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Five More Parenthetical Songs (From The More Modern Age)

List Of The Day

The staggering amount of parenthetical songs really proves its importance in our culture. (We are a world of people who often go off topic.) Why songwriters insist on using them so often and put so much of the important information in an area clearly designated as the place to put an aside is something that future songographers will have to determine. I do not have the intelligence to discern the reasons behind these concepts. I am a simple person. I just write down what people tell me and hope they're not lying to me. So far this has worked out pretty good.

"Pride (In the Name of Love)"--U2: They had to add the "In the Name of Love" part to the title or else when kids went into the record store looking for the song they wouldn't be able to find it. I don't know anyone who knows this song as "Pride." Sure, at least Bono sings the word at one point, but c'mon, it's really obvious what the real title should have been. And could've been. Just think how big this group could've been if they'd had the right management!

"(Don't Go Back to) Rockville"--R.E.M. : The singer was known for mumbling, so the titles always seemed kind of beside the point. Perhaps not wanting to exclude themselves from the potentially lucrative Maryland tourism market, R.E.M. called their little tune "Rockville." Only those with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge would look closer to read the ominous warning that precedes this key destination.

"(Get a) Grip (On Yourself)"--The Stranglers: These guys were clever. They were already old by punk standards (over 20) and still managed to sneak in and pretend to be part of the scene. Part of the reason lies right here, where the band puts more words in parenthesis than not and for no apparent reason other than it was part of the style back then.  As they say in England, or at least the movies I've seen that have people from England in them, Good one, mates!

"(My Friends Are Gonna Be) Strangers"--Merle Haggard: The "Hag," as he is sometimes known, often spoke in riddles, the country Confucius, so to speak. And nowhere is that more deeply felt than this here song about how other people are not reliable and should not be counted on since they might know a little too much about you. Better to co-exist with people who don't ask questions, who simply accept that if you say "Poetry, What it Is" that that must be what it is. Deep.

"A Simple Desultory Philippic (Or How I Was Robert McNamara'd Into Submission)"--Simon & Garfunkel: Paul Simon spearheaded the "Egg-Head" rock movement and nowhere is that more apparent than here, where he uses words that most people never use and refers to someone who most people no longer remember. He rhymes a lot in this song and it's been suggested that it's a parody of songs like it. Which makes you wonder if those songs are noticeably worse. No wonder Garfunkel opened his own law office just across the street and started appearing in movies. He could see this music thing wasn't going anywhere.

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