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Friday random ten: Oh, so THAT’s the name of that song

When I did that Name That Tune list a bit ago, one of the answers was clearly on the right track but had the wrong name for the song. I’m talking about Pink Floyd’s “Brain Damage”, which you might well think (I know I did at first) is called “Dark Side Of The Moon” or something like that. Rock music is full of songs whose titles are never mentioned in the lyrics, and if you don’t own the album or happen to catch a DJ back-announcing it, you may go years without ever knowing what it’s called. Here are ten such examples from my collection:

1. Brain Damage – Pink Floyd
2. Sliver – Asylum Street Spankers (orig. Nirvana)
3. Eruption – Van Halen
4. Black Dog – Led Zeppelin
5. Baba O’Riley – The Who
6. Funeral For A Friend – Elton John
7. Basket Case – Green Day
8. Drive – The Veils (orig. REM)
9. Life During Wartime – Talking Heads
10. Foreplay – Boston

Nearly every Nirvana song has a non sequitur title; I’ve listed “Lithium” a bunch of times, so here’s a different tune. “Eruption” and “Foreplay” are instrumentals that basically serve (on the radio, anyway) as lead ins to the next tune on their albums, “You Really Got Me” and “Long Time”, respectively. I once called into KLOL back in the day to ask about “Eruption” – they were doing one of those holiday weekend play-all-our-songs-in-alphabetical-order things, and I couldn’t figure out how “You Really Got Me” could possibly fit in where they were. Wendy Miller set me straight, and played the clip of our Q&A to help out whatever other clueless listeners there were. Some of these other songs are probably better known by their refrains – “Teenage Wasteland” from “Baba O’Riley”, “Love lies bleeding in my hand” from “Funeral For A Friend”, and “This ain’t no party/This ain’t no disco/This ain’t no foolin’ around” from “Life During Wartime”. What’s your favorite example of a song whose name isn’t what you might think it is?

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One Comment

  1. Greg Wythe says:

    Does Ynwgie Malmsteen’s “Icarus’ Dream Suite Opus 4” count? Its basically a re-arrangement (or, to be more precise, a direct ripoff) of Albinoni’s “Adagio in G”.