Friday, March 7, 2008

My "Friday 5": Real-People Songs.

Over at Art's Strange World, Art has a recurring feature called the Friday 5, where he thinks of some list of five things and challenges his readers to post their own additions to the list.

Lately, the lists have been Songs tied together by some common theme. Songs featuring Cadillacs, Cars (excluding Cadillacs), States, Cities, Years, Heaven and Hell, and this week, People.

I've been playing along, and having fun. It reminds me of my old college buddy, Corey Fager, who was very proud of his semi-encyclopedic knowledge of rock music. He would challenge a group of his friends to throw out a word at random, and he would see how quickly he could respond with a line from a song. I think I stumped him once with the word "penguin", but he was rarely stumped for long.

Anyway, today's challenge over at Art's blog was songs based on or mentioning real people. Living or dead, important or obscure; if they made it into a song, they are fair game.

Here's My 5...

  1. James K. Polk by They Might be Giants. (Highly Edu-taining!)
  2. Mandelbrot Set by Johnathon Coulton. (Even More Edu-taining. Warning: Strong language.)
  3. Frank Sinatra by Cake.
  4. Mrs. Robinson by Simon + Garfunkel, and others.(Mrs. Robinson may not be real, but Joe DiMaggio is.)
  5. Candle In The Wind by Elton John. (about either Marilyn Monroe, or Princess Diana, depending on the version)
There you have it. A President, A Mathematician, A Singer, A Baseball Player (and Mr. Coffee Spokesperson),as well as an Actress and/or Princess. All immortalized in Song.

I will throw the comments section open to those of you who have any to add. What's your 5? Bonus Points for Obscurity!

For an extra challenge, try a sub-theme: All Women? People Not Mentioned In The Song's Title? All Minorities? All Still Living? All Non-Americans? All Children? All Elderly? All Villains? Give it a shot! You might just use up your whole Friday, and bring the Weekend on even sooner.

3 comments:

Art said...

Frank - excellent! Thanks. Even I didn't know there was a song about Benoit Mandelbrot!!! I'm not familiar with that artist but it's a cool song.

Don't know any songs about penguins either... But one song about a real person I thought of is "Two Daughters and a Beautiful Wife" by The Drive By Truckers. It's about Bryan Harvey and his family who were murdered in the Richmond killing spree.

Anonymous said...

Totally off topic, but have you seen the job postings at Sewanee.edu in web communications? You're a very entertaining writer. Press releases aren't usually all that entertaining - but hey, you already have media relationships (Peter Sagal!) so why not give it a try?

purpleivey said...

1. John the Revelator - Depeche Mode
2. Alexander the Great - Bond
3. Roxie - from Chicago (there's a line about Sophie Tucker)
4. Slim Sady - Eminem (mentions several celibrities including Brittany Spears, Carson Daily, Fred Durst, Tom Green, and Dr. Dray, whose name, I'm sorry to say, I don't know how to spell.)
5. Brian Boru's March - James Galway (Brian Boru was an early Irish king who drove out the Danes)
6. Buddy Holly - Weezer. (Also mentions Mary Tyler Moore.)
7. Dante's Prayer - Loreena McKennitt.
8. Snoopy vs. the Red Baron - The Irish Rovers. (Yes, the Red Baron was a real person - Baron Von Riktofen, or maybe Richtoffen.)

I got a bit carried away - I love these sorts of things : )