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Author Topic: Unique words in pop songs
Faith
Happy Holly Days


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Listening to a Clifford T Ward album this morning (I am *so* down with The Kids, I know) and it struck me that the song "Wherewithall" may be the only pop song ever writen that includes the word "nonpareil"* in its lyrics. (I bet there aren't millions that include the word wherewithall either but one thing at a time...)

So A) you get to make Faith eat her words if you can find nonpareil* in another pop song but also:

B) What other words have only been included in one song? A few groundrules are necessary:

1) Made up words don't count.
2) Names don't count.

Or, to put it another way, it's scrabble rules!


(*nonpareil means without equal or flaws, peerless. Just in case you were wondering...)

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"You watched it. You can't UNWATCH it."

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candycane from strangers
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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"Adrenoleukodystrophy" is in the song "Lorenzo" that Phil Collins performed. It was written by the mother of Lorenzo, of Lorenzo's Oil fame.

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A: "You contributed to the deliquency of a minor in drag!"
"Sweet spell check: keeping drunks off the radar since 1995."- IND
God Re-Animate Green Pork Bush

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UrbanReindeer
Deck the Malls


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The song "Nemesis" contains the word "parthenogenesis". Not that "Nemesis" is really a "pop" song ... more a sort of growly demi-techno.

I have to love any song that can use "parthenogenesis". The end.

ETA "Nemesis" is by Shriekback, I meant to put that in the first sentence.

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"He feeds the sparrows of the field, but He doesn't sit there and cram worms into their mouths." -- Mouse

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Llewtrah
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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In the genre of grindcore (and its subgenres e.g. goregrind) you can have a field day. They've raided medical dictionaries and most songs in that genre will contain unique words. They may even have covered "adrenoleukodystrophy"!

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Cervus
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Hapax legomenon-a-chow


"I believe Warren Zevon is the only man in the history of human communication to use the word ‘brucellosis’ in a song.” —David Letterman

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"There is no constitutional right to sleep with endangered reptiles." -- Carl Hiaasen
Won't somebody please think of the adults!

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Faith
Happy Holly Days


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Drat. I was all excited by what I thought was my cool idea and everything.

Thanks for the link, Cervus - I missed the other thread first time round so it was fun to see how the idea panned out.

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"You watched it. You can't UNWATCH it."

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Horse Chestnut
Happy Holly Days


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How you get so rude and reckless
Don't you be so crude and feckless
You've been drinking brew for breakfast
Rudy Can't Fail


Bet you can't find "feckless" in any other song. And that a shame, really, 'cause it rhymes with so many words.

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James G.
Xboxing Day


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90% of Bohemian Rhapsody [Smile]

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velvetcactus
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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"Get on your dancing shoes
There's one thing on your mind
Hoping they're looking for you
Sure you'll be RUMMAGING' through"

Arctic Monkeys - Dancing Shoes

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candycane from strangers
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Of course the classic use of the word "moot" in Rick Springfield's Jessie's Girl must be mentioned.

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Me: "He's 19? Uh oh, I bought him a beer."
A: "You contributed to the deliquency of a minor in drag!"
"Sweet spell check: keeping drunks off the radar since 1995."- IND
God Re-Animate Green Pork Bush

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AQB, Max's DHB
Santa eBayby


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"Onomatopoeia, every time I see ya..."

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"The Potato Festival will never be the same without Evelena." (from an obituary in the Charleston, WV, Gazette)

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Felessan
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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If any pop song other than No Doubt's "Hey Baby Hey" has included "Chamomile"... I'd be very surprised.

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You fool! That's not a warrior, that's a banana!
- a surreal moment in a role-playing game

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Elsie
Deck the Malls


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I always liked "Silent Lucidity" by Queensryche and I remember mentioning to my husband at the time it was out that it was probably the only song ever (to be a hit) that used the word "lucidity". I always wondered how many people even knew what the word meant.

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I'm an excellent speller, but a lousy typist.
"Just so you know, the words 'just' and 'cramps' - they don't go together." - Ginger Snaps

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Paulie Jay
O Little Down-Payment of Bethlehem


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Although not famous on a world scale, Australian band TISM sprinkle their songs with some jems:

From "Would The Last Person To Leave Please Turn Out The Enlightenment?"

I'm lacto-enzyme-oxy intolerant!
I use breathatarian-based emollient
Meditation makes me ebullient!
I've never earned a day's emolument.


I can honestly say that I've never seen those words in any other song!

And more from TISM

From "Five Yards" - You're only one Tim Tam away from cellulite

From "Mourningtown Ride" - Don't get off the train at Eltham
The yodel yobs want lederhosen


From "The History Of Western Civilisation" - You can never have heard of the proletariat

From "They Shoot Herion, Don't They?" - After running 800 furlongs, he just wants to score

From "We Are The Champignons" - Possibly then, we could get Sting admitting to his "pissant thing"

And from "BFW" - Redefining the very idiom that is modern music.

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All the way with Paulie Jay

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Joe Bentley
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Well there is always Pompatus from "The Joker" by the Steve Miller Band.

Pompatus is interesting because it sounds like it should be a word.

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"Existence has no pattern save what we imagine after staring at it for too long." - Rorschach, The Watchmen

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Ratboy
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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The Mars Volta often feature interesting and quite unique words in their songs.

From "Eunuch Provocateur" - These nasty sores of ataxia will feel the sting of the opiate copulation

From "Drunkship of Lanterns" - Transoceanic depth in this earth, in this cenotaph

From "Take the Veil Cerpin Taxt" - You'll find the ossuary spilling by the day

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SantasHobbit
Frosty the Salesman


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Joan was quizzical, studied pataphysical science in the home

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Angsty little hobbitssssses

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Max_Renn
Jingle Bell Hock


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quote:
Originally posted by Joe Bentley:
Well there is always Pompatus from "The Joker" by the Steve Miller Band.

Pompatus is interesting because it sounds like it should be a word.

It may not be a word, but it has etymological roots nonetheless.

Anyway, as for the OT, Tom Waits uses quite a few words in his lyrics that don't see the light of day in pop songs that often.
"Chihuahua" in "Frank's Wild Years"
"Thirty-ought-six" and "marimba" in "16 Shells From A 30-6"
"Grazier" and "bilgewater" in "A Town With No Cheer"
And those are all of just one album (Swordfishtrombones)

Max "leaned it up against the dandelion tree" Renn

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Crow T. Robot: Look, I'm already driving, there's no inherent quantity of driving that I can increase! If you want me to go faster, you should say so.

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Max_Renn
Jingle Bell Hock


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Ice-T used "antidisestablishmentarianism" in a track on his album O.G. - The Original Gangster, but unfortunately I think it has to be disqualified from this survey because a) it's used in a skit rather than a proper song and b) it's used wrong. The actress speaking the line should have dropped the "anti" for the line to make sense.

Max "yo, it's time for me to pump up the volume" Renn

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Sister Ann: DRIVE! DRIVE
Crow T. Robot: Look, I'm already driving, there's no inherent quantity of driving that I can increase! If you want me to go faster, you should say so.

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The Amazing Rando
Deck the Malls


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quote:

Killing softly and serial,
he lifts his head, handsome, horned, magisterial.
He's the smell of the moonlight wisteria.
He's the thrill of the abecedarian.

There's two from Okkervil River, in the same stanza no less.
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bthyb
WiFi Christmas


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A song by The Decemberists uses the word palatin.

How about "colitas" in "Hotel California"? I'm sure not a lot of bands have had use for that word.

Also, how about Kilimanjaro, Olympus, and Serengeti from "Africa" by Toto?

I realize I might have spelled Serengeti wrong.

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If you say you love ice cream, you better be dreaming of an orgy with Ben, Jerry, and one fine-ass chunky monkey.

-- My sister and poet extraordinaire, Joanna Hoffman

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Max_Renn
Jingle Bell Hock


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"Vegemite" in Men At Work's "Down Under."

Though for all I know it's much more ubiquitous in Australian songs that we don't hear of on this side of the Pacific.

Max "she just laughed" Renn

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Sister Ann: DRIVE! DRIVE
Crow T. Robot: Look, I'm already driving, there's no inherent quantity of driving that I can increase! If you want me to go faster, you should say so.

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Sister Ray
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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On one of his albums, Lou Reed rhymes something with "hieroglyphic". I'm not sure if it's a unique word, but I'm sure rhyming it will get him a few points.

Sister "and john cale has a few unique words on words for the dying, but he didn't actually write those..." Ray

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The Organization. Adam Haseeb Memorial Pages. My library.

"There can't be a war on Christmas. Even Cambridge has decorations up!" - an observation I made

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Corwin
I Am Curious Bluefin


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quote:
The Mars Volta often feature interesting and quite unique words in their songs.

From "Drunkship of Lanterns" - Transoceanic depth in this earth, in this cenotaph

"Cenotaph" is used in the Pink Floyd song "Southampton Dock" from the album, The Final Cut.

quote:
quote:
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Killing softly and serial,
he lifts his head, handsome, horned, magisterial.
He's the smell of the moonlight wisteria.
He's the thrill of the abecedarian.

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

There's two from Okkervil River, in the same stanza no less.

Jason Molina sings about "wisteria, magnolia beside the Green Line track" in "John Henry Split My Heart" from the first Magnolia Electric Co. record.

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Then lightning struck... Bad lightning.

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Jay Temple
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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I'd wager the Pretenders have the only use of this word: "Don't get me wrong/If I split like light refracted."

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"Well, it looks we're on our own ... again."--Rev. Lovejoy

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Chris J
Hotel California Roll


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"We're moving like a parallelogram" from Motorhead by Hawkwind.
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Spikey
Jingle Bell Hock


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Panic! At The Disco have accessorizing, asbestos, formaldehyde and nitroglycerin amongst their lyrics.

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"The fact that "uvula" and "vulva" look and sound similar was just a happy coincidence." - Lainie

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franjava
Deck the Malls


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"My head is full of chopstick I don't like it." - Duran duran. (God, how old am I?????)

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Never eat anything given to you by a toddler.

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DawnStorm
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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Did you forget about me, Mr. Duplicity?

Alanis Morrisette (You Oughta Know)

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Leashes?! We don't need no stinking leashes!!

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pinqy
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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New Age Girl by Deadeye Dick: Mary Moon, she's a vegetarian/Mary Moon will outlive all the septuagenarians.

Eve of Destruction by Barry McGuire: Blood's so mad, feels like coagulatin'/While I'm sitting here just contemplatin'.

pinqy

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Don't Forget!
Winter Solstice Hanukkah Christmas Kwanzaa & Gurnenthar's Ascendance Are Coming!

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GenYus
Away in a Manager's Special


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I don't know if this counts under ScrabbleTM rules since it is slang, but I don't know if any song other than "Golddigger" uses the word "pre-nup".

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IIRC, it wasn't the shoe bomber's loud prayers that sparked the takedown by the other passengers; it was that he was trying to light his shoe on fire. Very, very different. Canuckistan

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Faith
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by Chris J:
"We're moving like a parallelogram" from Motorhead by Hawkwind.

Unlucky! [Wink]

Broke My Heart by The Saw Doctors

quote:
I was standing on the edge
Of the parallelogram



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"You watched it. You can't UNWATCH it."

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ericsmom
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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Rush uses the word "unobtrusive " in Spirit of Radio

"Begin the day with a friendly voice,
A companion unobtrusive
Plays the song that's so elusive
And the magic music makes your morning mood."

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Tarquin Farquart
The First USA Noel


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Interventionist: from Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds "Into My Arms"

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I shall baffle you with cabbages and rhinoceroses in the kitchen and incessant quotations from "Now We Are Six" through the mouthpiece of Lord Snooty's giant poisoned electric head. So there!

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Ryda Wong, EBfCo.
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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Joanna Newsome uses "taciturn"

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So many spankings! It feels so good! But at the same time, I don't care about meeting your family! - I'mNotDedalus:

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