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Songs with words spelled out in the lyrics?
August 7, 2006 5:59 PM   Subscribe

I'm writing a puzzle for an online game, and trying to think of songs in which the lyrics include words being spelled out...

For example Y-M-C-A, or S-A-F-E-T-Y in some recordings of "Safety Dance". The Kinks' "Lola" would be another example, with C-O-L-A and L-O-L-A. Can anyone think of some others?
posted by rifflesby to Media & Arts (83 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
R-E-S-P-E-C-T!
posted by easternblot at 6:02 PM on August 7, 2006


"Nth Degree" by Morningwood. They spell out the name of their band.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 6:03 PM on August 7, 2006


R.O.C.K in the USA by John Mellencamp
posted by karmaville at 6:03 PM on August 7, 2006


Hot Chip -Over and Over

Respect -Aretha Franklin
posted by oneirodynia at 6:04 PM on August 7, 2006


And I forgot G-L-O-R-I-A
posted by easternblot at 6:04 PM on August 7, 2006 [1 favorite]


D.I.V.O.R.C.E. -- Tammy Wynette
posted by wryly at 6:06 PM on August 7, 2006


easternblot beat me.

BTW, does it matter if they're acronyms? YMCA doesn't actually spell anything, if that matters...
posted by oneirodynia at 6:07 PM on August 7, 2006


"A-E-I-O-U (and sometimes Y)" by EBN-OZN
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 6:07 PM on August 7, 2006


Washington DC - The Magnetic Fields
posted by Aznable at 6:08 PM on August 7, 2006


s-a-t-u-r-d-a-y Night!
posted by nightwood at 6:08 PM on August 7, 2006


Holla Back Girl: "this shit is bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S"

btw, I'm addicted to KOL!
posted by necessitas at 6:08 PM on August 7, 2006 [1 favorite]


the Pixies- Velouria
posted by oneirodynia at 6:08 PM on August 7, 2006


A little childish but there's BINGO

and then there's LOVE
posted by jedicus at 6:10 PM on August 7, 2006


the Cure -Fire in Cairo
posted by oneirodynia at 6:11 PM on August 7, 2006


Sort of the opposite of what you're talking about (though related...), but ABC-DEF-GHI, from the Sesame Street original cast recording, has always been one of my personal favorites...
posted by dersins at 6:11 PM on August 7, 2006


Sufjan Stevens - They Are Night Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!! They Have Come Back From The Dead!! Ahhhh!
(Seriously. Off of Illinoise)
posted by disillusioned at 6:12 PM on August 7, 2006


Prince's "Diamonds and Pearls" has "D to the I to the A to the M / O to the N to the D to the / Pearls of love" as a lyric.
posted by cgc373 at 6:14 PM on August 7, 2006


Q And Not U - Soft Pyramids
posted by Espy Gillespie at 6:16 PM on August 7, 2006


Oh, and Wikipedia with titles.
posted by cgc373 at 6:16 PM on August 7, 2006


I always like the song Morningwood - Nth Degree, even though it's really poppy and silly
posted by hatsix at 6:16 PM on August 7, 2006


P-P-S I L-O-V-E Y-O-U
posted by baltimore at 6:17 PM on August 7, 2006


H to The Izzo.
posted by Espy Gillespie at 6:18 PM on August 7, 2006


Beer Run - Garth Brooks & George Jones (written by Keith Anderson)

TROUBLE - Travis Tritt

Several rap artists spell their names in one or more of their songs. One of the most rhythmically inventive examples of this I recall is Snoop Doggy Dogg's rendition of his full moniker in Dre's Ain't Nuthin But a G Thang.
posted by The Confessor at 6:18 PM on August 7, 2006


M Is for the Many things she gave me,
O Means only that she's growing Old.
T Is for the Tears she shed to save me,
H Is for her Heart of purest gold.
E Is for her Eyes with love light shining,
R Means Right and Right she'll always be.

Put them all together, They spell MOTHER.
A word that means the world to me.
posted by SPrintF at 6:20 PM on August 7, 2006


Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother
Raggmopp
I've Got a Gal in Kalamazoo
posted by Addlepated at 6:25 PM on August 7, 2006


P.A.S.S.I.O.N. by Rhythm Syndicate.
posted by daninnj at 6:26 PM on August 7, 2006


Holy crap, you guys are fast! Thanks :D
posted by rifflesby at 6:26 PM on August 7, 2006


woody guthrie sang about
b-e-e-t-s not b-e-a-t-s
i must not think bad thoughts
i must not think bad thoughts

- X

posted by Raymond Marble at 6:28 PM on August 7, 2006


K-a-l-a-m-a-z-oh I got girl in Kalamazoo.

"I've got a girl in Kalamazoo"
Glenn Miller
posted by Eringatang at 6:31 PM on August 7, 2006


M-I-C
K-E-Y
M-O-U-S-E

I don't know what it says about me that this is the only one I can think of that hasn't been posted, but there you go, it needs to be mentioned.

Also, I'm pretty sure PWEI spells out those letters in at least one song, though it isn't much of a word.
posted by sfenders at 6:35 PM on August 7, 2006


Weird Al spells part of Albuquerque. But not all of it.
posted by sugarfish at 6:35 PM on August 7, 2006


Queen Latifah's U.N.I.T.Y
posted by MarkLark at 6:37 PM on August 7, 2006


C-A-M-P-F-I-R-E S-O-N-G song
posted by Lucinda at 6:45 PM on August 7, 2006


L is for LOVE, baby
O is for ONLY you that I do
V is for loving VIRTUALLY everything that you are
E is for loving almost EVERYTHING that you do
R is for RAPE me
M is for MURDER me
A is for ANSWERING all of my prayers
N is for KNOWING your loverman's going to be the answer to all of yours

...

L is for LOVE, baby
O is for OH yes I do
V is for VIRTUE, so I ain't gonna hurt you
E is for EVEN if you want me to
R is for RENDER unto me, baby
M is for that which is MINE
A is for ANY old how, darling, and
N is for ANY old time
posted by Khalad at 6:46 PM on August 7, 2006


FFS please don't use Hollaback Girl.

The (International) Noise Conspiracy - Do I Have To Spell It Out? spells things out, naturally.

KOMPRESSOR - K Is For KOMPRESSOR doesn't quite spell things out, but it does a childrens' ABC thing and has KOMPRESSOR POWER.

They Might Be Giants - Sexxy spells the word incorrectly.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 6:55 PM on August 7, 2006


Psychopharmacology by Grandpaboy (aka Paul Westerberg), "A-D-D, P-C-P, F-U-C-K-E-D- that's me."
posted by jodic at 6:59 PM on August 7, 2006


Now the d and the a and the m
And the n and the a
And the t and the i-o-n
Lose your face, lose your name
Then get fitted for a suit of flame!

- Squirrel Nut Zippers, "Hell", from Hot
posted by mendel at 7:02 PM on August 7, 2006


Okkervil River's Happy Hearts

"See the people on the street?
They go home and what do you think they dream of?
U-n-c-o-n-d-i-t-i-o-n-a-l l-o-v-e"
posted by Flamingo at 7:07 PM on August 7, 2006


Washington, D.C. by the Magnetic Fields. W-A-S-H-I-N-G, T-O-N, baby, D-C!
posted by redfoxtail at 7:17 PM on August 7, 2006


Big D little a double l a spells 'Dallas'....

M i crooked letter crooked letter i crooked letter crooked letter i humpback humpback i Mississippi
posted by LeisureGuy at 7:24 PM on August 7, 2006


U-G-L-Y you ain’t got no alibi
posted by sfenders at 7:34 PM on August 7, 2006


'What A Horrible Night For A Curse' by Bear Vs. Shark

Monday, Tuesday Wednesday
Thursday, Friday, Saturday
S-U-N-D-A-Y
M-O-R-N-I-N-G

posted by Venadium at 7:35 PM on August 7, 2006


Baltimore beat my first Elvis Costello guess above. So here's another: I S-T-A-N-D A-C-C-U-S-E-D.
posted by Mapes at 7:37 PM on August 7, 2006


Do I have to spell it out? C-H-E-E-S-E-A-N-D-O-N-I-O-N-S, oh no. Are there no Rutles fans here? (Thanks to the OnlyCoolTim for prodding my memory.)
posted by kimota at 7:44 PM on August 7, 2006


http://www.flakmag.com/misc/spell.html
posted by blueshammer at 7:47 PM on August 7, 2006


Nat King Cole.

L is for the way you look at me... :)
posted by Andrhia at 7:49 PM on August 7, 2006


S.O.F.T. by Elastica
(Same Old Fracking Thing)

(erm...I love you, Starbuck!)
posted by cowbellemoo at 8:00 PM on August 7, 2006


L-O-L-A Lola, La la la la Lola...
posted by emelenjr at 8:05 PM on August 7, 2006


Gloria. G-L-O-R-I-A. (not the Laura Brannigan one, the Doors/Van Morrison one)

H to the Izzo, V to the Izzay (HOVA in Jay-Z spizeak)
posted by macadamiaranch at 8:13 PM on August 7, 2006


I know LOVE songs are more or less donr to death, but what about L.O.V.E by Ashlee Simpson *L-O-L-O-L-O-L-O-V-E L-O-L-O-L-O That's what I'm Talkin' 'bout*
posted by cholly at 8:24 PM on August 7, 2006


F.E.E.L.I.N.G.C.A.L.L.E.D.L.O.V.E by Pulp.
bloody great song.
posted by tonylord at 8:32 PM on August 7, 2006


V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N, by Connie Francis
posted by yellowcandy at 8:34 PM on August 7, 2006


XTC's Your Dictionary:

H-A-T-E
Is that how you spell love in your dictionary?
K-I-C-K
Pronounced as kind
F-U-C-K
Is that how you spell friend in your dictionary?
Black on black
A guidebook for the blind

...

S-L-A-P
Is that how you spell kiss in your dictionary?
C-O-L-D
Pronounced as care
S-H-I-T
Is that how you spelt me in your dictionary?
Four-eyed fool
You led 'round everywhere
posted by painquale at 9:08 PM on August 7, 2006


H A double R I, G A N spells Harrigan.
...and I just found a list for you.
posted by Soliloquy at 9:11 PM on August 7, 2006


Frank Black (of the pixies) is famous for having lots of "acrostics" in his songs, where, say, the firt letters of each line will spell things. There is one in "Speedy Marie": JEAN MARIE WALSH. It's also a 14 line sonnet. Yeah, he rules. The song "Robert Onion" spells out "ROBERT THE CASE FOR MARS ZUBRIN" (Zubrin wrote a book about settling mars).

These are pretty freaking tricky though.
posted by RustyBrooks at 9:14 PM on August 7, 2006


The Jam, "A-Bomb in Wardour Street":
A-P-O-C-A-L-Y-P-S-E, Apocalypse!
posted by kirkaracha at 9:19 PM on August 7, 2006


U.G.L.Y. - Daphne & Celeste... not the world's greatest song, but hey, they spell.
posted by teststrip at 9:34 PM on August 7, 2006


Faith No More, "Be Aggressive".
posted by furiousthought at 9:36 PM on August 7, 2006


M-I-A, another M-I, M-I-A-M-I spells "Miami Beach."
posted by 23skidoo at 9:49 PM on August 7, 2006


Black Eyed Peas, "Pump It"- F-R-E-S-H we fresh, D-E-F, that’s right we def... B-L-A-C-K E-Y-E-D P to the E, then the A to the S
posted by candyland at 9:53 PM on August 7, 2006


"I'm a People," George Jones. Strange song.

But I spell a P, a little bitty E.
Sweet bop, bop, bop, sh-shoo, shoobie doobie doh,
And a little round O.
Now you add another P, a big skinny L,
There's a-one more E,
An' you got a people that looks like, me.

posted by argybarg at 9:54 PM on August 7, 2006


Todd Snider, "Beer Run." B - Double E - Double R - U - N, beer run
posted by whatideserve at 9:57 PM on August 7, 2006


Hall and Oates, "Method of Modern Love" (M-E-T-H-O-D-O-F-L-O-V-E)

They Might Be Giants, "Don't Lets Start" -
D World destruction
O -ver an overture
N - do I need
apostrophe T - need this torture...
posted by mmoncur at 10:29 PM on August 7, 2006 [1 favorite]


Tripping Daisy - geeareohdoubleyou
posted by bob sarabia at 11:04 PM on August 7, 2006


Ottowan - D.I.S.C.O

She is D, delirious
She is I, incredible
She is S, superficial
She is C, complicated
She is O, oh, oh, oh

I'm not going to be able to sleep now I've got that running through my head.
posted by azlondon at 11:51 PM on August 7, 2006


this is riff from kol?

man i loved/hated your original riddle contest!

(R.A.K.I.M - Rakim - on the 8 mile soundtrack)
posted by sergeant sandwich at 11:58 PM on August 7, 2006


C - A - L - L - I - N - G NOW
Calling you, you, you
Calling you now!

- "Calling You", Aqua
posted by divabat at 12:35 AM on August 8, 2006


F-R-E-²-Z-E-P-O-P Freezepop forever!
posted by aubilenon at 1:10 AM on August 8, 2006


Snoop Dogg raps in Nuthin But A G Thang (Dr Dre, The Chronic):

"It's the capital S oh yeah I'm fresh N double O P, D O double G Y D O double G you see."

And Dr Dre in the same song:

"But I'm never off, always on, to the break of dawn, C-O-M-P-T-O-N, and the city they call Long Beach"


I am eleven years old again!
posted by pollystark at 2:06 AM on August 8, 2006


I don't know if it counts but there's always B.Y.O.B by System of a Down : ]
posted by cholly at 2:33 AM on August 8, 2006


constantines - hyacinth blues: O V E R D O S E
posted by nautone at 4:31 AM on August 8, 2006


Ah, a favorite... Morrissey's Ouija Board, Ouija Board: "S-T-E-V-E-N... P-U-S-H O-DOUBLE-F!"
posted by kittyb at 6:16 AM on August 8, 2006


Sloan — "I Hate My Generation": S-E-A-N S-A-I-D P-L-A-Y.
Sam Roberts Band — "The Canadian Way": S-O-C-I-A-L-I-S-M. (No, really.)
posted by Johnny Assay at 6:20 AM on August 8, 2006


Spelling things is very common in rap songs. The problem, though, from a puzzle-making perspective, is that people usually spell their own names.

"It's the N-O T-O R-I O U-S, you best lay down slow" (also "B-I double-G-I E")--Notorious BIG, 'Goin' Back to Cali'

"M-E-T-H-O-D Man, M-E-T-H-O-D Man, who I am, who I am, the Method Man"--Wu-Tang Clan, 'Method Man' (IIRC, there's another version on Meth's 'Tical' album)

"We be the crew, guess who, the Jayou R-A-double-S-I-C"--Jurassic 5, 'Jayou'

"The D-O-N-N-I-E the W-A-H-L unto the B-E-R-G has spoken, and now the games must cease"--New Kids on the Block, 'Games'
posted by box at 6:58 AM on August 8, 2006


8-6-7 5-3-0-9 ... kinda. :)?
posted by WCityMike at 7:18 AM on August 8, 2006


R, ravishing
I, impress
C, courageous 'cause I care less
K for the Kangols that I got that I wear every day, and
Y? Why not!
-Slick Rick, "Mona Lisa"

Also, K-Solo had a single called "Letterman" back in the early '90s that unveiled a new and totally wickwickwack style of spelling out almost everything he was saying. And on the R&B tip (not the T-L-C tip), "never G-I-V-E, U-P / and keep ya H-E-A-D, U-P" is a prominent and repeated part of Jaheim's "Fabulous."

For a famous and egregious misspelling, Warren G killed it with his "what's next, what's N-X-E-T" in "What's Next."
posted by LDL_Plackenfatz at 7:19 AM on August 8, 2006


BE! AGGRESSIVE! B-E-A-G-G-R-I-S-S-I-V-E!
(Faith No More)

There's a girl group cover of Gloria called "Melvin" where they spell out the titular character (by The Belles).

And I'm trying to remember the soul song (I thought on the Animal House soundtrack, but I don't have it handy) that spells out a bunch of stuff and then gives a different, but associated, meaning to it. But all I can remember is the melody for the "I-O-N... spells I love You" part.

And there's Muddy Waters "I'm A Man." "I spell M-A-N"
posted by klangklangston at 8:07 AM on August 8, 2006


'Cause I'm A Blond- Julie Brown

Spells out B-L-O-N-D, and then later song also spells blond as B-L-I-N_D
posted by rmless at 8:18 AM on August 8, 2006


Ralph's World -- The Coffee Song, from his CD "At the Bottom of the Sea". It's all kids' music, but this song is the best on the album because it's for the parents :-):

M-O-M-M-Y needs C-O-F-F-E-E
D-A-D-D-Y needs C-O-F-F-E-E
I love my kid... I love my kid
Gosh, I need love my kid
But I need what I need, and I need a lot of what I need
C-O-F-F-E-E
M-O-M-M-Y needs C-O-F-F-E-E
D-A-D-D-Y needs C-O-F-F-E-E
I want a latte, a cappuccino
And tonight I think I’ll have a little vino
M-O-M-M-Y needs C-O-F-F-E-E
D-A-D-D-Y needs C-O-F-F-E-E
posted by Araucaria at 10:02 AM on August 8, 2006


Isn't it a federal offence to mention *this many* earworms in one thread?
posted by baylink at 2:46 PM on August 8, 2006


T-R-O-U-B-L-E by Travis Tritt
posted by Frank Grimes at 5:53 PM on August 8, 2006


p-r-i-v-a-c-y is priceless to me

A small PJ song 'pry, to' from the album Vitalogy.
posted by swapspace at 11:37 PM on August 8, 2006


L.O.V.E. by Red Flag. It can be a little difficult to make out though.

Oddly enough, there is also an Ashlee Simpson song of the same title that spells out the same word.


The Red Flag song is much better though, IMO.
posted by sperose at 4:49 PM on August 9, 2006


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