What is that song again? – an encore post

“You’ve gotta lot of nerve” sings Bob Dylan over and over again in one of the greatest put down songs ever written. But, that is not the name of the song, it is “Positively 4th Street.” Simon and Garfunkel sang of “feelin’ groovy,” but the name of the song is not that repetitive lyric, it is “The 59th Street Bridge Song.”

And, one of my favorite songs written by Kenny Loggins speaks to “Even though we ain’t got money, I’m so in love with you honey” in its chorus. But, the name of the song is “Danny’s Song.” It was written for his brother and covered well by Anne Murray, although I prefer the Loggins and Messina version.

Other song favorites where the title cannot be found in the lyrics include:

– “A Day in the Life” by The Beatles

– “After the Gold Rush” by Neil Young

– “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen

– “Baba O’Riley” by The Who

– “Annie’s Song” by John Denver

– “Immigrant Song” by Led Zeppelin

The list is actually not a short one. Yet, it does complicate things when the chorus or a clever song verse is how the song is remembered, not the title. Fortunately, Google understands this and will get you to the right place. If you Google “You fill up my senses,” you can find Denver’s “Annie Song.” If you Google “I read the news today,” you would be steered to “A Day in the Life.”

The one exception to my list might be “Bohemian Rhapsody,” even before the movie, given the memorable title. This may be due in part to the cult like status of the song or its length. Yet, you could find it with searching on several of its bizarre lyrics.

If you Google “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot, you can find Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi.” Now, technically Mitchell’s song does not belong on the list, as taxi does appear in the final stanza. Yet, I include it as throughout the song are environmental references. It is actually disappointing those references are metaphors for missing her “old man” after the big yellow taxi takes him away.

What are some of your favorites where the title cannot be found in the song? Feel free to take the same license as I did with Joni Mitchell’s song.


34 thoughts on “What is that song again? – an encore post

  1. I know I’m SEVERELY dating myself, but one of my favorite and long-lasting-in-my-memory songs was by the Platters … “Only You.” Also loved Doris Day’s “What Will Be Will Be.” And from the late 70’s — “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor.

    But really … there are SO MANY good songs “way back when.” **sigh**

    • Nan, we love us some Platters, especially listening as day turns to dusk. They have so many great songs. Even their lesser hits like “Harbor Lights,” eg are still good. Gloria Gaynor recorded an anthem for us all in “I will survive.” The Doris Day song was featured in “The man who knew too much,” so I grew a little tired of it by movie end since she sang it several times. Keith

  2. Note to Readers: I love the story of how George Martin helped The Beatles blend two songs into “A Day in the Life.” He used a musical concept called “organized chaos” in the middle and end. The finale chord was done by nine pianos played at once, with the reverberation lasting about 40 seconds.

  3. Note to Readers: I was thinking I left off a classic Righteous Brothers’ song where the title does not appear therein – “Unchained Melody.” The song has been covered by many great artists, including Elvis, but my favorite version is by Ann Wilson of Heart.

  4. I always find it frustrating when the title does not appear in the song. To my mind, it should be there or there is something incomplete. As for Unchained Melody, my favourite version is the Elvis one. Happy New Year, Keith!

    • Yvette, true. I do like the Elvis one as well. With all of his theatrics, people tend to overlook the man could really sing. It showed more on his later popular song renditions. Thanks, Keith

  5. All I can say is, “thank goodness for Google.” It certainly cuts down the investigation time. My husband and I were recently talking about The Immigrant Song and the title. He was more into Zeppelin and knew the answer; I had to do the homework.

  6. Oh gosh, this is going to drive me nuts trying to think of this one particular song whose name I can never remember for this precise reason. It’s classic rock, maybe Beatles… woman’s name… Mrs. O’Reilly or something?? Help me out, Keith! I don’t want to cheat and use google. Surely between the two of us we’ll get it.

      • Betsy, they do, but there are no rules here. It is a great song as it tells a story of lonely people – Rigby and Father MacKenzie. Back in my home town, there was a trumpeter who owned a nightclub we used to go to. He had a truly amazing version of “Eleanor Rigby.” He was actually destined to a more widely known career until his drug problem weighed him down. Keith

  7. Even when the title does appear in the lyrics, I typically only recall a single phrase or portion of a lyric, sometimes only 3-4 words! Google has never let me down yet! Off the top of my head, I cannot think of any additional examples, but next time it happens, I’ll let you know! Meanwhile, you’ve given me some good song ideas for next week! Thanks!

      • Agreed! I often think of a song, but by the time I get back to the computer or my phone, I’ve already forgotten it. I think I’m getting old and forgetful! 😱

      • Good ideas both. We often try to remember it before googling, but the memory is not what it used to be. We do this with movies, TV shows and actors all the time. For the Dylan song I mention, you may have a better success googling if you typed in “you’ve gotta a lot of nerve” than some form of the title. Keith

      • Good idea!!! I do love that I can just type a few words of the lyrics into Google and it almost always gives me the right song! Whatever did we do before Google?

  8. Note to Readers: I picked up a couple of more songs out of an article on this subject. “Space Oddity” by David Bowie is all about Major Tom in space, but the title does not appear. Coldplay also did “Viva la vida” which the lyrics are sans title.

  9. Pingback: ♫ A Day In The Life ♫ (Redux) | Filosofa's Word

  10. Intriguing subject Keith
    I’m going with the little known these days ‘Requiem for The Masses’ by The Association. A powerful lament for the soldiers dying in Vietnam, woven in with images of bullfighters and parts of the Latin Mass. It only made a ‘B’ side in the UK, but it was broadcast on a Smothers Brothers show and was out as a single, I think with ‘Cherish’ in the US.

    • Roger, thanks. I am unfamiliar with this one, at least by title, so I need to check it out. My wife and I saw a reunion tour of The Association late in their career. The harmonies were still good. Keith

      • Very accomplished musicians and vocalists.
        And they had humour too.
        During one of Larry Ramos’ tenures. He stepped up to the microphone to introduce a song written by another band member. The late Brian Cole sternly rebuked him he had got the name wrong and said they had told him about that, and you think ‘Hmm, a bit harsh’. Ramos made a second attempt and got the name wrong again and Cole told him off a second time.
        With expert timing and playing on his Filipino (and mixed race descent) he said:
        ‘Gee sorry, but you guys all look the same to me,’. Band and audience descend into laughter and Terry Kirkman punches the air.
        I saw that clip on You Tube a few years ago, but have never found it again ‘ Requiem for the Masses’ is there though.

      • Good story. Of course, you reminded me of the drunk lead singer mispronouncing “In the garden of Eden” so badly, the song became ” In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” a huge, and quite long hit, by Iron Butterfly. Keith

  11. They fixed it now, but Bing had for some time the name of a by way in the gritty, industrial part of Minneapolis “Positively 4th St” – it’s real name being just “4th St”.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.