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Songs with common themes spanning the decades

Discussion in 'General Discussion Forum' started by ssar, Sep 5, 2008.

  1. ssar

    ssar Well-Known Member

    +220 /4
    (Idea from another forum)

    The OP (in another forum) quote:

    "I believe that music and in particular the lyrics encapsulate the mood and thoughts of the time in a very powerful way.
    So listening the other day to my usual diverse range it occurred to me that it would be fun to examine issues through the lyrics.
    Only one rule, songs must be a minimum 20 years apart."

    Personally I'm not sure about closely examining issues in music spanning decades, but it's basically an interesting concept, so..

    Lets post 2 songs together, separated by release/written dates of 20 years minimum, that have a common theme.
    Please include a youtube link if there is one.
  2. ssar

    ssar Well-Known Member

    +220 /4
    Here's a few that came to mind for me..

    Older - Originally titled: ""Mbube" (Zulu for "lion") was first recorded by its writer, Solomon Linda, and his group, The Evening Birds, in 1939" became popular after The Tokens' 1961 cover version which soon rose to number one on the Billboard Hot 100.. I like this version:

    The Lion Sleeps Tonight

    Lyrics: [translation of Zulu]

    Lala kahle [Sleep well]

    In the jungle, the mighty jungle
    The lion sleeps tonight
    In the jungle, the mighty jungle
    The lion sleeps tonight


    Ingonyama ifile [The lion's in peace]
    Ingonyama ilele [The lion sleeps]
    Thula [Hush]

    Near the village, the peaceful village
    The lion sleeps tonight
    Near the village, the peaceful village
    The lion sleeps tonight


    Ingonyama ilele [The lion sleeps]

    Hush, my darling, don't fear, my darling
    The lion sleeps tonight
    Hush, my darling, don't fear, my darling
    The lion sleeps tonight

    He, ha helelemama
    Ohi'mbube [lion]


    Ixesha lifikile [Time has come]
    Lala [Sleep]
    Lala kahle [Sleep well]

    Near the village, the peaceful village
    The lion sleeps tonight
    Near the village, the peaceful village
    The lion sleeps tonight


    My little darling
    Don't fear, my little darling
    My little darling
    Don't fear, my little darling

    Ingonyama ilele [The lion sleeps]

    "Pete Seeger explains in one recording, "it refers to an old legend down there (South Africa), [about] their last king, who was known as Chaka The Lion. Legend says, Chaka The Lion didn't die when Europeans took over our country; he simply went to sleep, and he'll wake up some day.""

    So it's kinda about an invading country taking over another using force.
    Which is heavily related to war, and a more modern song with significant war-related themes is:

    Newer - Written by James Hetfield, Cliff Burton & Lars Ulrich in 1984, this Metallica song is one of thier timeless & most popular songs from thie early days of the band..

    (Not Safe For Work)
    For Whom The Bell Tolls (Live)

    This version does it justice and shows how awesome it was live when Metallica were in thier prime.

    Make his fight on the hill in the early day
    Constant chill deep inside
    Shouting gun, on they run through the endless grey
    On the fight, for they are right, yes, by whos to say?
    For a hill men would kill, why? they do not know
    Suffered wounds test there their pride
    Men of five, still alive through the raging glow
    Gone insane from the pain that they surely know
    For whom the bell tolls
    Time marches on
    For whom the bell tolls

    Take a look to the sky just before you die
    It is the last time you will
    Blackened roar massive roar fills the crumbling sky
    Shattered goal fills his soul with a ruthless cry
    Stranger now, are his eyes, to this mystery
    He hears the silence so loud
    Crack of dawn, all is gone except the will to be
    Now they will see what will be, blinded eyes to see

    Obviously based on the Ernest Hemmingway novel For Whom the Bell Tolls it is basically about 5 soldiers left to defend a hill and are killed in an airstrike, however it holds much deeper and more complex meaning for many fans, including the insanity of war itself in general.


    Older - A single by punk rock band the Buzzcocks, this song first appeared on the album "Singles Going Steady" realeased in 1977 and is one of thier all time hits, playing a big part in the bands' popularity extending beyond thier home country:

    (Not Safe For Work)
    Orgasm Addict



    well you tried it out for once,
    found it alright for kicks.
    but then you found out
    it's a habit that sticks
    you're an orgams addict
    you're an orgams addict
    sneakin' in the back door
    with dirty magazines
    and your mother wants to know
    "what are those stains on your jeans?"
    you're an orgams addict
    you're an orgams addict
    you get in a heat,
    you get in a sulk
    but you still keep beatin'
    your meat to pulp
    you're an orgams addict
    you're an orgams addict
    you're a kid cassanova
    you're a no-joseph
    it's a labor of love
    ****ing yourself to death
    you're an orgams addict
    you're an orgams addict
    you're makin' out with school kids,
    winos and heads of state
    you've even made it with the lady
    who puts the little plastic robbins
    on the christmas cakes
    butcher's assistants and belhops
    you've had 'em all here and there
    children of god and their joystrings
    international women with no body hair
    so you're asking in an alley
    and you're voice ain't steady
    the sex mechanic's rough
    you're more than ready
    you're an orgams addict
    you're an orgams addict
    johnnie want ****ie
    all ways and always
    he's got the energy
    he will amaze
    he's an orgasm addict,
    he's an orgasm addict.
    he's always at it
    he's an orgasm addict

    The theme is obvious.

    Newer - From their second studio album "Life Is Peachy" Korn's single from March 1997 is named after an acronym for "All Day I Dream About Sports" (as well as one of the world's biggest makers of footwear) - altered to: "All Day I Dream About Sex", this song remains one of Korn's most recognizable of their whole career, probably because of the minor-key seven-string guitar riff that the band was making prominent in the genre at the time, and the simple lyrics:

    (Not Safe For Work)


    Honestly, somehow it always seems that I'm dreaming of
    something I can never be
    It dosen't bother me, 'cause I will always be that pimp I see
    in all of my fantasies

    I don't know your ****ing name.
    So what? Let's. . .

    Screwin' may be the only way that I can truly be free
    from my ****ed up reality
    so I dream and stroke it harder, 'cause its so fun to see my
    face staring back at me

    I don't know your ****ing name.
    So what? Let's ****.

    All Day I Dream About Sex
    All Day I Dream About ****in'


    Pretty close to 20 years of separation that one!
    Two Fantastic songs.


    Older - The last song on Clash's 2nd album "Give 'Em Enough Rope" from 1978 pays homage to David Bowie's "All The Young Dudes" (written in 1972) but earned big popularity in it's own right as they kinda made it thier own:

    All The Young Punks (New Boots and Contracts)


    Hanging about
    Down the market street
    I spent a lot of time on my feet
    When i saw some passing yabbos
    We did chance to speak

    I knew how to sing
    Y' know an
    They knew how to pose
    An' one of them had a les paul
    Heart attack machine

    All the young punks
    Laugh your life
    Cos there ain't much to cry for
    All the young ****s
    Live it now
    Cos there ain't much to die for

    Everybody wants to bum
    A ride on the rock 'n' roller coaster
    And we went out
    Got our name in small print on the poster
    Of course we got a manager
    Though he ain't the mafia
    A contract is a contract
    When they get 'em out on yer

    You gotta drag yourself to work
    Drug yourself to sleep
    You're dead from the neck up
    By the middle of the week

    Face front you got the future shining
    Like a piece of gold
    But i swear as we get closer
    It look more like a lump of coal
    But it's better than some factory
    Now that's no place to waste your youth
    I worked there for a week once
    I luckily got the boot

    Refers in a big way to many youth of their country at the time.
    A more modern good song also referring to youth, albeit with some much more direct and violent themes is:

    Newer - A hit single from P.O.D. in 2002 from their album "Satellite", inspired in part by the school shootings at Santana High School and Columbine High School - stemming from a trip where they were held up in traffic en route to recording "Satellite" and discovered that the reason was a school shooting. The album was consequently delayed and they were inspired to write this song which follows three distinct characters in assorted problems they face common to American youth:

    Youth Of The Nation


    Last day of the rest of my life
    I wish I would have known cause I'd have kissed my momma goodbye.
    I didn't tell her that I loved her or how much cared or thank my
    Pops for all the talks and all the wisdom he shared.
    Unaware I just did what I always do.
    Everyday the same routine before I skate off to school
    But who knew that this day wasn't like the rest,
    Instead of takin the test I took two to the chest.

    Call me blind but I didn't see it comin and
    Everybody was runnin but I couldn't
    Hear nothin, except gun blast, it happened so fast
    I didn't really know this kid though I sat by him in class.
    Maybe this kid was reachin' out for love or
    Maybe for a moment he forgot who he was or
    Maybe this kid just wanted to be hugged,
    Whatever it was I know it's because

    We are, We are(We are) the youth of the nation (repeat)x4

    Little Suzie she was only twelve
    She was given the world with every chance to excel
    Hang with the boys and hear the stories they tell
    She might act kinda proud but no respect for herself

    She finds love in all the wrong places
    The same situations but just different faces.
    Changed up her pace since her daddy left her
    Too bad he never told her she deserved much better.

    Johnny boy always played the fool,
    He broke all the rules so you would think he was cool.
    He was never really one of the guys
    No matter how hard he tried,
    Often thought of suicide
    It's kinda hard when you ain't got no friends,
    He put his life to an end they might remember him then.
    You cross a line and there is no turnin back
    He told the world how he felt with the sound of a gat.

    CHORUS x4

    Who's to blame for the life that tragedies claim?
    No matter what you say it won't take away the pain
    That I feel inside, I'm tired of all the lies
    Don't nobody know why
    It's the blind leadin' the blind.
    Guess that's the way that the story goes,
    Will it ever make sense somebody's gotta know,
    There's gotta be more to life than this,
    There's got to be more to everything
    I thought exists

    We are, We are the youth of the nation(x2)
    We are, We are, We are the youth of the nation(x6)
    We are the youth of the nation(x3)
    The youth of the nation(x3)
  3. Dan

    Dan Kim Jong Dan Staff Member Administrator 2016 Tipping Competitor 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +7,750 /120
    seems to me it's kind of an odd theory since of course songs "themes" are going to repeat themselves, like novels, news articles and so many more.

    There is a set of rule that go with the creation of music that means there is not an infinite amount of combinations.

    On top of that you need to think about musical influences, with a 20 year span usually being the correct for many repeated things.

    But anyway if Singer y is influenced by singer x, not only will you get a taste of singer x in singer y's music but you will often get similar themes. Further more, base themes for songs are always going to be things like Love, life, religion and death.

    Only so many ways to skin a cat
  4. Fro

    Fro Well-Known Member

    +302 /0
    You lost me at hello
  5. Chip and Chase

    Chip and Chase True Supporter Staff Member Administrator Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +8,610 /80
    This gets my vote for worst thread ever.
  6. eagle_predator

    eagle_predator Active Member

    +0 /0
    I'm not a big fan of rewrites although there's been some that haven't been half bad over the years. Nor do i like bands that just do covers.
  7. fLIP

    fLIP UFO Hunter

    +1,324 /37
    METALLICA!!! Their new album is out tomorrow. I've got the 3 singles that have been released so far and let me tell you that this is going to be one hell of an album.

    After being disapointed with St Anger, mainly because of the recording techniques this is just harping back nearly 20 years but it still has a new kind of feel to it.

    Other than that... wtf are you talking about ssar?

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