Tag Archives | Can’t Stop the Muzak

Macro Rap

The best rap song ever written about the dispute between Hayekian and Keynesian explanations of the business cycle! (Though presumably also the worst rap song ever written about the dispute between Hayekian and Keynesian explanations of the business cycle.)

(CHT Elizabeth Brake.)


The Lost Chord

There’s an incredibly familiar musical piece at 1:22 of this trailer that I’m blanking on identifying. Please remind me what it is!


Blizzard Blues

In her song “Put the Blame on Mame” from Gilda, Rita Hayworth (actually lip-synching to Anita Ellis) mentions the Chicago fire of 1871, the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, and even the “Dan McGrew shooting” of 1907. (The following two clips feature different parts of the song.)

But what about that Manhattan blizzard of 1886? A number of online sources have “corrected” the song, pointing out that the great Manhattan blizzard was actually in 1888.

Well, yes, the great blizzard of Manhattan, New York, was in 1888; but the great blizzard of Manhattan, Kansas was indeed in 1886, and so songwriters Allan Roberts and Doris Fisher are vindicated. (I don’t know how much traffic there was to get “tied up” in the Little Apple in 1886, but we can pass gently over that point.)

Most later versions of the song are inferior imitations of the version from Gilda (or, if they depart from the Gilda version, they tend to be even worse); but here’s a version, by the Canadian band Po’ Girl , that’s completely original and excellent:

That’s pretty much all I had to say, but here are some more clips of Rita Hayworth lip-synching – another from Gilda (voice: Ellis again), two from Affair in Trinidad (voice: Jo Ann Greer – and Glenn Ford is back glowering in the audience again), and one from Miss Sadie Thompson (voice: Greer again).

That last performance of “The Heat Is On” has been both condemned and praised as a “filthy dance scene” and “one of the most blazingly erotic dance segments to be put on the screen” respectively, though both claims, I’m sorry to report, seem rather exaggerated.

And finally, here are some more performances from Po’ Girl:


Mumbo Mambo

Check out this musical number from the first Aladdin movie (1992):

And this one from the second Aladdin movie (1994):

Finally, check out this musical number from the Teen Titans episode “Bunny Raven” (2005):

I’m just sayin’.


The Pear Tree Code

The following letter appeared in the December 29th Opelika-Auburn News:

To the Editor:

I’m sorry to see Mary Belk’s column repeating the long-refuted myth that the song “Twelve Days of Christmas” originated as a coded way of imparting Catholic doctrine in Protestant England when Catholics were persecuted.

Mona Lisa XII A quick internet search will bring up multiple websites debunking this spurious legend; just Google “Twelve Days of Christmas” together with “Catholic.”

In any case, the story doesn’t make sense even on its own terms, because the supposed secret meanings of the verses don’t contain any specifically Catholic content!

They’re generically Christian. Don’t both Catholics and Protestants accept the six days of creation, the ten commandments, etc.?

So why would Catholics need to hide in coded verse a set of meanings that were as acceptable to Protestants as to Catholics?

Roderick T. Long
Associate Professor of Philosophy
Auburn University

See also here and here.


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