Day 97: A song that you like, in part, because the title is so good.
“The Ballad Of Earl Grey And Chamomile” – dada
I had this song in mind for this post already back when I wrote about dada last time. But as the time grew nearer, I began to doubt my choice.My self-imposed criterion was to pick something that was a good song, but not a great song; a song where the title sort of pushed it over the threshold.
As I explained to Laura when she suggested “Paradise By The Dashboard Light”: That song would still be great if with was named “Aloysius.” (All right, I said “Bob” at the time, but Aloysius makes the point better, I think. Oh, no, wait! Eugene! That’s the one.)
So, the plan was to pick a song that I like, but where the name gave it added likability. I think “The Ballad Of Earl Grey And Chamomile” fits that bill.
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The song’s lyrics tell the story of a somewhat mismatched couple and how they hit it off (that means they had sex). They were different, but sort of the same. Like the two titular teas. But, can you look at that title and not want to know just a little bit more about the song? I say no. So that’s why it’s my choice.
It’s a perfectly good song with an intriguing name. There are a ton of other ones out there, and, like posts that have come before, I’m sure I’ll find a better one in about an hour and kick myself for not picking it.
But, it really was a game-time decision. And the game was delayed in order to have more time to make the decision. (It was killing me.) In the end, I figured I’d go with my gut, because otherwise it would be June and I’d still be stressing over it. But it gives me the opportunity to talk about some of the other songs I thought about briefly, as well. (And gave me some good fodder for future posts.)
So, without further ado, an abridged list of other candidates, in reverse alphabetical order just to be weird:
- “The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald“—Gordon Lightfoot. This unlikely hit tells the story of the final hours of the ill-fated freighter and her crew.
- “When The World Is Running Down You Make The Best Of What’s Still Around”—The Police. Sting is arguably the most literate of the pop/rock songwriter elite. And he’s got some great titles.
- “Um & Aargh”—Anthony Phillips. Yeah, I know. You have no idea who this guy is. I’ll explain it to you later (most likely). But it’s a cool name.
- “Scenes From An Italian Restaurant”—Billy Joel. I had to nix this one because I really do think it qualifies as a great song. But I like how the title gives some context to the various disparate parts of the song.
- “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark”—Fall Out Boy. This is the most recently-released song on the list. Good rocking song. And the title makes you want to find out how they get that to work in the lyric.
- “The Grand Parade Of Lifeless Packaging”—Genesis. It’s the last great invention left to mankind. Or so Peter Gabriel would have you believe. One of many great Genesis titles from the Gabriel era.
- “By-Tor & The Snow Dog”—Rush. I bought Fly By Night for the title track and the big-ass owl on the cover. But once purchased, I was immediately drawn to this song by the name alone.
- “Bohemian Rhapsody”—Queen. Yes, I used this already, but it really is a brilliant title, isn’t it?
As I mentioned, the list really could go on and on. And that’s why it was becoming just ridiculous. Eventually you have to draw a line in the sand, fish or cut bait, or any of myriad clichés. So that’s what I did.
By the way, my apologies to anyone named Aloysius or Eugene. Not because I might have offended you, but because you have an unfortunate name.