Thursday, June 07, 2007

Ministry of Music

You know, I mention a big pile of human remains two posts ago and not one of you asks what I was talking about? I need to find some new readers - you people are scaring me.

In the interests of keeping this thing alive, I've decided that rather than only writing to talk about all the glamourous, exciting places I've gone or exotic, gourmet meals I've eaten, I will introduce a new (and plagiarized from more widely-read online publications) feature that I'm sure will delight you all: The Arbitrary Theme List!

Here's the rules: I pick a topic. I then pick songs in my iTunes collection (or books on my shelf, though the former is certainly more searchable) that work with that theme. Readers (all three of you!) are welcome to suggest additions or new themes.

Today, as I am doing taxes, (and feloniously late at that), the theme is "songs related to the government." I've hobbled myself slightly by eliminating songs about revolution or law enforcement, saving those for future lists. That leaves me with four, which is probably a good thing because these taxes are refusing to do themselves, no matter how long I ignore them.

1) The obvious one is Taxman, by the Beatles. I'm of two minds on this song. It has some nice harmonies and rocks pretty hard. On the other hand, it is a song by a bunch of soon-to-be gazilionaires complaining about their tax load. I always thought George Harrison sounded like a sanctimonious SOB, turns out he was a big ole hyprocrite as well.

2) Don't worry about the government: Talking Heads - technically, I'm breaking the rules already, as this song is actually not in my iTunes, but we did own the CD. It's a lovely tune told from a bureaucrat's perspective: "Loved ones, loved ones visit the building/Take the highway, park and come up and see me/ I'll be working, working but if you come visit/ I'll put down what I'm doing, my friends are important."

3) Fortunate Son, CCR: Not about the government per se, but rather a alienation from it: "It ain't me, I ain't no senator's son." It killed me that they used this in a Levi's commercial a few years back, including the line "Born to raise the flag, ooh that red white and blue" along with a shot of someone's patriotic, denim-clad behind, but then cut out just before the "it ain't me" refrain.

4) Hmmm... this was harder than I thought. I'll throw in "Good King Wenceslas" - it is on my iTunes, and one always sort of hopes that one's government would be so hands on helpful with its taxpayers: "Hey Harper! My car's stuck! Push it out, and I'll immortalize you in a song that'll be sung exactly once a year!")


Carol said...

Hi, Mark!
How about Pink Floyd's "Money" or Pearl Jam's "Bu$hleaguer"? I remember my sister in Scotland having a heck of a time sorting out her taxes with the Canadian government... I hope your situation is much more straightforward. Perhaps a high hope for a freelancer? Good luck!

Maeve said...

oh okay, I'll bite. About the human remains... But you've got to understand that you throwing in something about human remains is like ... oh... Daniel making an inscrutably wry comment, or me asking "any good restaurants lately", or Owen talking about espresso machines...
spit 'em up, boy!

Anonymous said...

I must be reader #3..
Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour has beat you to it, I'm afraid..

His show 'Death and Taxes' includes the aforementioned "Taxman" (The Beatles) his own "Taxes" and "Taxes Taxes" by some obscure 30's band leader named Hank Perry. (Apologies to any Hank Perry fans out there).

Mark Reynolds said...

The taxes, were finally mailed today. It was a nightmare largely because I was using Ufile, but couldn't file with it, therefore forcing me to fill out all the schedules after the fact. My math and the computer's math didn't always agree. Plus, Amynah's taxes needed to be prorated to our time in France, which Ufile refused to do. I did them ten different times and got 15 different results. Painful.
Who knew there were so many songs about taxes? I wonder if any other government functions inspire such creativity - like, say, municipal waste removal?