02 November 2007

English Department Playlist

I got my colleagues' attention at the start of our department meeting by playing "Trollope," by Dave's True Story (click here and scroll down for the lyrics). It made people laugh, and it worked.

So I'm thinking of songs to open other meetings. At the risk of ruining the fun for the colleague or two who reads this blog, I'm thinking of these songs to get the attention at the start of our next few meetings:
So what other songs would you suggest for an English department? (or any other department, I suppose--we could suggest songs for different professions/disciplines, I guess.)

16 comments:

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

Monty Python's Philosopher's song would be a good start, as would the Edie Brukel song that starts "philosophy is a walk on slippery rocks"... and later says "philosophy is the talk on a cereal box"...

Also, Ben Folds "Philosophy"

Genevieve said...

I've never heard it, so I don't know what it sounds like, but I believe the Decemberists have a song called "Song for Myla Goldberg".

Fiyero's song from Wicked that starts, "The trouble with school is they always teach the wrong lessons."

Dawn said...

I've always thought it would be fun to do a mix tape of songs inspired by literature!! How about Killing an Arab by The Cure and Cemetery Gates by The Smiths?

Bardiac said...

What about something by Tom Lehrer?

elswhere said...

"Wuthering Heights" by Kate Bush is the first one that comes to mind, though it might not be the right mood with which to start off a meeting.

Will think further on this...

elswhere said...

Oh, I know! Joni Mitchell's version of "Slouching Towards Bethlehem." Beloved of teachers and professors everywhere: "the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity." (she paraphrases a bit, but that line's still basically in there.)

elswhere said...

Oh-- you already had "Wuthering Heights." D'oh! I was so eager to suggest it I didn't read your post carefully. So much for that English major...

ppb said...

There's a CD, I can't remember it, called Songs Inspired by LIterature. I had it, once upon a time, I think.

I really love brush up your shakespeare, though.

Michael E. said...

There's this great song out there now called "Oxford Comma" by Vampire Weekend. Very catchy, and all about English. I completely recommend finding it and downloading a copy. It's pretty funny, too.

Vausey said...

I agree with Bardiac on Tom Leherer. I suggest "Oedipus Rex" for starters.

What Now? said...

Ooh, this is fun!

Here's the list that D and I came up with:

The Police, "Don't Stand So Close to Me," with its reference to "that book by Nabakov"

The Police, "Tea in the Sahara" about Paul Bowles

Peter Gabriel, "Mercy Street," for Anne Sexton (although it's not a very pointed reference)

U2, "Crumbs From Your Table," reference to Picture of Dorian Gray

The Waterboys, "The Stolen Child," another Yeats reference

Sting, "Moon Over Bourbon Street," a nod to the Anne Rice novels

Sting, "Sister Moon," includes the line "my mistress's eyes are nothing like the sun"

Sting seems especially useful here; I didn't know until D. told me that he'd been an English teacher.

What Now? said...

Oh, and two more from D. (who now has something to obsess about all evening!):

Dire Straits, "Romeo and Juliet" (covered by Indigo Girls as well)

Michael Penn, "No Myth" -- "What if I were Romeo in black jeans? What if I were Heathcliff? It's no myth. Maybe she's just looking for someone to dance with."

Genevieve said...

Wish I'd thought of the "Romeo and Juliet"! I like the Indigo Girls' version best.

Some great suggestions here that I'll have to look for.

There are some nice settings of Shakespeare sonnets and bits from the plays. There's also Neruda poems set to music and sung by Luciana Souza.

I found an online searchable list of songs inspired by literature:

http://www.siblproject.org/display/famous.php

Stacy said...

closer to fine by the indigo girls...
"I went to see the doctor of philosophy
with a poster of rasputin and a beard down to his knee
he never did marry, or see a b-grade movie
he graded my performance; he said he could see through me
I spent four years prostrate to the higher mind
got my paper and I was free"

deb said...

Indigo Girls have a song about Virginia Woolf

liz said...

Tom Lehrer's LY and Silent E.