Sunday, January 22, 2006

Tunes From The Dark Side

Pop music at its worst is trite, banal and stupid. Pop music at its best is inspired, joyous and life-affirming. Far away from either of these extremes lie the "Dark" tunes- pop hits, to be sure, but thematicaly concerned with the malevolent side of human nature:
"I walked forty-seven miles of barbed wire, I got a cobra snake for a necktie
A brand new house on the road side, and it's made out of rattlesnake hide
Got a band new chimney put on top, and it's made out of human skull
Come on take a little walk with me child, tell me who do you love?"

-Bo Diddley (Elias McDaniel)

Romantic, isn't it? Sure fire pick up lines! Let's get just a little bit gruesome...
"Now on the sidewalk, huh, huh,
whoo sunny morning, un huh
Lies a body just oozin' life- eek!
And someone's sneakin' 'round the corner
Could that someone be Mack the Knife?"
-Berthold Brecht (Bobby Darrin version)

That one was a monster #1 hit for several weeks in the early sixties- about a serial killer! Next up, the hatred of life itself expressed in meter...
"I see a red door and I want it painted black...
No colors anymore I want them to turn black...
I see the girls go by dressed in their summer clothes...
I have to turn my head until my darkness goes..."

-Paint It Black, by Richards and Jagger

These grim ditties aren't just limited to the sixties however- in 1933 Hungarian Rezsó Seress composed a song with lyrics that actually inspired suicides-it's still banned on the BBC...
"Gloomy Sunday, with shadows I spend it all
My heart and I have decided to end it all
Soon there'll be prayers and candles are lit, I know
Let them not weep, let them know,that I'm glad to go

Death is a dream, for in death I'm caressing you
With the last breath of my soul, I'll be blessing you..."

Charming. What's on your iPod?

By Professor Batty


Blogger lab munkay said...

The forces of evil on a bozo nightmare
Ban all the music with a phoney gas chamber
'Cause one's got a weasel and other's got a flag
One's on the pole, shove the other in a bag
With the re-run shows and the cocaine nosejob
The daytime crap of a folksinger slob
He hung himself with a guitar string
A slab of turkey neck and it's hanging from a pigeon wing
And you can't write if you can't relate
Trade the cash for the beat and body for the hate
And my time is a piece of wax falling on a termite
And it's choking on the splinters

Soy un perdedor
I'm a loser baby
So why don't you kill me?
(Get crazy with the Cheez-Whiz)

Loser, by Beck Handson and Karl Stephenson

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm alone in the dark with a gun in my mouth and I'm ready to kill.
I wanna die x 20

Nightsweats, The Rollins Band

anyone? C'mon?

That is just the chorus, the meat of the song is worse.


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