OK, so I thought I was going to deal with some songs about death, in the old, grand tradition of American folk songs. Trouble is, this is far better a beginning rather than as a sole source of inspiration. Death is as much a good subject matter for song as love, or money, or any other human experience. Whether it is our own death, the deaths of love one's mourned, or the death of former loved ones through murder (a staple of both white and black folk music traditions in this country), death is just there.
My sister was wonderful enough to send along this Louis Armstrong number, with which I want to begin:
The next one is a wonderful example of the subject matter being used in rock. I don't know if it's a cult classic, a rock novelty song, or how you want to describe it. It's Blue Oyster Cult's "Don't Fear the Reaper":
I've had a jazz tune, a rock tune, and now a blues tune. The blues were and are full of songs about people done wrong taking the law in to their own hands. Limited as the audience for blues was (different segments of both urban and rural black communities as well as working-class Britain), it was quite a shock when Jimi Hendrix released as his very first single the traditional blues "Hey, Joe" about a man who kills his woman for cheating on him. It also showed that he was too much for this world, really. God bless him.
I haven't really thought of a "topic" for next week, so I'll just ask for songs you like that aren't really meaningful. I want suggestions for songs that you like because they're just fun. They don't even have to be very good.