Tuesday, August 2, 2011

When music is dated

Wow...only one post in the Empoprise-MU music blog for the entire month of July! I'll try to double that this month.

I don't know about you, but old songs go through my head all the time. So one day an old song was going through my head, and one of the lyrics stopped me cold:

She's the kind of a girl that makes the News of the World

The lyric, if you don't recognize it, comes from the song "Polytheme Pam," part of the song suite on side two of the Beatles' Abbey Road. Well, albums don't have sides any more, and we don't have a News of the World any more either.

When I first heard the song in the early 1970s, I had no idea what Lennon was talking about. Back in the early 1970s, the only way that you could really know about foreign newspapers would be to go to your local library and see if they had a copy. And as far as I know, the Shirlington Branch of the Arlington County Public Library never stocked that particular paper.

I'm not the only person who thinks of the passing of News of the World from a musical perspective. Reason.com incorporated a reference to Polythene Pam into its obituary. And the Bangkok Post went one step further:

Polythene Pam was reportedly a combination of a couple of dodgy people Lennon knew in Liverpool, and he knew quite a few. There's some debate whether the character in the song was a transsexual or just a Merseyside tart.

So which of your favorite songs refer to things that no longer exist?
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