Songs with a theme

I’ve always been fascinated by songs by different artists with the same theme. For example, there are two songs that I know of about assassinating a famous (unnamed) political figure. First, there’s Peter Gabriel’s “Family Snapshot”:

And then there’s “Seconds” by the Human League:

(There’s also a video with the Zapruder footage of Kennedy being shot. I hadn’t realized how gruesome the Zapruder footage is.) I like this song, but I never thought of social commentary as being the Human League’s strength.

Related to songs about shootings are songs that start off with the sound of a police alarm. I can think of two. The first is “Blockbuster” by Sweet. Here they are, lip-synching to the song on Christmas Day 1973 on Top Of The Pops:

Those stage costumes. The second is “Indiana Wants Me” by R. Dean Taylor:

Who can possibly resist a song that opens with a siren and ends in gunfire?

Perhaps you are tired of all this violence – I wouldn’t blame you if you were. So how about songs that contain double-entendres related to, um, the male reproductive organ? I can think of three.

One is Judge Dread’s “Big Six” (lyrics NSFW). When looking for YouTube links to this, I found another version at a different speed, and I’m not sure which is the 1972 original, so I’ll give you this one too (also NSFW):

I don’t like the lyrics that much (I get the joke, already), but that guitar is irresistible. This song was banned by the BBC, not surprisingly, and his followups, “Big Seven”, “Big Eight”, and so on, were also banned. The song sold well despite this, and Judge Dread was the first white artist to have a hit in Jamaica. (He took his name from a Prince Buster song.)

Next up is Chuck Berry’s “My Ding-A-Ling”, which I never liked all that much, but I doubt he cares much what I think.

I lasted 16 seconds before hitting Pause. This was Berry’s only #1 chart success, I believe, which is enough to drive a music lover to despair.

Finally, we have “Big Ten Inch Record” by Aerosmith, which is actually about a favourite vinyl recording, nudge nudge wink wink:

This turns out to be a faithful cover of a song by Bull Moose Jackson and His Buffalo Bearcats:

This isn’t one of my favourite songs either, but I like the idea of Bull Moose Jackson and His Buffalo Bearcats, so there’s that. He apparently had his greatest success during the late 1940s.


About davetill

I'm a writer and occasional web designer. I live in Toronto.
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