Music Monday: Songs You Can't Believe Exist

by Scott Lydon


Happy Music Monday! Everybody's had that moment when they hear a strange lyric and say "Did I REALLY hear that right?" Well, today Scott's sorted out five of his very favorite "How did that actually get on the freakin' radio?" songs to share with you, and after the jump, he'll be expecting you to share with him! If you don't already get the idea, here's an example:

Live - Lightning Crashes

 

"The placenta falls to the floor." Let's just say that again, in case you didn't catch it: "The placenta falls to the floor." That having been said, you've gotta give it to Live. Lots of songs cover the heart, a few songs might mention the brain, maybe one or two touch on the stomach and lungs, but nobody else in rock history has EVER talked about placentas. Point to you, Ed Kowalczyk. Bet that song goes over real well with the folks on next fall's The Mark McGrath & Friends Cruise.

Four more, plus last week's Spotify playlist, comin' up inside.

Remember our new Spotify playlist is, even now, featuring a great selection from last week's Music Monday comments. The theme of the mix this time is Romeo/Love Songs and it'll set your heart all a-flutter. But before you start reminiscing...

Mr. Mister - Kyrie

 

Now, there's nothing really wrong with this sweeping mid-'80s ballad if you take it at face value. But the "Kyrie eleison" of the chorus is actually Greek, and part of the Christian mass. How many other times have Greek prayers reached the top of the charts?

Enigma - Sadeness

 

But Latin? Sure! The world of monastic chant got a huge boost when production team Enigma decided to take dance-pop in a new direction. Naturally, the video and song were banned here and there (Dancing monks? Blasphemy!) but Enigma kept on going, even turning to Tawainese chants to spice up later releases. We're not sure how they convinced executives to take a chance on their weird hybrid of new and old, but it surely paid off big.

Terry Jacks - Seasons In The Sun

 

Closely tied with Billy Don't Be A Hero, this hit's from a weird period of rock history that balanced "Always be radio friendly!" with "Always have a serious message!" Sadly, this story of a pre-death farewell isn't really anything but whiny and dispassionate. And as proof, I give you the original.

Richard Harris - MacArthur Park.

 

Seven minutes long. Recorded by a guy who wasn't known for being a rock star. Includes a metaphor about pressing pants that has to be mispronounced in order to make it fit. Actually has the singer mispronounce the song's title in the song itself. Tries to create drama about that thrice-damnned cake. So bad that the people who recorded Windy turned this song down. That's the juggernaut of wretched that is MacArthur Park, a song that could have been improved by literally picking random words out of a hat. The only good thing to come from this song is the SCTV parody. And I'll never ever know how MacArthur Park got any radio play at all … twice.

Now it's your turn to let us know what famous radio-friendly songs YOU can't understand. Go on, nothing's sacred. Take 'em all down a peg! Then feel free to visit our Turntable.fm room for the regular Music Monday enjoyment. Also, let us just remind you: some images come from the corresponding Wikipedia page and are here under fair use.