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23 Feb

Oh Captain, My Captain (and Other Important Titles)

Hello Tracksters, it’s good to be back!

With President’s Day this past week, I got to thinking about titles.  Not song titles, but the kind of title that you are given; as in Sir/Dame, Captain, Esquire, etc.  Then I realized there are numerous songs about folks with fancy titles.  Bowie’s “Major Tom” (used in the 4TT Outer Space Playlist), The Beatles’ “Sun King” and “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band,” along with classics like “Duke of Earl” by Gene Chandler are some better known examples, but here are a few you may not be so familiar with.  You can also find some of the songs that almost made the list here.  


Dear Mr. President, Fitz and the Tantrums (2010)

A great song from a great band.  Fitz and the Tantrums will be at Coachella this year, but rather than brave the brutal desert, I will be keeping an eye on the music scene in LA in between the now two-weekend event.  Guaranteed most of the bands will be trying to fill up dates then, and I plan on taking full advantage.

Ballad of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let it Roll), George Harrison (1970)

This is one of my favorite songs off the bafflingly beautiful All Things Must Pass album.  After a very little bit of research I discovered that George Harrison lived in a home once owned by Sir Francis Crisp.  There were a number of phrases engraved around the home by Sir Frankie, which  inspired Harrison not just on this song, but several others as well.

King Heroin, James Brown (1971)

Public service announcement from James Brown?  Sure, why not?  With all those amazing rhymes it’s as if Shell Silverstein wrote a poem called “Where the Sidewalk Ends Under the Over Pass.”  Interestingly enough, this song was based on a poem by a man whose daughter had just died from a heroin overdose, then set to music by Brown.  Some even consider this song to be a forerunner of rap, given the narrative style.  The message is what’s most important though:  stay off the smack!


Generals and Majors, XTC (1980)

It’s two for one titles with this one!  XTC wrote an unexpectedly cheerful anti-war song, as in “Generals and majors always seem so unhappy unless they got a war.” 

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