BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY and UNCHAINED MELODY
are of course both classic songs but they share one other characteristic…
in neither case do their copyrighted titles appear anywhere in the actual
lyrics of the songs.
There are countless other examples but the following is an alphabetical list
of just a few other memorable songs in which the titles are not included in the lyrics…
(I’ve included some random lyric extracts to remind you of the words that that are sung)
AFTER THE GOLDRUSH
A chart record by British folk trio Prelude of the song first recorded
by Neil Young on his third solo album in 1970.
by John Denver
(RCA Victor: 1974)
‘You fill up my senses like a night in a forest’
(Eric Clapton/George Harrison)
‘I’m thinkin’ ‘bout the times you drove in my car’
THE BALLAD OF JOHN AND YOKO
(John Lennon/Paul McCartney)
by The Beatles
‘The way things are going/They’re gonna crucify me’
THE BATTLE OF NEW ORLEANS
(Trad. Arr: Jimmie Driftwood)
by Johnny Horton
‘In 1814, we took a little trip/Along with Colonel Jackson down the mighty Mississip”.
With a few alterations to the lyric, the song was also a major UK success
that same year for Lonnie Donegan & His Skiffle Group.
(Nellee Hooper/Bjork/Marius DeVries)
‘Let’s get unconscious honey’
(Bernard Sumner/Peter Hook/Gillian Gilbert/Stephen Morris)
by New Order
‘Tell me now, how should I feel?’
“Mama, just killed a man/Put a gun against his head’
CANADIAN RAILROAD TRILOGY
by Gordon Lightfoot
(United Artists: 1967)
(John Phillips/Michelle Phillips)
by The Mamas & The Papas
John & Michelle’s autobiographical song about The Mamas & The Papas.
A DAY IN THE LIFE
(John Lennon/Paul McCartney)
by The Beatles
The song that contains the line
‘I read the news today, oh boy’
(Jimmy Page/Robert Plant/John Paul Jones/John Bonham)
by Led Zeppelin
(Clarence Paul/Hank Cosby)
by Little Stevie Wonder
‘Clap your hands just a little bit louder’
HOT BURRITO #1
(Gram Parsons/Chris Ethridge)
by The Flying Burrito Bros.
‘You know I’m not that kind of guy’
(Neil Sedaka/Phil Cody)
by Neil Sedaka
‘It was a time when strangers were welcome here’
by Goo Goo Dolls
(Warner Sunset: 1998)
‘I just want you to know who I am’
LET IT ROCK
by Chuck Berry
‘Can’t stop the train/You have to let it roll on’
A LOVER’S CONCERTO
(Sandy Linzer/Denny Randell)
by The Toys
Melody based on a Bach Minuet
(Rod Stewart/Martin Quittenton)
by Rod Stewart
‘You stole my heart and that’s what really hurts’
MY BACK PAGES
by The Byrds
Ah, but I was so much older then’
(Herman Parker Jr./Sam Phillips)
by Elvis Presley
‘Train I ride, sixteen coaches long’.
Junior Parker’s original version released under the name
Little Junior’s Blue Flames on Sun in 1953.
MY TRUE STORY
(Eugene Pitt/Oscar Waltzer)
by The Jive Five
(Beltone: 1961) https://youtu.be/glOMdK8gfbo
‘Now they must cry, cry, cry, whoa”
ODE TO BILLIE JOE
by Bobbie Gentry
‘Today, Billy Joe MacAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge’
THE RAIN, THE PARK & OTHER THINGS
(Artie Kornfeld/Steve Duboff)
by The Cowsills
‘Flowers in her hair, flowers everywhere’
(Bernard Edwards/Nile Rodgers)
by The Sugarhill Gang
(Sugar Hill: 1979)
Officially recognized as the first rap record to hit the charts,
it featured three guys rapping over an instrumental track adapted from
Chic’s hit GOOD TIMES, hence the song’s credit to
Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers.
SMELLS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT
(Kurt Cobain/Chris Novoselic/Dave Grohl)
‘Hello, hello, hello, how low’
SNOOPY Vs. THE RED BARON
(Dick Holler/Phil Gernhard)
by The Royal Guardsmen
Novelty song built around the character Snoopy
from the Peanuts comic strip.
by David Bowie
‘Ground control to Major Tom’
SUBTERRANEAN HOMESICK BLUES (Bob Dylan)
by Bob Dylan
SUITE: JUDY BLUE EYES
by Crosby, Stills And Nash
‘I am yours, you are mine’
‘Cause I made my mind up you’re going to be mine’
SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL
(Mick Jagger/Keith Richard)
by The Rolling Stones
‘Pleased to meet you/Hope you guess my name’
(Judith Abbott/Nigel Hunter/Louise Watts/Paul Greco/
Darren Harmer/Duncan Bruce/Anne Holden/Allan Whalley)
(Alex North/Hy Zaret)
by The Righteous Brothers (
‘Oh my love, my darling/I’ve hungered for your touch’.
Song written for the 1955 Warner Bros. prison drama “Unchained”
in which it was sung by Todd Duncan.
Various versions were hits here in ’55 including those by
Les Baxter His Chorus & Orchestra, Al Hibbler
and Roy Hamilton and in the UK,
it was a chart topper by Jimmy Young.
The 1965 revival by The Righteous Brothers
was a major transatlantic chart success.
In later years, the song gave
Elvis Presley and LeAnn Rimes country sellers in ’78 and ’97 respectively.
In addition it was a UK #1 by Robson & Jerome in ’95
and by Gareth Gates in ’02.
VIVA LA VIDA
(Chris Martin/John Buckland/Will Champion/Guy Berryman)
‘I hear Jerusalem bells are ringing’
WEEKEND IN NEW ENGLAND
by Barry Manilow
Song first recorded by Randy Edelman and issued in ’75.
‘Last night I waved goodbye/Now it seems years’
by The Band
‘Take a load off, Fanny’
by Jefferson Airplane
(RCA Victor: 1967)
‘Go ask Alice when she’s ten foot tall’.
(Rod Stewart/Carmen Appice/Duane Hitchings/Kevin Savigar)
by Rod Stewart
(Warner Bros: 1981)
‘Young hearts be free tonight’
Certain titles not featured in lyrics are sometimes followed by subtitles
referencing the lyric and which are placed in parenthesis after the main titles.
For instance, the song from the 1957 movie AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER
bears the film’s title but is followed by (Our Love Affair) from the lyric.
Similarly, the title of Buffalo Springfield’s 1967 chart song
FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH was officially followed in parenthesis with
(Stop, Hey What’s That Sound).
As in all my postings the advertisements and recordings listed
above are personal choices and are in no way intended as a definitive
collection of the genre.
Please send any comments or suggestions to
© Alan Warner, 2019.
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