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 -
lets you to use your space bar as an instrument. Tap in a song rhythm and Song Tapper will identify it for you with its internety black magic.
posted by Zosia Blue
on Jan 11, 2006 -
St. James Infirmary,
in a funereal, no lyrics, brass-band version underlies a persistent scrum of half-remembered songs about New Orleans rising in concert with the waters, lapping at the sandbags of my mind. Up front, Tom Waits
(I Wish I Was in New Orleans
) and Randy Newman
) are duking it out for time at the piano, elaborately filigreed chords overlapping and changing the dominant lyric at the moment of harmonic convergence, while in the background Arlo Guthrie
(The City of New Orleans
) warbles about a train ride. Professor Longhair
and/or The Dixie Cups
, Iko Iko
) sort of amusedly fight to keep sliptime with the martial drums from Jimmy Driftwood's The Battle of New Orleans
(caution: embedded quicktime) behind the whole toxic soup of sonic residue. I'm sure the stew will grow more dense over the next couple weeks.
Got a New Orleans song to toss into the waters?
posted by mwhybark
on Aug 30, 2005 -
BBC Radio 2 -- Sold On Song
The website for this show on BBC Radio 2 is pretty awesome; it's got a list of pages on various classic songs in their library
(also sortable by artist
), which includes song clips and (where available) clips from covers of the songs, taken from the same place -- check out the various It Must Be Love
s (originally by
Labi Siffre) -- my favorite will always be the Madness one, but the Lyn Paul version is actually pretty cool. There's also some weird
covers available for the picking. I've just been spending about an hour or two picking through random songs and noting on which ones are as good as the original
or ones that just fall so very short
. (They've also got lots of other content, like the songwriting guide
, but the real fun is in the song pages, reading about these great songs and listening to other people do their own cuts on them. [All links go to text; all sound files are in RealAudio.]
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me
on Jul 28, 2005 -
a website ‘dedicated to traditional bawdy songs, erotic toasts and other recitations.’ See, for example, the list of bawdy songbooks
, variously in text and PDF formats, beginning with songs
from a 1661 book of ‘Merry Drollery.’ Many songs
are displayed alongside the appropriate sheet music, for example I Used To Work In Chicago
and The Sexual Life of the Camel
. There are numerous mp3s too, both samples and entire songs, many of which are field recordings
by the site’s proprietor, John Mehlberg
. Please note that the songs range from plain stupid to extremely offensive, that many pages have embedded audio, and that the site is confusingly-organised and may crash your browser. The site as a whole is NSFW
posted by misteraitch
on Jun 23, 2005 -
Fitness to Practice
is a collection of songs written and performed by Amateur Transplants, two practicing doctors from the UK. The album consists of original songs
as well as witty parodies of songs originally performed by among others Tom Lehrer
and The Jam
(mp3 links). The lyrics contain a lot of medical in-jokes, but the humour is broad enough to appeal to everyone.
posted by bap98189
on Mar 31, 2005 -
While culling my clippings file for the big move, I came across Ragtime: No Longer a Novelty in Sepia
, which led me to the The Rag-Time Ephemeralist
, a labor of love by one Chris Ware
, whose 'The Acme Novelty Library'
and Jimmy Corrigan, Smartest Boy In The World
I had long admired. The Ragtime Ephemeralist's mention of Out of Sight - The Rise of African American Popular Music, 1889-1895
---here's a review
from Musical Traditions
--and, its very own links page,
as a consequence, led to this post about Ragtime, Cakewalks, Coon Songs and Vaudeville, with a slight nod to Barbershop Quartets. There's more, of course...
posted by y2karl
on Jan 21, 2005 -
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 -
"It was surprising how thick the smoke had become.
It seems like the world has always needed a scapegoat --someone to lead the charge against the Roman Empire. But America wasn't the Roman Empire and someone else would have to step up and volunteer. I really was never any more than what I was -- a folk musician who gazed into the gray mist with tear-blinded eyes and made up songs that floated in a luminous haze. Now it had blown up in my face and was hanging over me." -- from Bob Dylan's
new autobiography, Chronicles
, with a brief interview
, via Newsweek
posted by digaman
on Sep 26, 2004 -
The story of "St. James Infirmary."
You thought it was a piece of old New Orleans? Turns out St. James Hospital was in London (and treated lepers), and the song goes back at least to the 18th century (though it used to be sung to the tune of "Streets of Laredo"). Rob Walker's Letter From New Orleans #13 describes the results of his obsessive researches. If you have more info, he wants to hear from you! (Via Wordorigins
, a site any word lover should know.)
posted by languagehat
on Jun 11, 2004 -
Blender Magazine lists the 50 worst songs of all time.
Wait. Before you click the link know the the geniuses over at Blender only post songs 50 (Celline Dion's "My Heart Will Go On") through 41 (Color Me Badd's “I Wanna Sex You Up.” Yeah, I'm going to go buy a copy just for this article, aren't you? Fortunately, MSN spares us the torment
of not knowing what the worst song of all time might be. Ready? Starship's "We Built This City." Now recognizing that it's the job of critics to make choices, and this is an impossible one, surely we can do better than that, no? [via danieldrezner.com]
posted by mojohand
on Apr 23, 2004 -
In the spirit of Sunday morning (and the Martin Luther King holiday weekend), I bring to you the news of a musical release of historical proportions. Dust to Digital
has compiled Goodbye, Babylon
an exhaustively annotated, beautifully packaged
collection of American gospel music from the turn of the century up until 1960. Some performers are recognizable names in sacred and secular music
. Others practice lesser known styles like Sacred Harp singing
. Non-religionists, don't feel left out, this music is enjoyable strictly on it's musical and historical import, since along with blues, traditional country and Tin Pan Alley, gospel music both white and black is one of the main foundations of modern American music. Judging by the raves it's
been recieving, this (admittedly expensive, but worth every penny) box set is destined for a place next to the Anthology Of American Folk Music
in the collection of any serious student of American music.
posted by jonmc
on Jan 18, 2004 -
is one of the most enduring (and arguably one of the hippest) Christmas songs of the past twenty years. Though a quintessential keyboard-and-sax driven New Wave
tune, the endearing singleton's account of the year in dating on Christmas Eve tops the Christmas charts every year, and has survived reinterpretations by the Spice Girls
and Save Ferris
. This year, the eclectically-talented Chris Butler
reflects on its inception
posted by pxe2000
on Dec 23, 2003 -
Psst! Wanna download some mp3s? Now you can do so without looking over your shoulder to see who is watching. Creative Commons
has compiled a selection
of tracks utilising their licensing system for free download. The ability to create derivative works and share them around has resulting in some interesting remixes
of one of the original tracks, also.
via A Whole Lotta Nothing
posted by dg
on Oct 22, 2003 -
The Song Is You:
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
objects I'd be willing to part with: they're the mother's milk of
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 -
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 -
The idea: A place for posting songs where they might actually get heard -- preferably someone who can help get it published. We've teamed with SuperfastNetworks to create the first song blog**.
Will the the Metafilter Music Channel
be next? **Actually it works with any digital content.
posted by Shane
on Apr 11, 2003 -
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 -
Doing some research on the submarine Thresher
,I found a song
written by Phil Ochs about the tragedy. I don't think it hit the charts like Gordon Lightfoots' song
regarding the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald. It then occurred to me that there probably will not be a song about the space shuttle Columbia. Why not?
posted by JohnR
on Feb 12, 2003 -
Songs Inspired by Literature.
(found via quix's livejournal
A project to document songs inspired by a wide variety of literature, both modern and classic. Some were obvious or I already knew about (Iron Maiden's Rime of the Ancient Mariner, for one), but others were quite interesting.
posted by rich
on Feb 11, 2003 -