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



2 Comments:

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...

Chorus:
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.

CD

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