Posts Tagged: Songs

The Infinite Lives of 'Jolene'

Dolly Parton does it all in only two hundred and two words. Eighty-four fewer than the Gettysburg Address; one hundred and thirty-six more than the Lord’s Prayer. Two hundred and two words, one of which is repeated thirty-one times: Jolene. Parton wails her name like a banshee. Five times Jolene; once Jolene, Jolene; six times Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene. Parton says the name Jolene thirty-one times in less than three minutes. It’s a story song, and the story is as familiar as they come. Where there was happiness, now there is heartache. A woman loves a man, but that man loves Jolene; the woman confronts Jolene and pleads with [...]


"Here We Come Assailing" (Traditional)

"For those of us who have any active associations with wassail, they are probably musical. 'Here We Come a-Wassailing' is about as likely to turn up on your supermarket’s holiday Muzak loop as 'The Christmas Song' or 'Frosty the Snowman.'" —Today in the Times' Dining section, Rosie Schaap provides a recipe for and history of the traditional holiday drink wassail. Wassail is a warm punch made of cider and ale and spices that is enjoying a comeback in Brooklyn cocktail bars. It is intended to enliven spirits and lower inhibitions so as to encourage people to join in a Yuletide sing-along. But Wassail comes from England, which [...]


A Playlist Of Game-Changing Moments In Song

I’ve been obsessed with the idea of identifying critical moments in popular songs for a long time, but have been struggling with defending what that exactly means. One friend dismissed my ever-growing playlist of songs with identifiable pinnacles of brilliance as just “good songwriting.” I tried to tell her that, no, wait, good songwriting is one thing, but being able to completely change the composition of a song, the whole understanding of the joy that a song can bring, in one critical moment, is not just good songwriting, it’s genius. Nor was I talking about anything as simple as climax and release. As was found with Adele’s “Someone [...]


20 Years After 'Achtung Baby '

I recently attended a wedding, and it was, as weddings are wont to be, an almost transcendentally beautiful occasion. It was held on the grounds of a giant sandstone Federation house (who can honestly call something with guest quarters off-site a house?) sitting on miles of pristine green acreage. Fairy lights in the shape of love-hearts hung from the trees. The air smelled of freshly cut grass. Butlers stood with umbrellas armed for the possibility of rain to escort you the few feet to the bathrooms. The food was unlike any food I’d ever tasted. The country estate on which is was held, several hours outside of Sydney, was [...]


A Loosely Chronological Survey Of Messrs. In Blues, Soul, R&B And Rap



America's Teabaggers and Friends, In Song

A Children's Treasury of Terrible Tea Party Songs!


10 Folk Songs About The NSA And Edward Snowden

1. "Song for Edward Snowden" by Joe Fox. Best line: "Braaaave, or stupid? Braaaave, or stupid?"

2. "You Can't Slip A Chip Into My Brain, NSA" by (the perfectly named) Grant William Brad Gerver. Best line: uh, "You Can't Slip A Chip Into My Brain, NSA"?

3. "Prism" by David Rovics. Best line: "One government came down and burned in repetition of this fact / the next government passed the Freedom of Information Act."


Men With Things


Fifteen Songs For The Ides Of March

So here we are on the 2056th anniversary of the day that Julius Caesar died. If only they'd had YouTube back then. (Oh, coincidentally, the very first .com on the internet,


Top Eleven Dumb Songs to Sing to Cats

11. I wish cats were a little bit taller, I wish cats were a baller.

10. Two of cats. Two cats that beat as one.

9. Little cat Corvette. Gato, you've got to slow down.

8. I'm looking at that cat in the mirror. I'm asking cats to change their ways.


169 Song Titles with Parentheticals (In Order of Parenthetical Charm)

169. He Hit Me (It Felt Like A Kiss)

168. Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)

167. This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)

166. Hemorrhage (In My Hands)

165. Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)

164. Truckdrivin’ Neighbors Downstairs (Yellow Sweat)

163. Money (That's What I Want)

162. (Flesh & Blood) Sacrifice

161. (Just Like) Starting Over

160. (Keep Feeling) Fascination

159. (Everything I Do) I Do It For You


Song Bad

"A song to mark the inauguration of the new king of the Netherlands has been withdrawn after it attracted a storm of criticism for its 'imbecilic' lyrics." (One of those lyrics is "I build a dyke with my bare hands and keep the water away," so you can sort of see the point.) Be warned, this link autoplays. Also, the song is execrable.


Tonight at Housing Works: Nerds About Songs and Feelings!

Tonight at Housing Works, it's a fun event/panel/thing, in honor of the tenth anniversary of Fluxblog. Lots of folks will share a song and talk about their feelings!


Beach House, "Myth"

I have slowly been falling for Beach House this winter, moving from that stage of "huh what is this, let's fastforward on my iTunes" to "oh hmm?" to "singing along," and so am gratified to hear a new song today from their forthcoming fourth record.


30 Ways To Say "I Want You"


Twenty Women's Names, In Musical Order

20. Evangeline

19. Georgia

18. Sara

17. Gloria

16. Kimberly