Category Archives: Music

Gilmour D, Waters R. The Wall

wall
“The Wall is a concept album and explores themes of abandonment and personal isolation. The album is a rock opera that follows Pink, a character whom Waters modelled after himself and the band‘s original leader, Syd Barrett. Pink’s life begins with the loss of his father during the Second World War and continues with abuse from his schoolteachers, an overprotective mother, and the breakdown of his marriage; all contribute to his eventual self-imposed isolation from society, represented by a metaphorical wall. Waters conceived the album during Pink Floyd’s 1977 In the Flesh Tour, when his frustration with the audience became so acute that he imagined a wall between the audience and the stage.”

Plenty of different tracks to enjoy – but impossible in an education establishment (even a student-focused one) not to worry about that ‘dark sarcasm’ and  ‘thought control’ – Hey teacher…

Rutherford, Michael; Robertson, Brian (Mike and the Mechanics) The Living Years

Every generation
Blames the one before
And all of their frustrations
Come beating on your door

I know that I’m a prisoner
To all my father held so dear
I know that I’m a hostage
To all his hopes and fears
I just wish I could have told him in the living years

Crumpled bits of paper
Filled with imperfect thought
Stilted conversations
I’m afraid that’s all we’ve got

You say you just don’t see it
He says it’s perfect sense
You just can’t get agreement in this present tense
We all talk a different language, talking in defense

Say it loud, say it clear
You can listen as well as you hear
It’s too late when we die
To admit we don’t see eye to eye

So we open up a quarrel
Between the present and the past
We only sacrifice the future
It’s the bitterness that lasts

So don’t yield to the fortunes
You sometimes see as fate
It may have a new perspective on a different day
And if you don’t give up, and don’t give in, you may just be okay

Say it loud, say it clear
You can listen as well as you hear
It’s too late when we die
To admit we don’t see eye to eye

I wasn’t there that morning
When my Father passed away
I didn’t get to tell him
All the things I had to say

I think I caught his spirit
Later that same year
I’m sure I heard his echo
In my baby’s new born tears
I just wish I could have told him in the living years

Say it loud, say it clear
You can listen as well as you hear
It’s too late when we die
To admit we don’t see eye to eye

Read more: Mike & The Mechanics – The Living Years Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Guthrie, W. The Dust Pneumonia Blues

 

I had always thought the ‘Dust Pneumonia’ referred to in this song was related
to occupational exposure. However, it was a term used to describe a much more acute
reponse to the dust storms that affected the mid-western states during the 1930’s.
This song is taken from Woody Guthrie’s album ‘Dust Bowl Ballads’ which was recorded in
1940.

I got that dust pneumony, pneumony in my lung,
I got the dust pneumony, pneumony in my lung,
An’ I’m a-gonna sing this dust pneumony song.

I went to the doctor, and the doctor, said, “My son,”
I went to the doctor, and the doctor, said, “My son,
You got that dust pneumony an’ you ain’t got long, not long.”

Now there ought to be some yodelin’ in this song;
Yeah, there ought to be some yodelin’ in this song;
But I can’t yodel for the rattlin’ in my lung.

My good gal sings the dust pneumony blues,
My good gal sings the dust pneumony blues,
She loves me ’cause she’s got the dust pneumony, too.

It it wasn’t for choppin’ my hoe would turn to rust,
If it wasn’t for choppin’ my hoe would turn to rust,
I can’t find a woman in this black ol’ Texas dust.

Down in Oklahoma, the wind blows mighty strong,
Down in Oklahoma, the wind blows mighty strong,
If you want to get a mama, just sing a California song.

Down in Texas, my gal fainted in the rain,
Down in Texas, my gal fainted in the rain,
I throwed a bucket o’ dirt in her face just to bring her back again.

Dury, Ian. “Spasticus Autisticus”

Banned from airplay on the BBC in 1981 this song retains some of Dury’s enormous capacity to both provoke and entertain. ‘Spastic’ is apparently (watch out wiki-fact coming)  “the second most offensive term in the UK relating to disability” (pipped by “retard”) here it is being thoroughly ‘reclaimed’.

Spasticus Autisticus

I’m spasticus, I’m spasticus
I’m spasticus autisticus
I’m spasticus,
I’m spasticus
I’m spasticus autisticus
I’m spasticus, I’m spasticus
I’m spasticus autisticus

I wiggle when I piddle
‘Cos my middle is a riddle

I’m spasticus, I’m spasticus
I’m spasticus autisticus
I’m spasticus, I’m spasticus
I’m spasticus autisticus
I’m spasticus, I’m spasticus
I’m spasticus autisticus

I dribble when I nibble
And I quibble when I scribble

Hello to you out there in Normal Land
You may not comprehend my tale or understand
As I crawl past your window give me lucky looks
You can read my body but you’ll never read my books

I’m spasticus, I’m spasticus
I’m spasticus autisticus
I’m spasticus, I’m spasticus
I’m spasticus autisticus
I’m spasticus, I’m spasticus
I’m spasticus autisticus

I’m knobbled on the cobbles
‘Cos I hobble when I wobble

Swim!

So place your hard-earned peanuts in my tin
And thank the Creator you’re not in the state I’m in
So long have I been languished on the shelf
I must give all proceedings to myself

I’m spasticus, I’m spasticus
I’m spasticus autisticus
I’m spasticus,
I’m spasticus
I’m spasticus autisticus
I’m spasticus, I’m spasticus
I’m spasticus autisticus

54 appliances in leather and elastic
100,000 thank you’s from
27 … spastics

Spasticus, spasticus
Spasticus autisticus
Spasticus,
spasticus
Spasticus autisticus
Spasticus, spasticus
Spasticus autisticus

Widdling, griddling, skittling, diddling, fiddling, diddling, widdling, diddling, spasticus

I’m spasticus, spasticus
Spasticus autisticus
Spasticus, spasticus
Spasticus autisticus
Spasticus, spasticus
Spasticus autisticus

Spasticus, spasticus
Spasticus autisticus

I’m spasticus!
I’m spasticus!
I’m spasticus!
I’m spasticus!
I’m spasticus!
I’m spasticus!
I’m spasticus!
Spasticus!

Springsteen, Bruce. The Streets of Philadelphia

Released in 1994 as part of Philadelphia soundtrack

 

I was bruised and battered and I couldn’t tell
What I felt
I was unrecognizable to myself
I saw my reflection in a window I didn’t know
My own face
Oh brother are you gonna leave me
Wastin´away
On the streets of Philadelphia

I walked the avenue till my legs felt like stone
I heard the voices of friends vanished and gone
At night I could hear the blood in my veins
Black and whispering as the rain
On the streets of Philadelphia

Ain’t no angel gonna greet me
It’s just you and I my friend
My clothes don’t fit me no more
I walked a thousand miles
Just to slip the skin

The night has fallen, I’m lyin’ awake
I can feel myself fading away
So receive me brother with your faithless kiss
Or will we leave each other alone like this
On the streets of Philadelphia

Loesser, Frank. “Adelaide’s Lament”


You will soon get used to ‘somatisation’ in medicine, and relationship problems will also come to  your door very regularly. This song, from the musical Guys and Dolls, expresses the ‘exotic dancer’ Miss Adelaide’s response to being endlessly left hanging near the altar by her boyfriend Nathan Detroit. A brillliant witty song from a show that is stacked full of them.

Adelaide’s Lament

(spoken)It says here…
(sung)The average unmarried female,
Basically insecure,
Due to some long frustration may react
With psychosomatic symptoms,
Difficult to endure,
Affecting the upper respiratory tract.

In other words,
Just from waiting around for that plain little band of gold,
A person can develop a cold.
You can spray her wherever you figure the streptococci lurk,
You can give her a shot for whatever she’s got, but it just won’t work.
If she’s tired of getting the fisheye from the hotel clerk,
A person can develop a cold.

(spoken) It says here…
(sung) The female remaining single,
Just in the legal sense,
Has a neurotic tendency, see note. (spoken) Tendency see no– Oh!
See note.
(sung) Chronic, organic syndromes,

Toxic or hypertense,
Affecting the eye, the ear, the nose, or throat.

In other words, Just from worrying whether the wedding is on or off,
A person can develop a cough.
You can feed her all day with the Vitamin A and the Bromo fizz,
But the medicine never get’s anywhere near where the trouble is.
If she’s getting a kind of a name for herself, and the name ain’t his,
A person can develop a cough.

And furthermore,
Just from stalling and stalling and stalling the wedding trip,
A person can develop La Grippe.
When they get on that train to Niagra, she can hear the churchbells chime.
The compartment is air conditioned and the mood sublime.
Then they get off at Saratoga for the fourteenth time,
A person can develop La Grippe,
La Grippe, La post-nasal drip,
With the wheezes, and the sneezes, and the sinuses really a pip!
From a lack of community property and a feeling she’s getting to old,
A person can develop a big bad cold.

Lehrer, T. “I Got It From Agnes”

You wouldn’t want to do the contact tracing on this one! Social networks are important in medicine – whether it is understanding infection, smoking behaviour or the dissemination of evidence-based medical practice, ‘who you know‘ does matter. I think there are better Tom Lehrer songs (“We will all burn together when we go” being a particular personal favourite) a Youtube search will reveal many of them.

I Got It From Agnes

I love my friends, and they love me,
We’re just as close as we can be.
And just because we really care,
Whatever we get, we share!

I got it from Agnes,
She got it from Jim.
We all agree it must have been
Louise who gave it to him.

She got it from Harry,
Who got it from Marie,
And everybody knows that Marie
Got it from me.

Giles got it from Daphne,
She got it from Joan,
Who picked it up in County Cork,
A-kissin’ the Blarney Stone.

Pierre gave it to Sheila,
Who must have brought it there.
He got it from Francois and Jacques,
Haha, Lucky Pierre!

Max got it from Edith,
Who gets it every spring.
She got it from her Daddy,
Who just gives her everything.

She then gave it to Daniel,
Whose spaniel has it now.
Our dentist even got it,
And we’re still wondering how.

Ah, but I got it from Agnes,
Or maybe it was Sue,
Or Millie or Billie or Gillie or Willie,
It doesn’t matter who.

It might have been at the club,
Or at the pub, or in the loo,
And if you will be my friend,
Then I might.
Mind you, I said “might”
Give it to you!

Gilmour D, Waters R. “Comfortably Numb”

Originally from the Pink Floyd Album ‘The Wall’, I first heard it in the Scissor
Sisters version.

Apparently originally written in response to Roger Waters’ experience of painkilling tranquilisers before a concert, it no doubt also provides a ‘user’ as well as a ‘patient’ perspective.

(If the Sisters are not your cup of tea – here are Waters and Gilmour from 2011)

Comfortably Numb

Hello
Is there anybody in there?
Just nod if you can hear me.
Is there anyone home?
Come on, now.
I hear you’re feeling down.
Well I can ease your pain,
Get you on your feet again.
Relax.
I need some information first.
Just the basic facts,
Can you show me where it hurts?
There is no pain, you are receding.
A distant ship’s smoke on the horizon.
You are only coming through in waves.
Your lips move but I can’t hear what you’re sayin’.
When I was a child I had a fever.
My hands felt just like two balloons.
Now I got that feeling once again.
I can’t explain, you would not understand.
This is not how I am.
I have become comfortably numb.
Ok.
Just a little pinprick.
There’ll be no more …Aaaaaahhhhh!
But you may feel a little sick.
Can you stand up?
I do believe it’s working. Good.
That’ll keep you going for the show.
Come on it’s time to go.
There is no pain, you are receding.
A distant ship’s smoke on the horizon.
You are only coming through in waves.
Your lips move but I can’t hear what you’re sayin’.
When I was a child
I caught a fleeting glimpse,
Out of the corner of my eye.
I turned to look but it was gone.
I cannot put my finger on it now.
The child is grown, the dream is gone.
I have become comfortably numb.

 

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Edwards, Richey. 4st 7lb

As Stuart Flannagan says in his BMJ piece (see ‘Medical Classics’ link below) “This song from the Manic Street Preachers’ 1994 album The Holy Bible is an uncompromising account of life with anorexia nervosa, with lyrics written by the band’s guitarist, Richey Edwards.

4st 7lb

I eat too much to die
And not enough to stay alive
I’m sitting in the middle waiting

Days since I last pissed
Cheeks sunken and despaired
So gorgeous sunk to six stone
Lose my only remaining home

See my third rib appear
A week later all my flesh disappears
Stretching taut, cling-film on bone
I’m getting better

Karen says I’ve reached my target weight
Kate and Emma and Kristin know it’s fake
Problem is diet’s not a big enough word
I wanna be so skinny that I rot from view

I want to walk in the snow
And not leave a footprint
I want to walk in the snow
And not soil its purity

Stomach collapsed at five
Lift up my skirt my sex is gone
Naked and lovely and 5st. 2
May I bud and never flower

My vision’s getting blurred
But I can see my ribs and I feel fine
My hands are trembling stalks
And I can feel my breasts are sinking

Mother tries to choke me with roast beef
And sits savouring her sole Ryvita
That’s the way you’re built my father said
But I can change, my cocoon shedding

I want to walk in the snow
And not leave a footprint
I want to walk in the snow
And not soil its purity

Kate and Kristin and Kit Kat
All things I like looking at
Too weak to fuss, too weak to die
Choice is skeletal in everybody’s life

I choose my choice, I starve to frenzy
Hunger soon passes and sickness soon tires
Legs bend, stockinged I am Twiggy
And I don’t mind the horror that surrounds me

Self-worth scatters, self-esteem’s a bore
I long since moved to a higher plateau
This discipline’s so rare so please applaud
Just look at the fat scum who pamper me so

Yeh 4st. 7, an epilogue of youth
Such beautiful dignity in self-abuse
I’ve finally come to understand life
Through staring blankly at my navel

Gottschalk LM. Tarantella

A little bit of history, music, dance and an unexplained medical mystery.

This link is to a short section of a ‘Tarantella’ 
This one is by the composer Louis Moreau Gottschalk. The Tarantella is an Italian folk dance, lively and rhythmic and apparently a way of suppressing the ‘dancing plague’ that could follow the bite of the local tarantula. Intrigued? For more about this you could read this article from the Lancet. The authors final conclusions are, “…these bizarre events are well worth remembering. For they provide an object lesson in the power of our beliefs and expectations to shape the expression of psychological distress. In an age dominated by genetic explanations, the dancing plagues remind us that the symptoms of mental illnesses are not fixed and unchanging, but can be modified by changing cultural milieus. At the same time, the phenomenon of the dancing mania, in all its rich perversity, reveals the extremes to which fear and supernaturalism can lead us.”

Athlete. “Wires”

A massively popular single from the 2005 album ‘Tourist’, ‘Wires’ is about singer Joel Pott’s recollection of his newborn daughter being rushed into neonatal intensive care

Wires

You got wires going in
You got wires coming out of your skin
You got tears making tracks
I’ve got tears that are scared of the facts

Running down corridors, through automatic doors
Got to get to you, got to see this through
I see hope is here in a plastic box
I’ve seen Christmas lights reflect in your eyes

You got wires going in
You got wires coming out of your skin
There’s dry blood on your wrist
Your dry blood on my fingertip

Running down corridors, through automatic doors
Got to get to you, got to see this through
First night of your life, curled up on your own
Looking at you now you would never know

I see it in your eyes; I see it in your eyes
You’ll be alright I see it in your eyes;
I see it in your eyes You’ll be alright
All right

Running down corridors, through automatic doors
Got to get to you, got to see this through
I see hope is here in a plastic box
I’ve seen Christmas lights reflect in your eyes

Running down corridors, through automatic doors
Got to get to you, got to see this through
First night of your life, curled up on your own
Looking at you now you would never know