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Meta music

Postby rjmason » Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:36 pm

Interestingly, "Your Song" (1970) is not only the Worst Metasong, but also the Worst Song of any kind ever written or performed.

Which I guess makes sense, right? Because the Worst Imaginable Song would naturally have to have the Worst Imaginable Topic, and... It's a kind of ontological argument thing.
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Postby rockgolf » Tue Mar 24, 2009 4:11 am

This will have to include "Song For Whoever" by The Beautiful South

Deep so deep, the number one I hope to reap
Depends upon the tears you weep, so cry, lover cry, cry, cry, cry

Oh Cathy, oh Alison, oh Phillipa, oh Sue
You made me so much money, I wrote this song for you
Jennifer, Alison, Phillipa, Sue, Deborah, Annabel, too
I wrote this song for you
[/quote]
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Postby bwouns » Tue Mar 24, 2009 4:15 am

If this thread exists, someone's gotta mention You're So Vain and the the theme to It's Garry Shandling's Show

Slightly off topic. What about songs about the writing of a different song, like Sara by Bob Dylan, partially about the writing of Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands.
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Postby rockgolf » Tue Mar 24, 2009 5:23 am

Weird Al's "This Song is Just Six Words Long", which, based on the title alone, is already inaccurate.

(Link now fixed)
Last edited by rockgolf on Tue Mar 24, 2009 8:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby marpocky » Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:53 am

I nominate "The Song That Doesn't End"
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Postby skullturfq » Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:54 am

"I'm Too Sexy", Right Said Fred
"I'll Have To Say I Love You In A Song", Jim Croce
"Song Instead Of A Kiss", Alannah Myles
"These Words", Natasha Bedingfield
"Hallelujah", Leonard Cohen
"Don't Worry Be Happy", Bobby McFerrin
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Postby rjmason » Tue Mar 24, 2009 8:54 am

rockgolf wrote:Weird Al's "This Song is Just Six Words Long", which, based on the title alone, is already inaccurate.


The title is supposedly, "This Song's Just Six Words Long." But I know, he doesn't sing it with the necessary contraction.
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Postby rjmason » Tue Mar 24, 2009 8:57 am

"Yellow," Coldplay
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Postby Ken Jennings » Tue Mar 24, 2009 9:21 am

That's funny, I wrote a first draft of a post about the best meta-pop song ever, and it featured prominent mentions of many of these. (Your Song, Hallelujah, Garry Shandling, You're So Vain, that song from Spamalot, etc.)

I forgot "Song for Whoever." C'mon, Housemartins guy! It's "Whomever"! But, interestingly enough, that song will appear prominently in one of next week's posts.

Nobody guessed tomorrow's actual "Best Metapop Song" yet.
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Postby TheConfessor » Tue Mar 24, 2009 9:30 am

I'm surprised no one has mentioned "I Write The Songs," which was a big hit for a guy who didn't write the song. That's way worse than "Your Song," in my opinion.
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Postby Neel Mehta » Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:10 am

TheConfessor wrote:I'm surprised no one has mentioned "I Write The Songs," which was a big hit for a guy who didn't write the song. That's way worse than "Your Song," in my opinion.


I was about to post the same thing. You can find many more facts (and versions) of "I Write the Songs" here. It was part of a Top Ten chart recap for January 1976 that I wrote about early last year.
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Postby porpoise spit » Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:17 am

To add:

Silly Love Songs, by Wings
Number Three, They Might Be Giants
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Postby rjmason » Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:18 am

"Tribute," Tenacious D
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Postby Ken Jennings » Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:29 am

Some people might say that "Just an Old-Fashioned Love Song" (if that's the title) is self-referential, but I don't think so. It's not old-fashioned, it's not much of a love song, and (crucially) it doesn't come down in three-part harmony.

The singer is clearly describing some other song.
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Postby rockgolf » Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:47 am

From the same era, "Song Sung Blue" by Neil Diamond.
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Postby Antproof » Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:08 pm

I kinda like Paul Simon's "Song about the Moon". Some interviewer (David Frost, maybe?) asked him about it saying something like, "Take the song "Song about the Moon", it sets out to be a song about the moon, but ends up being a singer singing a song about a song about the moon". Paul's entire response was, "I think it's a song about the moon".
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Postby ArtVark » Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:09 pm

Ken Jennings wrote:Some people might say that "Just an Old-Fashioned Love Song" (if that's the title) is self-referential, but I don't think so. It's not old-fashioned, it's not much of a love song, and (crucially) it doesn't come down in three-part harmony.

The singer is clearly describing some other song.


I will admit that "Your song" and "You're so Vain" are meta songs because they say "this is your song," and "I bet you think this song is about you." I am not necessarily convinced that "Song, Sung Blue" is a meta song. He could be singing about another song in this case too.

I originally was going to list "I'll have to say I love you in a song" as not necessarily a meta song, but since he does say "I love you" in the line "I'll have to say I love you in a song" I guess it could count.

I also was going to list "Will it go Round in Circles" as a meta song, and based on the title, it seems possible. But I think that the lyrics start "I got a song that ain't got no melody" which, again, could refer to something else.
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Postby rockgolf » Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:53 pm

Where there's Meta, you have to look for "anti-meta": Elton John's "This Song Has No Title"
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Postby j » Tue Mar 24, 2009 1:21 pm

There's a country song called "Songs About Rain" in which the singer discusses the various songs about rain that are playing while he's feeling blue.

A friend of mine and I thought there should be an album inspired by this song called "Songs About Songs About Rain."
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Postby RingoOSU » Tue Mar 24, 2009 1:59 pm

Tribute isn't the greatest song in the world, it's a song about the greatest song in the world.
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Postby RingoOSU » Tue Mar 24, 2009 2:00 pm

Neel Mehta wrote:
TheConfessor wrote:I'm surprised no one has mentioned "I Write The Songs," which was a big hit for a guy who didn't write the song. That's way worse than "Your Song," in my opinion.


I was about to post the same thing. You can find many more facts (and versions) of "I Write the Songs" here. It was part of a Top Ten chart recap for January 1976 that I wrote about early last year.


When I was a kid, a guest minister came to our church and preached about how "I Write the Songs" was about Satan.
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Postby ArtVark » Tue Mar 24, 2009 3:15 pm

j wrote:There's a country song called "Songs About Rain" in which the singer discusses the various songs about rain that are playing while he's feeling blue.

A friend of mine and I thought there should be an album inspired by this song called "Songs About Songs About Rain."


And things go full circle in Jennings-stan once again. I remember a thread that may be a couple of years old by now about songs about rain.
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Postby TheConfessor » Tue Mar 24, 2009 3:53 pm

There are lots of self-referential songs. Two more lyrics that come to mind are:

Leon Russell: "We were alone and I was singing this song for you"
Don McLean: "I'm singing bye bye Miss American Pie"
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Postby Bibulb » Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:01 pm

Ken Jennings wrote:Nobody guessed tomorrow's actual "Best Metapop Song" yet.

I guess we'll find out tomorrow, but I'm betting on DaVinci's Notebook's "Title of the Song"...
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Postby porpoise spit » Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:02 pm

While the song isn't meta, the video for Bjork's Bachelorette is.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOkUD4ZcEXc
Unfortunately the audio is disabled due to copyright.
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