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A Brief Proof That Unrelentingly Catchy Tunes Do Not Good Music Make

July 25, 2008
Roscoe, N.Y.

ABBA. QED.


Comments:

You should amend your blog entry title, as your counter example only shows that ALL unrelenting catchy tunes are not good music make.

Scott Mitchell, Fri, 25 Jul 2008 13:13:06 -0400 (EDT)

I must, respectfully, disagree.

— Christopher, Fri, 25 Jul 2008 13:20:41 -0400 (EDT)

Conductor, when you receive a fare,
Punch in the presence of the passenjare!
A blue trip slip for an eight-cent fare,
A buff trip slip for a six-cent fare,
A pink trip slip for a three-cent fare,
Punch in the presence of the passenjare!

CHORUS

Punch, brothers! punch with care!
Punch in the presence of the passenjare!

BobW, Fri, 25 Jul 2008 16:14:05 -0400 (EDT)

For anyone unfamiliar with this little poem, it was made famous by an 1876 short story by Mark Twain entitled "A Literary Nightmare" (also known as "Punch, Brothers, Punch"), which is an early description of what we now call an "earworm." Here's a Wikipedia entry about the short story:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Literary_Nightmare

These days I can't even look at movie listings without seeing a particular two words that re-trigger a dormant earworm that bops around in my head for hours until I flush it out with heavy doses of late Schoenberg. — Charles

Oh please tell me you didn't just dis on ABBA?!

Let's see: Yup, my Annotated Turing purchase from B&N was less than 30 days ago. That means I can return it and get back the full price I paid. Which, as a matter of interest, is just enough to buy six matinee tickets to Mama Mia.

Now, to find find friends who won't knock my a$$ out for suggesting we go see Mama Mia this afternoon. ;-)

On a (slightly) more serious note, just because ABBA came up with a acronymic formula for perfect recursion before you had a chance to write a book on the subject doesn't mean you have to be all pi$$y about it. ;-)

And just because I think "Code" is quite possibly one of the greatest works in modern literature, I present to you the full lyrics to Mama Mia. You know, because I care. :D

You're welcome!

And without further adieu:

I've been cheated by you since I don't know when
So I made up my mind, it must come to an end
Look at me now, will I ever learn?
I don't know how but I suddenly lose control
There's a fire within my soul
Just one look and I can hear a bell ring
One more look and I forget everything, o-o-o-oh
Mamma mia, here I go again
My my, how can I resist you?
Mamma mia, does it show again?
My my, just how much I've missed you
Yes, I've been brokenhearted
Blue since the day we parted
Why, why did I ever let you go?
Mamma mia, now I really know,
My my, I could never let you go.
I've been angry and sad about the things that you do
I can't count all the times that I've told you we're through
And when you go, when you slam the door
I think you know that you won't be away too long
You know that I'm not that strong.
Just one look and I can hear a bell ring
One more look and I forget everything, o-o-o-oh
Mamma mia, here I go again
My my, how can I resist you?
Mamma mia, does it show again?
My my, just how much I've missed you
Yes, I've been brokenhearted
Blue since the day we parted
Why, why did I ever let you go?
Mamma mia, even if I say
Bye bye, leave me now or never
mamma mia, it's a game we play
Bye bye doesn't mean forever
Mamma mia, here I go again
My my, how can I resist you?
Mamma mia, does it show again?
My my, just how much I've missed you
Yes, I've been brokenhearted
Blue since the day we parted
Why, why did I ever let you go
Mamma mia, now I really know
My my, I could never let you go

M. David Peterson, Fri, 25 Jul 2008 16:34:01 -0400 (EDT)

You didn't type that in from memory, did you? — Charles

I'm with you on this one. While I have different tastes in music from yourself, I see ABBA as proof that whereas for some musicians having their work turned into advertising jingles is a travesty, for others it's destiny.

The only thing to be said for their music is that it wasn't disco.

Kevin Daly, Fri, 25 Jul 2008 17:23:10 -0400 (EDT)

I'm no expert on these things, but "Dancing Queen" sure sounds like disco (albeit luke-warm disco) to me. — Charles

@Charles,

>> You didn't type that in from memory, did you? — Charles

Oh dear God, no. I'd have to kick my own a$$ if that were the case. ;-)

Keep writin' up a storm! While our tastes in music may differ, you're a constant source of inspiration. So thanks for that!

M. David Peterson, Fri, 25 Jul 2008 20:55:23 -0400 (EDT)

Hej, don't knock pop music hit machines. A certain wunderkind from Salzberg did it with light opera, after all.

The Winner Takes it All

I dont wanna talk
About the things weve gone through
Though its hurting me
Now its history
I've played all my cards
And thats what youve done too
Nothing more to say
No more ace to play
The winner takes it all
The loser standing small
Beside the victory
Thats her destiny
I was in your arms
Thinking I belonged there
I figured it made sense
Building me a fence
Building me a home
Thinking Id be strong there
But I was a fool
Playing by the rules
The gods may throw a dice
Their minds as cold as ice
And someone way down here
Loses someone dear
The winner takes it all
The loser has to fall
Its simple and its plain
Why should I complain.
But tell me does she kiss
Like I used to kiss you?
Does it feel the same
When she calls your name?
Somewhere deep inside
You must know I miss you
But what can I say
Rules must be obeyed
The judges will decide
The likes of me abide
Spectators of the show
Always staying low
The game is on again
A lover or a friend
A big thing or a small
The winner takes it all
I dont wanna talk
If it makes you feel sad
And I understand
Youve come to shake my hand
I apologize
If it makes you feel bad
Seeing me so tense
No self-confidence
But you see
The winner takes it all
The winner takes it all......

— BobW, Mon, 4 Aug 2008 15:16:24 -0400 (EDT)


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