“Here Come the Bastards” by Primus (1991). An anthem for our times, that came out over thirty years ago. I think it was an anthem back then, too.
Here’s a YouTube video. 12.5 minutes. SnappyDragon is a person who sews, and is into historical fashion. I don’t watch all of her content, but she is always entertaining when I do tune in. Here she’s talking about the prevalence of corset lacing torture scenes in period dramas. I enjoy her take on this cultural phenomenon. Maybe you will too!
“Been Caught Stealing” by Jane’s Addiction. A song that came out in 1990. Far and away the band’s biggest commercial hit, spent four weeks at no. 1 on the Modern Rock charts. The entire song blatantly glorifies shoplifting. (See Culture 12 for a sample of the lyrics.) Why did we not hear about this song? Why weren’t they preaching up and down the halls about it? The shitheads completely flip their lids about “Suicide Solution” back in the Eighties, but a far, far more subversive song comes out, and everybody’s like, “Enh, whatever.” I’ve never understood this. But it’s a great song from one of my favorite bands, and I love it. And the video is excellent.
MacArthur’s Park is melting in the dark
All the sweet green icing flowing down
Someone left the cake out in the rain
I don’t think that I can take it
‘Cause it took so long to bake it
And I’ll never have that recipe again
— Richard Harris, “MacArthur Park” (1968)
“Volcano” by The Presidents of the United States of America (1996). I love the word play in this song. And in many other POTUSA songs as well. Almost always puts me in a good mood. Ironic, really, since the song is about hellish death. I mean, it’s not really about hellish death, but hellish death is definitely part of the subject matter.
“Mandolin Rain” by Bruce Hornsby and the Range. This is a sad song. It’s about lost love. There’s a line.
You don’t know what you’ve got
Till you lose it all again.
I defy this line. I know exactly what I’ve got right now, I understand in detail the blessings of my life. I make it a point to keep it somewhat in mind. I try to take nothing for granted.
Pretty song, though.
You can cast your doubts
Turn them inside out
Hang them upside down
Till their art falls out
The Tragically Hip, “The Dark Canuck” (2002)
We are gathered here today To get through this thing called “life”
Electric word, life, It means forever and that’s a mighty long time
But I’m here to tell you
There’s something else
A world of never-ending happiness
You can always see the sun, day or night
So when you call up that shrink in Beverly Hills
You know the one, Dr. Everything’ll-Be-Alright
Instead of asking him how much of your time is left
Ask him how much of your mind, babe
‘Cause in this life
Things are much harder than in the Afterworld
In this life
You’re on your own
And if the elevator tries to bring you down
Punch a higher floor!
— Prince and the Revolution, “Let’s Go Crazy” (1984). To my mind, 1984 is really the year the 1980s became the Eighties. There was movement in that direction from the start, of course, but 1984 is when it fully arrived. When it jelled, perhaps.
Martyrs don’t do much for me
Though I enjoy them vicariously
After you, no, after me
No, I insist, please, after me
— The Tragically Hip, “Twist My Arm” (1991)
You make me wanna staple bagels to my face
Then remove ’em with a pitchfork
— “Weird Al” Yankovic, “You Make Me” (1988)