Tuesday, May 19, 2009

New Context, New Meaning

Lileks once wrote of attending a performance of the musical Annie: "That 'Hard-Knock Life' tune is very odd. (Wonder how many people in the audience wondered why they were playing a Jay-Z song.)"

Indeed. I remember the first time hearing a recording of Sinatra singing "Love and Marriage." It didn't compute. Why would Sinatra sing the theme song from "Married With Children"? There's no way he was a fan of that show . . .

Of course, I eventually realized that the Sinatra performance came first, but I still can't stand to hear him sing the song. Everything Sinatra touched he infused with class, but Al Bundy and Fox managed to wring all the class out of that one.

So our topic is clearly songs which once had an independent existence, but have been completely absorbed into and associated with some new context. Could be a movie that used the song ("Time Is on My Side" in Fallen?), a certain artist's signature performance (Whitney Houston's cover of "I Will Always Love You"), a parody ("Just Eat It"?).

What comes to your mind?

1 comment:

Pirate Jimmy said...

This isn't song-related, but I can't help but associate Mary Rambo (from The Invisible Man) with the Rambo movies. It's fun to imagine how much more interesting the book could've been if she were replaced by John Rambo.