June 20, 2005


Facing the Music (Mark Steyn, 6/20/05, NY Sun)

Been following the latest horrifying stories from what Amnesty International calls the “gulag of our time”? John Kass of The Chicago Tribune was outraged by the news that records by Christina Aguilera had been played at Guantanamo at full volume in order to soften up detainees. He thought they should have used “Dance, Ballerina, Dance” by Vaughn Monroe, over and over and over.

Well, readers had plenty of suggestions of their own, and so the Tribune’s website put together a list of “Interro-Tunes” — the most effective songs for aural intimidation, mood music for jolting your jihadi. A lot were the usual suspects - like the Captain and Tennille’s blamelessly goofy “Muskrat Love”, which, as I recall, put the Queen to sleep at a White House gala, though the Duke of Edinburgh sat agog all the way to the end. Someone suggested Bob Dylan’s “Everybody Must Get Stoned”, which even on a single hearing sounds like it’s being played over and over. I don’t know what Mr Kass has against “Ballerina”, which is very pleasant in the Nat “King” Cole version. But he seems to think one burst of “Dance, ballerina, dance/And do your pirouette in rhythm with your aching heart” will have the Islamists howling for the off-switch and singing like canaries to the Feds. Who knows? I sang “Ballerina” myself once on the radio long ago, and, if it will discombobulate the inmates, I’m willing to dust off my arrangement and fly down to Guantanamo, if necessary dressed liked Christina Aguilera. If they want an encore, I’ll do my special culturally sensitive version of that Stevie Wonder classic, “My Sharia Amour”.

By now, one or two readers may be frothing indignantly, “That’s not funny! Bush’s torture camp at Guantanamo is the gulag of our time, if not of all time.” But that’s the point. The world divides into those who feel the atrocities at Gitmo “must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime — Pol Pot or others” (in the widely quoted words of Senator Dick Durbin), and the rest of us, for whom the more we hear the specifics of the “atrocities” the funnier they are.

So long as they weren't submitted to The Song, it's hard to not find it funny...unless you're not conservative.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 20, 2005 12:13 PM

I can picture it now:

Strummin' my fate with his fingers . . . singin' my life with his words . . .

"Aiieeee! No more, no more! I will talk, I will tell you everything--just, please, make it go away!"

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Seriously, if the Christina Aguilera stops working, perhaps our Japanese allies can lend a hand.

Posted by: Mike Morley at June 20, 2005 12:33 PM

Shouldn't that Stevie Wonder remake be "My Sharia Moor"? It scans perfectly that way.

Posted by: PapayaSF at June 20, 2005 1:43 PM


Steyn's My Sharia Amour is my all-time favorite, a work of demented high genius.

Posted by: Eugene S. at June 20, 2005 2:02 PM

In the interest of encouraging Franco-American cooperation, might I humbly suggest the Club Med theme song, which upon repeated hearings can change even the hardest Jihadnik into a quivering mass of Jell-o.

Posted by: bart at June 20, 2005 2:05 PM

What's... "The Song'?

'Abra Dabra Cadabra.... ("I wanna reach out and grab ya....") by Steve Miller Band?

(THIS is from the guy who wrote "Fly Like an Eagle"?!?!?)

Posted by: Andrew X at June 20, 2005 3:13 PM

Why not stick with the classics like Billy Ray Cyrus' Achey Breaky Heart?

Posted by: Ali Choudhury at June 20, 2005 3:59 PM

Steve Miller is good. How about "You're having my baby, what a wonderful way to say I love you."

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at June 20, 2005 4:05 PM

I should have looked it up first:

"(You're) Having My Baby"
(As recorded by Paul Anka)

Having my baby
What a lovely way of saying how much you love me
Having my baby
What a lovely way of saying what you're thinkin' of me
I can see it, your face is glowing
I can see it in your eyes
I'm happy in knowin'
That you're having my baby


Go ahead I dare you to name something worse.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at June 20, 2005 4:09 PM


When OJ says "The Song" with initial capitals like that, he means "Killing Me Softly."

Posted by: Mike Morley at June 20, 2005 4:10 PM


MacArthur Park.

Posted by: Peter B at June 20, 2005 4:11 PM

But does oj know the subject of The Song? (Does a bear ...)

Posted by: ghostcat at June 20, 2005 4:18 PM

Oops, sorry here is the Link.

On second thought I am not sure that Zager and Evans - "In The Year 2525 (Exordium & Terminus)" is not worse.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at June 20, 2005 4:21 PM


Starland Vocal Band, "Afternoon Delight"
John Mayer, "No Such Thing"
David Geddes, "Run Joey Run"
Violent Femmes, "Blister in the Sun"
Psychedelic Furs, "Love My Way"
Nena, "99 Luftbaloons"
Neil Diamond, "I Am"
Natalie Cole's oedipal-necrophiliac duet remix of her father's great "Unforgettable"
Celine Dion, "My Heart Will Go On"
The Cure, everything ever recorded by the Cure

I can go on, if you like.

Posted by: Mike Morley at June 20, 2005 4:22 PM

ENOUGH!!! Just reading the titles makes me want to confess where I stashed Hoffa.

Posted by: Luciferous at June 20, 2005 4:32 PM

No MacAurthur Park is not worse than the wo I named above. To prove it, here is the last verse of Baby:

Girl: ("I'm a woman in love and I love what it's doin' to me")
Having my baby
Girl: ("I'm a woman in love and I love what's goin' thru me")
Didn't have to keep it
Couldn't put you thru it
You could have swept it from your life
But you wouldn't do it
No you wouldn't do it
And you're having my baby
Girl: ("I'm a woman in love and I love what it's doin' to me")
Having my baby
Girl: ("I'm a woman in love and I love what's goin' thru me")
Having my baby

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at June 20, 2005 4:33 PM

Mike those are after my time. perhaps it is just as well. But I am standing by what I said.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at June 20, 2005 4:36 PM

It's a small world after all,
It's a small world after all,
It's a small world after all,
It's a small small world.

Try to get that out of your head (I know it's there).


Posted by: Chris B at June 20, 2005 4:50 PM

Aieeee! Earworms!

Posted by: Mike Morley at June 20, 2005 5:56 PM

What a sick bunch of people you are.

Posted by: AllenS at June 20, 2005 6:44 PM

We obviously aren't being effective at Gitmo. Surely someone has a CD burned of that War(!)-mongering, peace-creep, wretched excuse of a "song" known as "Why Can't We Be Friends?"

Just hearing that, you can just feel the violence in your very soul!

Of course everytime I accidentally hear The Song, I just keep screaming "Roberta, just f--- the hippie dork, already."

Posted by: Brad S at June 20, 2005 8:10 PM

Been here before, haven't we?

Speaking of bad songs, here's the motherlode.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at June 20, 2005 9:30 PM

Sorry Robert I'm with Peter B here. The combination of the inane lyrics with Richard Harris' pretentious presentation has been known to neuter squirrels at 50 paces.

Posted by: Jeff at June 20, 2005 10:27 PM

sing, sing a song,
make it simple, to last your whole life long,
don't worry that it's not good enough,
for anyone else to hear,
just sing, sing a song!

la la-la la-la, la la la-la la-la, la la la la-la la la,...

Posted by: Dave W. at June 21, 2005 1:10 AM

This is the song that has no end,
It just goes on and on my friend,
Some people started singing it,
Not knowing what it was,
Now they are still singing it, forever, just because,

This is the song that has no end...

Posted by: Dave W. at June 21, 2005 1:13 AM

I'm Henry VIII, I am,
Henry VIII, I am I am,
I just married the girl next door,
She's been married seven times before,
And every one of them a Henry,
Not a Willie or a Sam,
I'm her eighth old man, I am henry,
Henry VIII, I am.

Second verse, same as the first...

(The "Purple People Eater" song from about 1960 would also be a good one. Good night all. Sleep well.)

Posted by: Dave W. at June 21, 2005 1:20 AM


Robert's not here. He just remembered he left his cake out in the rain.

Posted by: Peter B at June 21, 2005 5:17 AM


An he'll never have that recipe again. Oh Nooooooo

Posted by: Jeff at June 21, 2005 9:05 AM


Posted by: Dave W. at June 21, 2005 1:46 PM

I was in a 7-11 and they piped in a song that had the lyric, and I swear I'm not making this up, "I believe that children are the future."

That was a "just kill me" moment.

Posted by: Tom at June 21, 2005 9:00 PM

Stevie Wonder, right?

Posted by: at June 22, 2005 10:42 AM

It sounded like a woman to me, actually.

Posted by: Tom at June 22, 2005 4:29 PM