Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Spurgeon's General Warning: Nonsense Titles

Posted By on Tue, Jan 14, 2014 at 11:19 AM

Words. Do they matter? As a writer, my answer is "sometimes." They matter in law, and thank-you notes, and storytelling, and poetry, but they very rarely matter in pop music. Sure, every now and then you'll come across a great melodymaker/wordsmith, or be emotionally struck by a certain phrase in a pop song (for instance, I think "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" is the saddest song in the world), but for the most part, words in pop music are just hilarious placeholders.

There are plenty of songs that just go full gibberish with their lyrics and titles. "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" is probably the best-known example of this, but here are some others:

The Archies, "Bang-Shang-A-Lang"

The Archies, and Archie comics in general, are one of my favorite examples of cultural ephemera. I advocate the fun, bright crassness and Middle American fetishizing (now featuring a gay!) of all Archie products, and as an angry feminist, I celebrate the present-day hostile misandrist work environment!

Alvin Stardust, "My Coo Ca Choo"

I was recently flipping through a book I own about pop music, and I came across the entry for Alvin Stardust. To quote (in full) the one Amazon review of the book, "Somewhat entertaining but I did not learn anything new about anything I was interested in. Lots of trivia on non essential acts, though."

That sums this up rather well. Ain't no also-ran like a glam rock also-ran, you know?

ABBA, "Dum Dum Diddle"

I suppose my only question would be is "How do you describe the sound a fiddle makes?" I don't think I would use such a "d" sound, or in the fun and exciting nomenclature of the phonetic alphabet, a "voiced alveolar stop."

Hanson, "MMMBop"

Heck yeah!

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