Songs of Silence
August 16, 2006 9:25 AM   Subscribe

Shhh! A mixcd about silence...

Looking for songs whose titles or lyrics prominently feature the word(s) "Shhh", "Quiet", "Hush", "Silence", "Whisper" and other similar concepts. May be willing to extend this to "Private" or "Secret" if it works. Pop/Rock/Alt from 50s to 00s, other genres considered.

I've already thought of Bowie's "China Girl", S&G's "Sounds of Silence", "Secret Agent Man" (as a maybe) and "A Kind of Hush" by ???.
posted by grateful to Media & Arts (62 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: ...and to clarify, I'm not necessarily looking for quiet sounding songs, the focus is the title or lyrics.
posted by grateful at 9:26 AM on August 16, 2006

"Don't Speak" by No Doubt.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:26 AM on August 16, 2006 [1 favorite]

"Enjoy the Silence" by Depeche Mode
posted by canine epigram at 9:28 AM on August 16, 2006

Here are two:

Coldplay, "A Whisper"
Counting Crows, "Angels of the Silences"
posted by Milkman Dan at 9:28 AM on August 16, 2006

Bjork - "It's oh so quiet."
posted by fire&wings at 9:30 AM on August 16, 2006

"Silence is Sexy" by Einstürzende Neubauten
posted by wildgarlic at 9:31 AM on August 16, 2006

"Shut up" -the Replacements
posted by martinX's bellbottoms at 9:31 AM on August 16, 2006

Til Tuesday - Voices Carry
A kind of hush all over the world is by Herman's Hermits
posted by mattbucher at 9:32 AM on August 16, 2006

Icicle Works, "Whisper to a Scream"
'Til Tuesday, "Voices Carry"
Phish, "Silent in the Morning"
Julian Cope, "World Shut Your Mouth"
Queensryche, "Silent Lucidity" (ugh)
Wham!, "Careless Whisper" (UGH)
Transvision Vamp, "Tell That Girl to Shut Up" (Jesus God)
posted by Skot at 9:32 AM on August 16, 2006

"A Kind Of Hush" by The Carpenters or "There's a Kind of Hush All Over the World" by Herman's Hermits? Personally, I prefer the latter.

Einsturzende Neubauten's "Silence is Sexy".
posted by horseblind at 9:33 AM on August 16, 2006

Agh! mattbucher beat me. I swear it wasn't there on preview!
posted by horseblind at 9:34 AM on August 16, 2006

Skot, if you don't like the Wham! version of "Careless Whisper", you my prefer to check out the cover performed by Ben Folds and Rufus Wainwright. Which also should go on this cd.
posted by hermitosis at 9:35 AM on August 16, 2006

Tori Amos - Silence All These Years
posted by Sallysings at 9:37 AM on August 16, 2006

Wire's "Heartbeat" sort of works; about the tension and release between quiet and noise, and the human heartbeat that bridges them. Also one of the best punk songs ever, on the best punk album ever.

And, hell, barring that, there's always "Hush" by Deep Purple.
posted by koeselitz at 9:37 AM on August 16, 2006

Also: "Silent All These Years" by Tori Amos.

BTW, performing a title search in the iTunes music store of any of these keywords will yield great results, that you can even preview before downloading.
posted by hermitosis at 9:37 AM on August 16, 2006

"Silence" - Sarah McLachlan
posted by raedyn at 9:41 AM on August 16, 2006

Frou Frou - "Shh" (Details)
Azure Ray - "Don't Make a Sound" (Azure Ray)
posted by fuzzbean at 9:44 AM on August 16, 2006

Sound of Silence - Simon & Garfunkle
posted by rhapsodie at 9:49 AM on August 16, 2006

along these same lines, I recently came up with a killer mix by searching my database for "rain".

< searches database for "silence" >
Angels Of The Silences from by Counting Crows
King of Silence from by Cibo Matto
le silence from by Ollano
Mary of Silence from by Mazzy Star
Radio Silence from by Elvis Costello
Silence Is the Question from by The Bad Plus
Silence Must be Heard from by Enigma
Suffer in silence from by The Frames

< searches database for "silent" >
Mr. Silent Killer Gas Passer from by Real Men of Genius
The Roots - Silent Treatment from by Everything But The Girl
Silent All These Years from by Tori Amos
Silent Spring from by Bettie Serveert

< searches database for "quiet" >
Corcovado (Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars) from by Getz and Gilberto
It's Oh So Quiet from by Bjork
Maria Quiet (Maria Moite) from by Astrud Gilberto
My God Is So Quiet from by Kinky
Quiet from by The Beta Band
Quiet from by Smashing Pumpkins

< searches database for "whisper" >
careless whisper from by Wham!
From a Whisper to a Scream from by Elvis Costello
Stop Whispering from by Radiohead
Whisper from by Morphine
whispers and moans from by Crowded House
posted by mcstayinskool at 9:53 AM on August 16, 2006

sorry about the "from by" stuff above...there should be an album name there but there's a glitch in my system...
posted by mcstayinskool at 9:54 AM on August 16, 2006

Shh Peaceful by Miles Davis.
(I'll search now, but I wanted to get that in).
posted by klangklangston at 9:54 AM on August 16, 2006

The Four Seasons, "Silence is Golden"
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:00 AM on August 16, 2006

Hello Your Quietness (Islands) 10:06 Larry Young Lawrence of Newark
Quiet On Tha Set 3:59 NWA Straight Outta Compton
Pillow Talk 5:11 Quiet Village Project
Be Quiet Mt. Heart Attack! 3:30 Liars Drum's Not Dead
(Silence) 1:02 Ciccone Youth The Whitey Album
Bones & Silence 4:00 The Nova Express Dead Bees label sampler #3
Enjoy The Silence 6:12 Depeche Mode Violator
"Silence!" He Told Her 3:07 Matt Jones Right To Arms
Your Silent Face 5:59 New Order Power, Corruption & Lies
Radio Silents 1:54 Young Marble Giants Colossal Youth
silent street 7:07 maximum joy 99 records 12"
Silent Shout 4:53 The Knife Silent Shout
Silent Satta 4:06 Augustus Pablo King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown (Deluxe Edition)
Silent Lands 3:50 Material Memory Serves
This Big Hush 6:11 Shriekback Oil And Gold
Whisper Whisper 3:28 Bee Gees Odessa
Texas Never Whispers 3:08 Pavement Watery, Domestic
posted by klangklangston at 10:01 AM on August 16, 2006

The aforementioned "Careless Whisper" by Folds/Wainwright (live at Wolf Trap, 6-29-04) can be found here:
posted by grabbingsand at 10:02 AM on August 16, 2006

4′33″ by John Cage =)
posted by chrissyboy at 10:03 AM on August 16, 2006 [1 favorite]

The version of "Silent night" by Simon and Garfunkel might be worth an include.

I'd also recommend "Stories" by The Chakachas - you have to hear it to know what I mean.

And of course John Cage's 4'33 could go on there.
posted by rongorongo at 10:05 AM on August 16, 2006

Jim O'Rourke - Through the Night Softly
The Rapture - Silent Morning
Cornelius - Silent Snow Stream
Tom Brosseau - Quiet Drink
Atrud Gilberto, Sarah Vaughan, many others - Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars (Corcovado)
Run DMC - You Talk Too Much
The Sea and Cake - Soft and Sleep
Kelly Hogan & The Pine Valley Cosmonauts - Whispering Pines
Yo La Tengo - The Cone of Silence
Yo La Tengo - Let's Be Still
Shag - Stop and Listen (from Pebbles, Vol. 5)
The Kinks, The Pretenders - Stop Your Sobbing
Pattie Seymour - The Silencers
Galaxie 500 - Listen The Snow is Falling (covering Yoko Ono)

Quiet Riot - Cum On Feel The Noize
posted by hydrophonic at 10:09 AM on August 16, 2006

Wait(The Whisper Song) by the Ying Yang Twins
posted by Arch_Stanton at 10:10 AM on August 16, 2006

"I Better Be Quiet Now" Elliot Smith
"Whisper Not" Bennie Golson (Jazz instrumental)
"Quiet Surf" The Blue Hawaiians (Surf music instrumental)
"Honey Hush" Robert Nighthawk (Blues)
"Maria Shut Up and Kiss Me" Willie Nelson
"It's no Use Talk' Baby" Gene O'Quin (Western Swing)

"In a Silent Way" Miles Davis (Jazz instrumental - same album that Shh Peaceful is on that klangklangston mentions)

"Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars / Corcovado [mentioned above] Sarah Vaughn also does a nice version
posted by dog food sugar at 10:14 AM on August 16, 2006


Silence - Delirium feat Sarah Mclaughlan
Hush - Kula Shaker
There'll be Peace in The Valley - Johnny Cash
Atoms For Peace - Thom Yorke

and there's also the Tori Amos version of Depeche Mode's 'Enjoy the Silence' if for some bizarre reason you don't fancy the original.
posted by chrissyboy at 10:18 AM on August 16, 2006

"Oh Lately It's So Quiet" by OK Go
posted by KevCed at 10:18 AM on August 16, 2006

The Beach Boys - Don't Talk (Put Your Head on My Sholder)
Yo La Tengo - Don't Say a Word (Hot Chicken #2)
Yo La Tengo - How to Make a Baby Elephant Float (to get in your private theme)
Caetano Veloso - Neolithic Man --- If I could only pick one song for your mix it'd be this one.
posted by hydrophonic at 10:23 AM on August 16, 2006

Type O Negative, "The Misinterpretation of Silence and its Disastrous Consequences", which is a silent, 1 minute and four second long track in the next to last slot on Slow Deep and Hard and could easily be mistaken for the end of the CD, causing one to miss the final song.
posted by jammer at 10:25 AM on August 16, 2006

Sleep's Dark and Silent Gate from The Pretender album by Jackson Browne.
posted by essexjan at 10:34 AM on August 16, 2006

Response by poster: Phenomenal answers, all. Keep 'em coming if you've got more.

chrissyboy - Hah! I had forgotten about that one!
posted by grateful at 10:55 AM on August 16, 2006

"Shut Your Mouth" - Garbage
"Shut Up" - Black Eyed Peas
"Like an Angel Passing Through My Room" - ABBA (not your typical ABBA song)
"Lullaby" - Book of Love

And you can go traditional with:
"Hush Little Baby"
posted by witchstone at 10:55 AM on August 16, 2006

"With Cat-Like Tread," from the Gilbert & Sullivan operetta The Pirates of Penzance.
posted by Acetylene at 10:59 AM on August 16, 2006

"Walk in Silence" by Joy Division
posted by ilsa at 11:29 AM on August 16, 2006

Silence is Easy - Starsailor

Silent to the Dark - Electric Soft Parade (with one hell of a chorus - soaring and epic, however a shame their other stuff isn't quite as brilliant!)

Science of Silence - Richard Ashcroft
posted by philsi at 11:30 AM on August 16, 2006

Didn't Kelly Osbourne record a song called 'Shut Up'?
posted by box at 11:31 AM on August 16, 2006

"Shout!" by the Isley Brothers ("A little bit softer now.")
posted by 4ster at 11:33 AM on August 16, 2006

hush hush--the traditional blues song. I like the jimmy reed version.
posted by lester at 11:46 AM on August 16, 2006

This is really agreat list, but I can't believe no one has yet mention 'Killing Me Softly.'
posted by Sara Anne at 11:51 AM on August 16, 2006

"Hush" by Deep Purple
"Silence is Golden" by Frankie Valli
posted by bDiddy at 11:53 AM on August 16, 2006

How about the theme song to Shaft? There's a lyric "shut yo' mouth". That's kind of a reach, right?
posted by bDiddy at 11:55 AM on August 16, 2006

"Silence" - Sarah McLachlan

The Delerium remix (off of their album Karma) is better.
posted by gd779 at 11:58 AM on August 16, 2006

Silence Kit – Pavement
Planet SHHH – Cap'n Jazz

Both great songs, too!
posted by drewbeck at 12:05 PM on August 16, 2006

"Silence is Golden" - Garbage (on the same album as Shut Your Mouth. Must have been a recurring theme in Shirley's life at the time)

gd770: Not to be nitpicky, but the version on Karma is the original version--and yes, it's much better. Okay, it is nitpicky, but in a good way!
posted by witchstone at 12:13 PM on August 16, 2006

4'33" - John Cage
posted by converge at 12:37 PM on August 16, 2006

Response by poster: Ooh - can I answer my own question? Tracy Chapman's Talkin' Bout a Revolution includes the line "...sounds like a whisper".

Sara Anne - I agree. There are some great suggestions here.
posted by grateful at 12:37 PM on August 16, 2006

Shearwater - "A Hush"
GlassJAw - "Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Silence"
Josh Rouse - "Quiet Town"
Kings of Convenience - "Singing Softly To Me"
posted by mumble at 12:49 PM on August 16, 2006

"Quiet Ones" by Tears For Fears... it's on their semi-new latest "Everybody Loves a Happy Ending" and I just discovered it - very pretty.
posted by OneOliveShort at 1:32 PM on August 16, 2006

"Silence" by Gomez
posted by Serial Killer Slumber Party at 2:13 PM on August 16, 2006

Either Tiffany's 1987 cover or Tommy James & The Shondells' original recording of "I Think We're Alone Now."

Weirdness from Wikipedia: "The group's songbook has resulted in hits for several other artists over the years, including Joan Jett & The Blackhearts' "Crimson And Clover" (1982) and Tiffany's "I Think We're Alone Now" and Billy Idol's "Mony Mony" (both 1987). In fact, Idol's version of "Mony Mony" replaced Tiffany's single at #1 in the U.S. toward the end of 1987."

Weirder, both "I Think We're Alone Now" and "Mony, Mony" were written by Ritchie Cordell.
posted by cgc373 at 3:06 PM on August 16, 2006

didn't see it mentioned along with "Enjoy the Silence," but Depeche Mode also had "Leave in Silence"
posted by maffachu at 3:35 PM on August 16, 2006

Stop Breathing - Pavement.
posted by hot soup girl at 5:29 PM on August 16, 2006

"Paint the Silence" by South
"Silent Ways" by Michelle Shocked
posted by brookedel at 6:14 PM on August 16, 2006

"Silent Sigh" - About a Boy
posted by i8ny3x at 6:33 PM on August 16, 2006

"Two Sides of Silence" - Linton Kwesi Johnson
posted by pompomtom at 7:00 PM on August 16, 2006

Bill Douglas' Version of Yeat's "Lake Isle Of Innisfree" would be a good fit in terms of lyrics and feel.
posted by rongorongo at 3:36 AM on August 17, 2006

Oh! and "Don't Talk" by 10,000 Maniacs.
posted by OneOliveShort at 9:27 AM on August 17, 2006

The title track from Blindside's album Silence.

lmao at chrissyboy.
posted by jxpx777 at 10:08 AM on August 18, 2006

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