1. What are the instruments playing in this song before the vocals come in? An organ? And... a piano? Chimes? Glockenspiel?

2. Please name a few songs with unusual subjects. Ideally, not pure novelty songs like "Mommy Got Run Over By A Reindeer."
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rosefox: Green books on library shelves. (Default)

From: [personal profile] rosefox

Please name a few songs with unusual subjects. Ideally, not pure novelty songs

Welp, there goes my suggestion of "In Der Fuhrer's Face".

Just about everything by TMBG would qualify. "You Probably Get That a Lot" is the only song about cephalophores that I'm aware of, for example.

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loligo: Scully with blue glasses (Default)

From: [personal profile] loligo

For some reason, all that's coming to mind right now are really morbid and disturbing ones, like Gary Gilmore's Eyes and Warm Leatherette. I'd go with TMBG instead.
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recessional: a small blue-paisley teapot with a blue mug (Default)

From: [personal profile] recessional

It's either a mandolin/similar alone, or a mandolin with the foundation notes echoed by a harpsichord.
pauraque: bird flying (Default)

From: [personal profile] pauraque

What about Jonathan Coulton? Some of his catalog could be considered novelty songs, but there are also weird-but-serious ones like Blue Sunny Day (vampire has depression), or I'm Your Moon (Pluto and Charon are in love).
recessional: a small blue-paisley teapot with a blue mug (Default)

From: [personal profile] recessional

Vienna Teng has many.

"Homecoming (Walter's Song)" is a narrative of a man coming to peace in a hotel room, "A Decade and One" is a woman reflecting on the past ten years of her life, "Mission Street" is a night on the eponymous street narrated by what sounds like a street busker, "Shasta" is a woman making the choice to keep a baby, "Passage" is the time after a woman's death in a car crash narrated by her ghost, "Whatever You Want" is the story of a white collar criminal getting his comeuppance via the people he took for granted, "1br/1ba" is a woman after a breakup trying to get used to her new living space, "In Another Life" imagines reincarnation through several lives, "Grandmother Song" is from the pov of Teng's grandmother disapproving of her life choices, "No Gringo" imagines a future where the US economy has collapsed completely, from the pov of a child whose family illegally seeks work in other countries, "Radio" recreates the anxiety of listening to all the bad things that happen in the world and imagining they're happening to you (while everyone's sure it "can't happen here"), "Watershed" narrates global flooding from the pov of the planet/flood, and basically the ENTIRETY of AIMS is non-standard.
kore: (Default)

From: [personal profile] kore

She really is neat. I remember the first time I heard "Passenger" ("I died in a car crash two days ago Was unrecognizable When they pulled me from the gears No one's fault, no one's bottle No one's teenage pride or throttle"), my heart stopped.

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xtina: (omg!)

From: [personal profile] xtina

The problem I'm having with the idea of unusual-subject songs is that anything not in some way about cishet romance stuff is already unusual. (I really really wish I were exaggerating.) So, litmus test time! ("Video" means a link to the song, not always an actual video.)

"Miner's Refrain", Gillian Welch, about miners. [Video.]

"Barbie Girl", Aqua, about being a Barbie doll and living in a Barbie universe. [Video.]

"The Coming", Arsenal & Gabriel Rios, about... I really have no idea, but I love it. [Video.]

"Shinda Shima, Mellow, about... travel? [Video.]

Oh god, you didn't set prog rock off-limits. Dude.

"Die Eier von Satan, by Tool, ABOUT COOKIES, done in electronic German-rally style. [Video.]

"In The Court Of The Crimson King", King Crimson, I'm not paid enough to determine what prog pieces are about. [Video.]

"Pigs", Pink Floyd, uh... corporate greed, I believe. [Video.]

And then the really out-there shit.

"Butter", by Hot Butter.

"Focus", by Hocus Pocus.

So what's closest?
Edited Date: 2015-02-02 10:30 pm (UTC)
xtina: (Default)

From: [personal profile] xtina

If you're skipping pure novelty songs, does that mean you're skipping Weird Al Yankovic (really not just the parodies), or artists featured in Dr. Demento's radio shows? *sad face*

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sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)

From: [personal profile] sholio

The first thing that came to mind is "Snoopy vs. the Red Baron", but that probably falls rather squarely under the heading of novelty song.

"Yellow Submarine"? Actually, come to think of it, the Beatles have a few of these. On the general topic of the 1960s, there's also "Pinball Wizard", though that one's also kind of on the novelty song end of things. (Or ... about half the songs The Who ever wrote, come to think of it. "Boris the Spider"? "Happy Jack"? Maybe it's just something about the 1960s.)

"Copperhead Road" (Steve Earle) is about bootleggers.

When I was a teenager, I had an album by Fred Small, a little-known folk singer/protest singer, whose songs are basically ALL this. "Heart of the Appaloosa" - the last stand of the Navajo. "Talking Wheelchair Blues" - woman in a wheelchair is repeatedly ignored/dismissed by servers in a restaurant. "Larry the Polar Bear" - filmmaker takes a zoo-raised bear to the remote coast of Alaska to film a movie, but things really don't go as he'd hoped. And so forth.
sholio: sun on winter trees (Default)

From: [personal profile] sholio

Also "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" comes to mind, though "shipwrecks" as a general topic might not be that unusual. I can't think of any others that aren't by Gordon Lightfoot, though. (The man has at least a half dozen of them.)

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brainwane: My smiling face, including a small gold bindi (Default)

From: [personal profile] brainwane

songs with unusual subjects

"The Hymn of Acxiom" and "Landsailor" by Vienna Teng.

"North Dakotachrome" and "Boxes y Boxes" by Lawsuit.

"One Piece At A Time", "The Chicken In Black", "The One On The Right Is On The Left" by Johnny Cash.

A lot of Christine Lavin's work.
londonkds: (Default)

From: [personal profile] londonkds

My childhood favourite band Madness have had some interesting subjects. I might suggest:

"My Girl", the least sexist song about arguing with your girlfriend ever to be a hit single
"Embarassment", a protest song about the family of one of the band members freaking out over his sister having an inter-racial baby
"Shut Up", about a cheeky criminal under police interrogation
"Primrose Hill", about agoraphobia, if you're looking for songs about mental problems not usually explored in pop music
nestra: (Default)

From: [personal profile] nestra

Peter Gabriel's "Mercy Street" is about Anne Sexton.

Kate and Anna McGarrigle's "NaCl" is about an atom of chlorine and an atom of sodium who fall in love and produce salt.
kore: (Default)

From: [personal profile] kore

Not a lot of brain cell power today, but I agree with Vienna Teng, Jonathan Coulton, TMBG of course, maybe Andrew Bird (especially early on), and there's a truly local group here called Young Fresh Fellows who have titles like "The Final Tractor" and "Rock 'N' Roll Pest Control". They worked some with Robyn Hitchcock, who also has some unusual stuff ("Sounds Great When You're Dead," "My Wife and My Dead Wife," etc.).
kore: (Default)

From: [personal profile] kore

I was also wondering about, say, Rocky Horror but then remembered THERE'S A SILENCE OF THE LAMBS MUSICAL http://www.silencethemusical.com/

There was also one kid in my suburban eighties Southwestern neighbourhood who LOVED THIS ALBUM AND PLAYED IT EVERY DAY. Evvvvvvvvery day. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2112_%28album%29 I think that's the one based on an Ayn Rand book.
kore: (Default)

From: [personal profile] kore

Forgot -- Mountain Goats, yes, the whole album Sunset Tree is about a bunch of tweakers, maybe early-to-mid Talking Heads, trying to think of actual songs, argh. Early Dresden Dolls, "Coin-Operated Boy"....the local band Circus Contraption did a lot of cabaret-vaudeville stuff with fun lyrics. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circus_Contraption
sovay: (Rotwang)

From: [personal profile] sovay

Early Dresden Dolls

"Mandy Goes to Med School": portrait of the artist as a back-alley abortionist.

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ruthi: a photograph of a dormouse eating a berry (Default)

From: [personal profile] ruthi

HaDag Nahash, Bella Belissima https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDrtwA6q87Y
There's a translation to English of the song in the info.
It's about a woman who protected a terrorist who stabbed two boys from the mob that attacked him after, and she prevented them from killing him.

Friends, Friend Crush https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gfamBoa_zYQ
About falling for someone in a non-romantic way.
taelle: (Default)

From: [personal profile] taelle

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iz_i7jBiyS4 - this song, When We're Together, by Rialto, is about a stalker - dunno how unusual it is.
ducened: Face of a man in a sheriff's uniform, chin in hand. (listening)

From: [personal profile] ducened

Unusual song topics

The first one that sprang to mind was Sting's "Tomorrow We'll See" about a transvestite prostitute.
Brad Paisley's "Harvey Bodine" points out the "'till death do us part" clause & modern medicine make for interesting legal ramifications. "Online" is about a guy in his parents' basement and the internet.
The entire score for Sondheim's Assassins.
Annnnd this is probably too novelty, but I simply adore Moosebutter's (does the name give you a hint?) Four Shadow's Blankets and Pie.
Edited (Artist name corrected) Date: 2015-02-03 01:15 pm (UTC)
juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (Default)

From: [personal profile] juushika

Maneater by the Blue Eyes Blondes is all cishet failed romance on the surface, but actually about cannibalism—as a result of cishet failed romance. Link.

Beast by Nico Vega is about, uh, America? and capitalism? mostly about America. Link.
Edited Date: 2015-02-03 01:43 am (UTC)
sophia_sol: black and white drawing of a man playing guitar beneath some trees, with text saying "Stan Rogers in the yard again" (C6D: Stan Rogers: in the yard again)

From: [personal profile] sophia_sol

Songs with unusual subjects - hmmm, the only one I'm really coming up with is From Dover To Calais (by Finest Kind) which is a shanty for a hovercraft.

idk, I listen to a lot of folk music and a lot of musicals, so my bar for what's "unusual" is probably in a weird place. Going through my music collection I keep on going like "okay this feels like it ought to be unusual but I know multiple other songs on the same theme so obviously it's not"
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)

From: [personal profile] twistedchick

I hear a harpsichord in that song.
ellen_fremedon: overlapping pages from Beowulf manuscript, one with a large rubric, on a maroon ground (Default)

From: [personal profile] ellen_fremedon

The Weakerthans' "Tournament of Hearts" is a love song, but it is told entirely through an extended metaphor about curling.
stranger: old music manuscript with illuminated B (Music B)

From: [personal profile] stranger

The opening of the song could include a harpsichord, but my first impression is that it sounds like a hammer dulcimer or similar instrument. With background chords from an orchestra or group that includes muted brass instruments.
Edited Date: 2015-02-03 04:05 am (UTC)
legionseagle: (Default)

From: [personal profile] legionseagle

Tom Robinson's Still Loving You is a semi-concept album, a number of whose songs are set in a near-future (as it came out in 1988 or thereabouts, probably contemporary to us) dystopia, in Holland, Belgium and North France, with several different gay protagonists struggling to cope amid the ruins. You Tattooed Me is probably the best song on it.
lenora_rose: (Default)

From: [personal profile] lenora_rose

A few oddities that occur to me:

Eliza Carthy's Train Song - I suppose in one way it's just another messed-up relationship(?) song, but in another, it's the only song I can think of about two people attracted to each other due to mutual voyeurism. No idea what trains have to do with most of it.

Sarah Slean's Angel is about someone who literally buys up an angel because someone was selling pieces of heaven. She ties it to the eavestrough or something like that.

Boiled in Lead's Silver Carp is about invasive species being invasive, which I'm pretty sure is still not a usual topic.

Jon Boden's Songs from the Floodplain has a few oddities on it, since it's set in a quietly post-apocalyptic world -- April Queen is a love story about the trash we left behind, and Beating the Bounds is about the power of mockery.

Luka Bloom's The Acoustic Motorbike: An entire song about bicycles, the only one I can think of not by Queen. Borderline on novelty song, though.

Les Barker has several based on his exceedingly weird poems - but some are little more than comedic novelty songs ("Have you got any news of the Iceberg?") and some depend on knowing traditional Ballads.

S.J. Tucker's Alligator in the House (The best version is recorded by her band Tricky Pixie but she has it on one of her solo albums, too.) I love this song.

Heather Dale's Elephant is apparently based on an actual person somewhere under the metaphors, but on the surface it's a song about an animal determined to learn everything. Literally.
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)

From: [personal profile] rmc28

Cold Frontier by Show of Hands is about finding a Roman knife on the hillside, and the man who left it there 2000 years earlier:
Walk out over ancient hills
There's something underheel
Reach down let your fingers touch
A blade as hard as steel

Country Life is about how the British countryside is being trashed by capitalism and government choices
And the red brick cottage where I was born
Is the empty shell of a holiday home
Most of the year there's no-one there
The village is dead and they don't care

Witness is about members of a religious end-of-days cult:
We found haven here in the Devon hills
Until the icecaps melt and the valleys fill
We'll sail away and look right down
At the carbon footprints in the sand

Ink Devil is about the songwriter's creation escaping and stealing his life
A second hand Somerset backstreet shop
that's where I found my clothes
not just the ones I'm wearing
but the rest I used to own

(basically I adore Show of Hands, who write and perform folk/roots songs about modern Britain, along with a load of excellent covers)

From: [personal profile] indywind

Coyote Grace's Daughtersonis about being gendernonconforming or trans, Guy Named Joe and Picture Frame are about gender transition but can fit a variety of major life transitions, and Summertime is a specifically and unambiguously butch/femme lesbian country love song.
Melissa Etheridge, who generally handles the same themes as Bruce Springsteen, also has a song about a sexual-romantic threesome, an Unusual Kiss, the only one on that topic I can think of.
Dar Williams' what do you hear in these sounds is about therapy and, indirectly, existential realizations.
Girlyman's Supernova is about loss or loneliness, but superficially about astronomy.

Indigo girls, REM, Tori Amos, and Ani Difranco each have more than one song that are waaay off-center for pop music (when, in the case of Tori and REM, you can actually make out what they're about under the occasionally barouqe metaphors), but less uncommon for alt/folk. Reincarnation, masturbation, protests of specific injustices (versus the much more common general protest song), a whole song against cruelty to animals, a whole song recounting a sexual assault or rape, a whole song about fear of flying, a song about a monster or alien...

Kirby Krackle's Ring Capacity might be disqualified for being a novelty song; it's about Green Lantern.
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