Songs With Questions

Pop songs are primarily based on the notion of a person singing to you. Yes, you in particular, so are generally in the first person. That helps them sell, because the song becomes your special song. They can tell stories, they can just be a load of nonsense, but sometimes they ask the listener questions, which seems a bit odd as we the audience cannot, of course, reply. Thre are a scattering of questions about asking directions to places like San Jose and Amarillo, but I’m interested here more in deeper ideas. So, unless they are sung as duets, they are rather strange, but often fun.

Probably the biggest question is in the Eurythmic’s song ‘Why?’ Which has got a lot of questions in it. I hope Annie Lennox has figured them out by now, or maybe they are questions none of us will ever get. This is live from 2000.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6wQ4pU-uU0

This is one of my favourite song versions ever, because it always makes me laugh. This is the ever professional Elvis Presley completely losing it in ‘Are You Lonesome tonight’ His laughing is said to have been triggered by the backup singer going all shrieky on him. I love how he struggles to continue.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1-4vUasTMQ

Another blast from the past, the full version of “Who Do You think You are kidding mr Hitler” from the dark days of World War II, used as the theme tune to the long running comedy tv series ‘Dad’s Army’. This has the full version.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jvr6X054xLY

Here’s Lionel Richie singing ‘Hello, Is it Me You’re Looking for?’ as soundtrack to the film of Pride and Prejudice with Kiera Knightly and Matthew Macfadyen. BTW the last time in was up in London and I passed a guy and he sang the first line to me. No, I have no idea why but it was kind of sweet and creepy at the same time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xa42cBhZomM

And this song was little known until it featured on Live Aid, when lots of people thought it was inappropriate, but in a strange way it wasn’t. This is their performance in 1985, one of those rare events that stopped the world in its tracks. The question here is ‘Who’s gonna drive you home?’

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rT5TLqtbkoU

 

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5 thoughts on “Songs With Questions

  1. It is an old technique of the bard who acts as if they are involved in the matter they are singing about and conveying that in real time to the listener.

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      • People can produce a song but it lacks life; the reason is lack of wisdom, the breath of creativity that gives a song its life. Songs can be created in the head rather than from the heart, but they lack depth and this is conveyed in a sense of disconnection with the listener.

        The approach is to make money rather than to create a work of living art.

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  2. I like all those songs a lot! You know what (well of course you do, you’re much techier than me) that you can make youtube vids come up in your text just by pasting the link in from the browser that the video’s playing in.

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