Caught in the middle of a....
December 9, 2018 1:04 PM   Subscribe

I have volunteered to compile questions for the music round at a science-themed pub quiz next week. Please help me find popular/famous songs which have a 'sciency' title (or artist) but that are NOT actually science-themed songs.

I plan to play the intro and/or first verse of each song (or possibly just read some lyrics). Contestants have to guess the song title or artist, one of which needs to have a science, technology, engineering or maths theme.

Whenever I google this, I get lists of actual 'songs about science' (most of which are quite obscure) which is not what I need. Also, no parody or kids' songs.

The songs need to be relatively well-known to a UK audience ranging in age from about 25-60.

For example, songs which could work:

Chain Reaction - Diana Ross
Supermassive Black Hole - Muse
Radioactive - Imagine Dragons
Anything by The Chemical Brothers

Songs which don't work:
Quantum Theory - Jarvis Cocker (too obscure)
Anything from They Might Be Giants' Science album (song is about science)
posted by atlantica to Media & Arts (44 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
'It's poetry in motion
She turned her tender eyes to me
As deep as any ocean
As sweet as any harmony'

... is the first verse of She blinded Me with Science by Thomas Dolby. I'm your target audience and I think it hits the spot!
posted by HandfulOfDust at 1:16 PM on December 9, 2018 [6 favorites]


Both John Mayer and Sarah Bareilles have songs called “Gravity.”
posted by ejs at 1:20 PM on December 9, 2018


Blondie Atomic
posted by StephenB at 1:21 PM on December 9, 2018 [5 favorites]


The 1980s band The Firm had a one-hit wonder in "Radioactive."

What's the most popular single from The Magnetic Fields?
posted by Sunburnt at 1:23 PM on December 9, 2018 [1 favorite]


Laurie Anderson had an album and a song "Big Science"...
posted by BillMcMurdo at 1:25 PM on December 9, 2018 [1 favorite]


Does Debbie Gibson's "Electric Youth" work? That's another song that might only work for players Of A Certain Age.
posted by Sunburnt at 1:25 PM on December 9, 2018


Chemistry by Girls Aloud.

EDIT that was the album, the single was Biology
posted by el_presidente at 1:26 PM on December 9, 2018


When we do music rounds in trivia (some of which is themed, some of which isn't) it's a "name the title and artist" sort of thing, half point for each with ten points total. Sometimes people can get one but not the other. Here are a few

Radioactive - The Firm (would be funny with the Imagine Dragons one also)
Opposites Attract - Paula Abdul
Chemistry Between Us - Suede
posted by jessamyn at 1:26 PM on December 9, 2018


Total Eclipse of the Heart -- astronomy
posted by basalganglia at 1:27 PM on December 9, 2018 [1 favorite]


Anything by Gene Autry would make me groan hard, but, it is technically a name with a science word innit.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 1:28 PM on December 9, 2018


Black Hole Sun - Soundgarden
Animal Nitrate - Suede
Higgs Boson Blues - Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
posted by Miss Otis' Egrets at 1:39 PM on December 9, 2018


Fountains of Wayne Radiation Vibe

shine on shine on shine on
posted by fluttering hellfire at 1:46 PM on December 9, 2018 [1 favorite]


Chemistry by Semisonic.
posted by jocelmeow at 1:47 PM on December 9, 2018


Defying Gravity from the Wicked Musical
posted by Caravantea at 1:48 PM on December 9, 2018


Oh, and Champagne Supernova
posted by Cold Lurkey at 1:49 PM on December 9, 2018 [3 favorites]


Beastie Boys Intergalactic
posted by bleep at 1:52 PM on December 9, 2018 [5 favorites]


Keith - "98.6"
Polecats - "Make a Circuit With Me"
Carole King - "I Feel the Earth Move"
Deep Purple - "Burn"
Oingo Boingo - "Grey Matter"
The Sweet - "Love Is Like Oxygen"
Van Halen - "Atomic Punk"

Maybe:
The Tornados - "Telstar"
Georgio Moroder - "Faster Than The Speed Of Light"
Devo - "Space Junk"
Lou Reed - "Satellite of Love"
Massive Attack - "Inertia Creeps"
posted by rhizome at 1:53 PM on December 9, 2018 [2 favorites]


Beatles - Across the Universe
Elvis - Workin on the Building
posted by jessamyn at 1:59 PM on December 9, 2018


Elton John:
Rocket Man
Circle Of Life

Coldplay
The Scientist
Speed of sound
posted by bleep at 2:06 PM on December 9, 2018


The song “Aluminum” off the White Stripes album White Blood Cells would be hard, but “Girl, You Have No Faith In Medicine” would be gettable. Also, you could likely search your way down the periodic table to get some more song titles.
posted by deludingmyself at 2:08 PM on December 9, 2018


David Bowie. Space Oddity
posted by FencingGal at 2:10 PM on December 9, 2018 [2 favorites]


Anything by AC/DC, but eg Highway to Hell
posted by cdefgfeadgagfe at 2:20 PM on December 9, 2018 [1 favorite]


"The Scientist" -- Coldplay
"Robot Rock" -- Daft Punk
"DNA" -- Kendrick Lamar
"Paranoid Android" -- Radiohead
"Electrical Storm" -- U2
"Sirius" -- The Alan Parsons Project
"Crystalised" - The xx
"BUTTERFLY EFFECT" -- Travis Scott
"Gravity" -- Sara Bareilles
"Human Behaviour" -- Björk
"Experiment IV" -- Kate Bush
posted by rollick at 2:21 PM on December 9, 2018 [2 favorites]


There's a British duo called "Oxide & Neutrino" that had a few pop hits in the 2000s.
posted by muddgirl at 2:35 PM on December 9, 2018


Under Pressure - Queen

Would songs with numbers in the title fit the math requirement? 1999, for example?
posted by SuperSquirrel at 2:54 PM on December 9, 2018


"The Humans Are Dead" -- Flight of the Conchords
"Mr. Roboto" -- Styx
"Walking on the Moon" -- The Police
"Man on the Moon" -- R.E.M.
"Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger" -- Daft Punk
"Time Warp" -- Rocky Horror Picture Show
"The Body Electric" -- Fame
"Defying Gravity" -- Wicked
"Black Hole Sun" -- Soundgarden
"The Final Countdown" -- Europe
"Drag Me Down" -- One Direction
"Under the Milky Way Tonight" -- The Church
posted by argonauta at 3:06 PM on December 9, 2018 [2 favorites]


Astronomy Domine – Pink Floyd
Set The Controls for the Heart of the Sun – also Pink Floyd
Cygnus X-1 – Rush (Sheesh, these are all prog rock)
Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft – Klaatu (covered by and a major hit for The Carpenters)
2000 Light Years From Home – Rolling Stones
Life On Mars – David Bowie
If Jarvis Cocker is too obscure you probably don't want to hear about The Rezillos, but Destination Venus
posted by rodlymight at 3:10 PM on December 9, 2018 [1 favorite]


Are Friends Electric?, Tubeway Army/Gary Numan
posted by HandfulOfDust at 3:19 PM on December 9, 2018 [1 favorite]


R.E.M. - “What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?”
posted by JoeZydeco at 3:26 PM on December 9, 2018 [5 favorites]


"Add It Up" -- Violent Femmes
"Electric Avenue" -- Eddy Grant
"Let Love Be Your Energy" -- Robbie Williams
“FourFiveSeconds” -- Rihanna, Paul McCartney, Kanye West
"Love Will Tear Us Apart" -- Joy Division
"One Is the Loneliest Number" -- Three Dog Night
posted by argonauta at 3:35 PM on December 9, 2018


"Supersymmetry" - The Arcade Fire.
"I Don't Want to Get Over You" - The Magnetic Fields
posted by gideonfrog at 3:54 PM on December 9, 2018


"Neutron Dance" -- Pointer Sisters
"Earth and Sun and Moon" -- Midnight Oil
"Venus" -- Shocking Blue
"Physical" -- Olivia Newton-John
"Particle Man" -- yes, TMBG, but this song isn't about science per se
"Atomic Dog" -- George Clinton
"Strict Machine" -- Goldfrapp
"Cosmic Thing" -- B-52s
"Female of the Species" -- Space (double the science!)
"Walking on Sunshine" -- Katrina and the Waves
"Take It to the Limit" -- Eagles (I play this one for my calculus class, along with "Chain of Fools"...)

... and Bach's Mass in B Minor ...
posted by aws17576 at 3:59 PM on December 9, 2018 [1 favorite]


The Gap Band You Dropped a Bomb On Me
posted by bleep at 4:10 PM on December 9, 2018


"Astronomy" -- Blue Oyster Cult
posted by Janta at 4:27 PM on December 9, 2018


David Bowie, Life on Mars?
Dandy Warhols, I am a Scientist
Guided By Voices, I am a Scientist (No relation)
Sun Ra Arkestra, Space Is The Place
posted by zamboni at 5:03 PM on December 9, 2018 [1 favorite]


Have you seen this question about robot-related music?
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:33 PM on December 9, 2018


Katy Perry E.T.
posted by fingersandtoes at 8:17 PM on December 9, 2018


A lot of the lyrics are science (or at least the societal promise of scientific progress) related, but I don't think it's about science as such...I.G.Y (International
Geophysical Year )
by Donald Fagen.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 8:58 PM on December 9, 2018


Beach Boys - Good Vibrations
posted by Homer42 at 1:41 AM on December 10, 2018


E=MCsquared - Big Audio Dynamite
Love Missilie F1-11 - Sigue Sigue Sputnik
Satellite of Love- Lou Reed, also covered by various others.
Galaxy Song - Monty Python
Astronomy - Blue Oyster Cult
posted by biffa at 1:50 AM on December 10, 2018


My Chemical Romance - Welcome to the Black Parade. In the UK the single went Platinum, album went 2x Platinum.
posted by Homer42 at 1:57 AM on December 10, 2018


Titanium - Sia
posted by crazycanuck at 8:23 AM on December 10, 2018


Tesla Girls - OMD
posted by gingerbeer at 12:27 PM on December 10, 2018


Indigo Girls - Galileo
posted by zamboni at 1:51 PM on December 10, 2018 [1 favorite]


« Older Did I just give myself mild carbon monoxide...   |   Used Camera for Action Shots Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments