July 12, 2005


You know how the prisoners at Guantanamo have been tormented with Christina Aguilera, right? I think most of the American population heard that and shuddered with horror. And then they thought, "Well, I could do better than that."

We've all had water cooler and blog discussions about out favorite terrible songs and why they would work better than the ersatz Latin shriekings of Miss Aguilera. But what does that solve? We discuss, but there's no action.

So here's my plan: The government should release its Guantanamo Bay Interrogation iPod playlist and allow ordinary Americans to make suggestions.

C'mon, wouldn't you relish the opportunity to know that some terrorist is being forced to listen to "The Song?" I know that I'd love to make a terrorist listen to Bobby Goldsboro's "Honey." People whose suggestions are used could get a free trip to Gitmo to see the effects of their "torture" in person and get "tortured" themselves by getting a lap dance from a comely Marine.

Posted by Bryan Francoeur at July 12, 2005 1:10 PM

I would suggest Billy Ray Cyrus' Achey Break Heart and anything done by Michael Bolton.

Posted by: Ali Choudhury at July 12, 2005 1:15 PM

Video Killed the Radio Star -The Buggles

Afternoon Delight - The Starland Vocal Band

Muskrat Love - Captain and Tennille

Brandy - Looking Glass

Wind Beneath My Wings - Bette Midler

Also anything by Michael Bolton (as Ali suggests) or Barbra Streisand.

Posted by: Rick T. at July 12, 2005 1:23 PM


Wimpy junk compared to … Yoko Ono. And just think of the fun when the chatterati had to proclaim that as "torture".

P.S. Is this Mr. Francoeur's first post? Hmmm, it does appear to be so.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at July 12, 2005 1:27 PM

"(You're) Having My Baby" Paul Anka, "Having my baby, What a lovely way of saying how much you love me."

2525 by Zager and Evans.

Eve of Destruction by Barry McGuire.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at July 12, 2005 1:36 PM

"Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree"
Dawn featuring Tony Orlando

“You Dropped The Bomb On Me” The Gap Band

“Hey Mister Tambourine Man” & “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” from William Shatner

Actually, everything off of Golden Throats

“I Am I Said” Neil Diamond

Posted by: John Resnick at July 12, 2005 1:36 PM

Bjork and Slim Whitman in continuous rotation.

Posted by: Patrick H at July 12, 2005 1:41 PM

Starland Vocal Band, "Afternoon Delight"
John Mayer, "No Such Thing"
David Geddes, "Run Joey Run"
Donny & Marie, "Morning Side of the Mountain"
Violent Femmes, "Blister in the Sun"
Psychedelic Furs, "Love My Way"
Nena, "99 Luftbaloons" (English or German)
Neil Diamond, "I Am"
Natalie Cole's oedipal-necrophiliac duet remix of her father's classic "Unforgettable"
Celine Dion, "My Heart Will Go On"
The Cure, everything ever recorded by the Cure
Anything ever recorded by Annie Lenox
Midnight Oil, "Beds Are Burning"
Trashmen, "Surfin' Bird" on infinite repeat
Rick Dees, "Disco Duck"

. . . and if those don't work, we can sub out the interrogation to our Japanese allies (courtesy of my 12-year old son the anime fan):

Morning Musume, "Happy Summer Wedding"
MiniMoni, "Telephone! ring ring ring!"

Posted by: Mike Morley at July 12, 2005 1:42 PM

You Don't Bring Me Flowers,Anymore Diamond/Streisand (thanks for the reminder John)
Judy in the Sky (With Glasses)Fred something and the something band
Anything by Boys to Men
Everybody Loves a Clown by Gary Lewis and The Playboys
Ahab the Arab by Ray Stevens
(Let me tell you 'bout Ahab The Arab
The Sheik of the burning sand
He had emeralds and rubies just dripping off 'a him
And a ring on every finger of his hands)
Pure infidel material!

Posted by: Bob Johnson at July 12, 2005 1:52 PM

-Don't Worry, Be Happy
-I'm Your Boogie Man
-Younger Than Springtime, Nancy Sinatra's duet with her father from the 1967 TV special
-They're Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Ha
-Anything by Meatloaf
-And any atonal classical piece paid for by a foundation grant

Posted by: Brian at July 12, 2005 2:11 PM

Lou Reed - "Metal Machine Music"
Queen - "Bohemian Rhapsody"
Three Dog Night - "Joy to the World"
Captain & Tenille - "Muskrat Love"
Brian Hyland - "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini"
Tiny Tim - "Tip Toe Thru' the Tulips With Me"
Barnes & Barnes - "Fish Heads"

(The Dr.Demento show archives are a treasure trove of candidates.)

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at July 12, 2005 2:17 PM

I keep plugging for MacArthur Park, but it seems many philistines around here actually like it. So how about "Who put the bop in the bop-she-bop-she-bop?" repeated endlessly. I also love Bob's idea of Ahab the Ay-rab, although "Midnight at the Oasis" might do even better.

Posted by: Peter B at July 12, 2005 2:23 PM

How about Klingon opera? Or just Wagner, for a start? I'm sure the 'detainees' would appreciate it, after all the bubble gum stuff listed above.

Posted by: ratbert at July 12, 2005 2:24 PM

"MacArthur Park" is certainly worthy of inclusion; I think it's been left off of many lists in the interests of avoiding redundancy.

Posted by: Mike Morley at July 12, 2005 2:28 PM

Jeez, "Love My Way"? A fine song!

Anyway, you guys are limiting yourselves to stuff you've heard on the radio that you don't like. There's a lot of music out there that is far, far worse. Ever heard Diamanda Galas?

Posted by: PapayaSF at July 12, 2005 2:28 PM

REM, "Orange Crush"
Lee Hazelwood & Nancy Sinatra, "Some Velvet Morning"

Posted by: Mike Morley at July 12, 2005 2:36 PM

AAArrrrgggh! My ears! Papaya, make it stop!

Posted by: Patrick H at July 12, 2005 2:40 PM

Well then, it's technically not music, but it is on the radio... What about playing WWV continuously and loudly?

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at July 12, 2005 2:41 PM

What about Sir Mix-a-Lots Baby Got Back?

Posted by: David Reeves at July 12, 2005 3:02 PM

The soundtrack from Xanadu. 'nuff said.

Posted by: Roy Jacobsen at July 12, 2005 3:34 PM

Already so many fine suggestions...but I'm surprised no one has mentioned Terry Jacks' "Seasons in the Sun." I would also like to nominate PJ Harvey's "Big Fish, Little Fish" (if that is in fact the title of that stupid song).

Posted by: ted welter at July 12, 2005 3:54 PM

hah! Make them watch "Ishtar" over and over.

Posted by: JimT at July 12, 2005 3:56 PM

Nana Mouskouri

Posted by: Mike Morley at July 12, 2005 4:15 PM

The Billy Jack theme, "One Tin Soldier"

Posted by: Mike Morley at July 12, 2005 4:31 PM

Ken Begg's got an awesome mega-excoriation of all the Billy Jack movies over at:

He's a conservative, so they're approached from that angle.

Posted by: Governor Breck at July 12, 2005 4:52 PM

Funkytown by Lipps Inc.
Disco Duck
Sheik of Araby-Jean Shepherd version
Rockin' the Casbah--The Clash
When Doves Cry--Prince
YMCA--Village People(continuous Village People videos should be mandatory viewing)

Posted by: bart at July 12, 2005 4:58 PM

These pet songs of the 70s:


Shannon by Henry Gross
Ben by Micheal Jackson
Micheal Murphy's Wildfire

Posted by: ted welter at July 12, 2005 5:51 PM

Debussy: Pelleas et Melisande
Ravel: Bolero

Posted by: Greg Hlatky at July 12, 2005 7:06 PM

We can't forget Ballad of the Green Berets- Barry Sadler!

Posted by: Bob Johnson at July 12, 2005 7:17 PM

Mike Morley:

Interesting, your "torture list" is essentially what I have in my CD player.

I much prefer the German version of 99 Luftbaloons.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at July 12, 2005 7:25 PM

A Horse With No Name - America
Ballad of Yarmouth Castle - Gordon Lightfoot
Jailbreak - Thin Lizzy

Posted by: John Resnick at July 12, 2005 7:31 PM

Mile Morley;

And here I assumed that by joining me in condemning MacArthur Park that we were birds of a feather with similar, superior taste, far above the everyday Brothersjudd mean. And yet, you mock my beloved Nana? Pagan savage!

Posted by: Peter B at July 12, 2005 7:33 PM

I'd suggest the theme songs from "Beverly Hillbilies", "Brady Bunch", Green Acres, Pettycoat Junction" and "Gilligan's Island".

For Club Gitmo EXECU-JIHAD PASS(tm) patrons, I'd also add the theme songs from "The Flintstones" and "The Jetsons".

Posted by: Dave W. at July 12, 2005 9:02 PM

And the ultimate torture: Lou Reed's notorious Metal Machine Music album. After that (and it's a double album!) you'll be begging for the Psychedelic Furs....

Posted by: PapayaSF at July 12, 2005 9:10 PM

John Fred and His Playboy Band did 'Judy in Disguise (with Glasses)'

It's a tough choice, but I'd go with 'I Never Promised You a Rose Garden'

Besides, I like 'Afternoon Delight' (and before they became Starland Vocal Band they did an album called 'Welcome to Fat City' that was the best of the not-too-competitive field of rock concept boxing music).

Posted by: Harry Eagar at July 12, 2005 9:20 PM

Peter: There's just something about Nana . . . maybe it's the fact that Benny Hill's Nana imitation was indistinguishable from the original . . . I can't get dialed in, I just can't. On the other hand, I always thought "Killing Me Softly" wasn't all that bad, particularly considering what else was on the radio when it came out.

Wait, OJ, don't ban me, it's just a friendly disagreement about musical taste . . . OJ, c'mon buddy . . . no, please . . . noooooooooo . . . .

Posted by: Mike Morley at July 12, 2005 10:29 PM

A 1m32s clip of "Metal Machine Music" is available at iTunes for $0.99, but the 30sec sample clip is more than you need to hear to imagine a double album (four sides of a contractual 16min each) played continuously.

And I thought of another to add to the hit parade:
Bobby Goldsboro — "Watching Scotty Grow".

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at July 12, 2005 11:34 PM

Hey, Gordon Lightfoot would definitely violate the Geneva accords. Canada should draft him to actually record that SCTV parody of a K-Tel production (Gordon Lightfoot Sings Every Song Ever Written). If we could get the 3 tenors to volunteer as backup singers it would be an international coalition.

Or just put "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" on repeat.

Posted by: ted welter at July 13, 2005 12:44 AM

Can't help but think I'd have a pretty easy time at Gitmo. I even like "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald."

The key to this is to pick something that will crawl into their brains so that they're all singing it. Once that happens the real torture (trying to get everybody to shut up for an hour so you can forget the song) begins. I'd suggest "She Drives Me Crazy" by Fine Young Cannibals.

Posted by: joe shropshire at July 13, 2005 1:25 AM

I'd go for a more situation-apporpriate song and use the one that tortured visitors for two years at the 1964-65 New York World's Fair and theme-park visitors in Florida and California for the last 40 years -- an endless loop of Disney's "It's a Small World After All".

Posted by: John at July 13, 2005 6:35 AM

"If I We're A Rich Man" or "Sunrise Sunset" from Fiddler On The Roof.

Posted by: Dave W. at July 13, 2005 11:39 AM

"MacArthur Park" and "Funkytown" are excellent tunes.

"Barroom Blitz", "Bye, Bye Miss American Pie", "Hotel California", "Lying Eyes", "I am Woman".

Anything by Leonard Cohen, Britney Spears or Billy Joel.

Posted by: Robert Duquette at July 14, 2005 2:29 PM

"I will survive" by Gloria Gaynor

Posted by: eam at July 14, 2005 2:30 PM