Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Evil songs

A comment in AVI's repost got me wondering about evil songs.

I don't mean songs that have been used for evil purposes, or which have evil connotations now. Dixie's lyrics aren't exactly wicked. Nor, curiously enough, are Deutschlandlied's.

And I think for the moment I'll classify those that go out of their way to praise evil as "explicitly evil." I'd lump the "I'm so bad" rap songs in here too.

I'm wondering now about the "seductively evil;" songs that seem innocent but aren't.

"Imagine" is pretty obviously a wicked song, cloaked in apparent kindness. Another that jumps to mind is "Gentle on my Mind:" abandoning the lady and expecting her to wait for you is made to seem so natural. "Different drum" has always seemed to corrode the possibility of any relationships--not just romantic.

My impression is that there are a lot of songs designed to aid in seduction; playing up the urgency of the moment and playing down conscience. And I hear of (but don't make a habit of listening to) a number of nihilist songs, many of which seem to be not-so-seductive cries of pain.

I'm not sure searching out and ranking "seductively evil" songs would be good for the soul. But maybe recognizing them is a good way to resist them. What you immerse yourself in effects you.


Assistant Village Idiot said...

Agree on Gentle On My Mind. It's cheery, lovey sound, complimenting the woman for allowing herself to be used makes it worse than something like "Triad."

Pete Seeger was my hero from 13-20, but I find a lot of his stuff pretty evil at this point. Some of that is context, hurrying back from a tour of the Soviet Union, where he later admitted he asked no difficult questions, in order to sing "Waist Deep In The Big Muddy" on the Smothers Brothers show. It was regarded at the time as very brave of all of them to ignore a blacklist that seems to have been badly exaggerated.

Yes, so brave.

Donna B. said...

"We Can Work It Out" is the flip side of "Different Drum". Agree with me or no relationship and it will be your fault.

I went to youtube to find Seeger on the Smothers Brothers. Not surprisingly, next up was "This Land Is Your Land". On the next up list there I spotted the Armed Forces medley from a National Memorial Day Concert... which led to the top 10 stadium flyovers... and I spent a good hour watching C-5s and other very large and heavy aircraft take off and fly low. Pete would have been disappointed in me.

Korora said...

"Imagine" makes me want to go back in time and hit John Lennon over the head with Brave New World.

"Owner of a lonely heart/Much better than the owner of a broken heart", by Yes. Tungsten-Tritium-Fluorine? "The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.” -- C. S. Lewis

And that's not even going into gangsta rap.