." or "Everything I needed to know I learned by listening to [insert band name here]."
posted by poopy on Feb 20, 2003 - 112 comments

Country Joe's Rag

Fixin'to Die after all these years Woodstock-era protest singer Country Joe McDonald still keeps an active pulse on today's events on his website. One of what eventually came to be perhaps his most famous song, the "I-Feel-Like-Fixin'-to-Die rag" has taken new life in light of current events, which is quite simple to deduct: just substitute all the Vietnam references with "Iraq" and there you have it - as many people have been happy to do by submitting their own lyrics versions to the site, somehow confirming that the world actually hasn't changed much in that respect 30 years after Vietnam...
posted by betobeto on Jan 29, 2003 - 7 comments

Fiddle about

Pete Townshend is denying any link to paedophilia, but some may find themselves looking at those Tommy lyrics with narrowed eyes...
posted by apocalypse miaow on Jan 11, 2003 - 57 comments

Leonard Cohen

Let Me See Your Beauty Broken Down: Here's an illuminating song-by-song commentary of the work of Leonard Cohen, along with a slide-show of his "Closing Time" notebook; some dodgy drawings; a lot of grainy photos of the great man, and Pico Iyer's liner notes for the recently released Essential Songs. Yeah, right. As if anything he ever wrote or sang or said wasn't. [Cohen fans will forgive the shabby web design. Thank you woods lot for the heads-up.]
posted by MiguelCardoso on Dec 20, 2002 - 17 comments

"Cops of the World": remembering Phil Ochs

"Cops of the World": remembering Phil Ochs -------------------------------------------- Ochs lyrics: “We're hairy and horny and ready to shack. We don't care if you're yellow or black. Just take off your clothes and lie down on your back.'Cause we're the Cops of the World, boys. We're the Cops of the World.”------------ LISTEN to his songs (realplayer/quicktime) Amidst the unilateralist talk of invading Iraq, and the (mostly media ignored) “biggest anti-war protests since the Vietnam War” [quote-Wash.Post,Oct. 27] last saturday, I thought of Phil Ochs......some of his songs [see Ochs lyrics index] haven't aged well, but some are still as searingly acidic as the day he wrote them, as above or in ”Love me, I’m a liberal”:“Once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin...But I've grown older and wiser, and that's why I'm turning you in. So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal.” ------- Phil Ochs ------- (born 1940, suicide 1976)
posted by troutfishing on Oct 29, 2002 - 22 comments

Mars Austrailia creates fake band and single to advertise Starbursts.

Mars Austrailia creates fake band and single to advertise Starbursts. It is the latest marketing idea: create a fictitious group named after your brand and release a cheesy song that gets radio airplay and is sold as a music single to teenagers. The song is Get Your Juices Going, by fictional pop group Starburst. It has secured high-rotation airplay on radio station Nova 96.9 and has had its promotional video featured on Video Hits. The song's lyrics were written by copywriters and the video, in which the group's identity is hidden, was created by television commercial producers. Not once, however, is the pop group linked to Mars.
posted by ncurley on Sep 17, 2002 - 67 comments

break/doWn: translating the hits for the masses.

break/doWn: translating the hits for the masses. Spent any sleepless nights wondering what those pop songs stuck in your head are really all about? Well, music-critic.com has done the work for you. For instance, did you know that when Britney sings "I know I may come off quiet, I may come off shy/But I feel like talking, feel like dancing when I see this guy" she's saying "I've spent the last three years carefully crafting a "good girl" image of myself for the public/But I'm ready to throw it all away for a one night stand with that guy over there." break/doWn has 13 "hits" translated just for you! (scroll down the the bottom of the page for other songs)
posted by witchstone on Aug 2, 2002 - 12 comments

The Ballad of "John Walker's Blues"

The Ballad of "John Walker's Blues" Not long after Lindh pleaded guilty to aiding the former Afghan regime, maverick country-blues musician Steve Earle released a controversial ballad, "John Walker's Blues," that has infuriated the American heartland with lyrics like: We came to fight the jihad, our hearts were pure and strong/We filled the air with our prayers and we prayed for our martyrdom/Allah has some other plans, a secret not revealed/Now they're dragging me back with my head in the sack to the land of the infidel.
posted by laz-e-boy on Jul 22, 2002 - 32 comments

John B Spencer

John B Spencer died in March. He was 57 though the first time I saw him in about 1986 he looked about 86 so his early demise isn't that much of a surprise. No one will have heard of him but he was brilliant. Truly brilliant, in that he lit up all around him and inspired the pathetic likes of me. Read his lyrics, hear his albums and just sit and wonder at the genius of the public to ignore such talent. Sorry, my blog doesn't appear to be publishing and I didn't want his death to go unremarked. Google doesn't offer much but this is good enough.
posted by Fat Buddha on Jul 12, 2002 - 1 comment

AmIRight

"Strike the heart, enjoy the florist, fa la la la la la la la la" AmIRight collates all of those misheard song lyrics and goes a step further, organizing them by band, song, or decade. Plus for the truly band-curious, they have archives of cool and stupid band names, song parodies and commentary on lyrics that people think are repetitive, nonsensical, or just insincere. Sometimes it's tough to tell the wrong lyrics from the right ones... "You strut your rasta wear and your suicide poem" real or misheard?
posted by jessamyn on May 25, 2002 - 30 comments

John Ashcroft inflicts his "gift" upon DoJ staff

John Ashcroft inflicts his "gift" upon DoJ staff Determined not to stop at subjecting the public to his musical endeavors, our beloved Attorney General now sees fit to hand out the lyrics to his songs at staff meetings for sing-alongs. This, from the man whose job is to "represent the Government before the U.S. Supreme Court in cases of exceptional gravity or importance". Given the choice of attending one of his daily prayer meetings, having to sing along to his music, or having bamboo shoved under your fingernails, what would you choose?
posted by mkultra on Mar 4, 2002 - 53 comments

rockwisdom

rockwisdom Some people claim they never listen to the lyrics, while others listen intently. As they listen to lyrics, some words may be incoherent or misunderstood. Other listeners may not care to know what the words really mean or how they may impact society. Regardless, lyrics are important. They provide expression, communication, and entertainment. They are messages with the potential to be very powerful, and therefore, useful in making points in our daily discourse.
posted by Tarrama on Jan 25, 2002 - 36 comments

How lyrics work,

How lyrics work, offered up by one of my favorite singers and songwriters. No, you won't learn who she was really singing about in "You're So Vain" but it's still a fascinating read about a topic she knows a thing or two about.
posted by MAYORBOB on Nov 4, 2001 - 7 comments

9-11-01 was The International Day of Peace

9-11-01 was The International Day of Peace and this is the Culture of Peace Week. Here, take a meme: peace peace peace peace peace peace.
posted by xowie on Sep 14, 2001 - 18 comments

Re-Versed Christian Lyrics

Re-Versed Christian Lyrics supplies alternative Christian lyrics to the rock songs you know and love. Be sure to check out "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and "Hell's Bells" while you're there. As a Christian, sites like this usually just make me cringe. I got a pretty good laugh out of this one, though, so I thought I'd share. [Link borrowed from Memepool.]
posted by Reggie452 on Jul 24, 2001 - 63 comments

All my life, people have been studying the hidden (sometimes very well hidden) profundities of pop-music lyrics. You know, however, that 99.99% of it is mundane and not worth studying. Wrong!.
posted by luser on May 9, 2001 - 8 comments

"...I find the language of George W much more offensive,"

"...I find the language of George W much more offensive," (did I miss a memo about W releasing an album?) Anyway, let's see... 'I was a made man at fifteen years Cuz momma didn't raise no faggotty queer' or 'Even stupid people in Britain are smarter than Americans'.
posted by tiaka on Feb 21, 2001 - 17 comments

Anyone know of any good lyric sites besides stuff like LyricSearch?
posted by milhous on Jul 17, 2000 - 7 comments

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