What is this song with the sample from "39 Steps"?
March 9, 2008 1:48 AM   Subscribe

I would love to know what song this is. [Direct Link to 4.7 MB mp3] [Caution at work, song gets louder]

Google tells me that the words of the lyrics/voiceover narration are from the opening of 39 Steps, but I don't know which version (if any). It doesn't sound exactly like the Hitchcock version, but that's the only version I could find to watch online and compare it against.

It came to me on an unlabeled mix CD from a friend. However, by the time I listened to and asked him to identify this song, he had forgotten it. Pressed, he thought that the song might be called "Oregon Grinder" -- he definitely specified "Oregon" and not "Organ" -- and the band called "Fear of Little Men".

However, the only "Oregon Grinder" I could find was by Hank Jones (obviously wrong), and I listened through both albums by Fear of Little Men and it did not appear on either of them.

He gave me the CD about two years ago, so the song must be pre-2006. That is everything I know.
posted by churl to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Well, they're obviously heavily influenced by slint
posted by SurrenderMonkey at 3:03 AM on March 9, 2008

I don't know the song, but it sounds an awful lot like Come.
posted by bunnytricks at 3:12 AM on March 9, 2008

well it certainly ticks all the post rock boxes. Very Mogwai.
posted by twistedonion at 3:14 AM on March 9, 2008

Perhaps you could give 411 a try. That time it worked wonderfully.
posted by micayetoca at 6:31 AM on March 9, 2008

It's definitely the Hitchcock movie, with things like crowd responses edited out.

I guess I also found your last.fm profile, so asking that guy isn't a promising lead.
posted by dhartung at 12:27 AM on March 10, 2008

Response by poster: Ha, yeah, that is indeed my last.fm profile -- as you can see, the song has just been tagged as Oregon Grinder/Fear of Little Men in my iTunes library for the time being. Of course nobody else on last.fm has a song tagged that way, damn it.

You're right that the Hitchcock movie and the song sound almost indistinguishable. But even though the voices are nearly identical, the cadence is slightly different.

(For example, the song has the speaker say "...one of the most remarkable [small pause] men in the world," whereas the Hitchcock version puts the pause a beat later, as "...one of the most remarkable men, [small pause] in the world." I figure A) it's from one of the two other movie adaptations (or a theater/some other adaptation) of the story, B) it is from the Hitchcock version but the band deliberately went in and changed the cadence (to line up with the music?) or C) it's the singer of the band, or another speaker, re-creating the monologue from the film for the sake of the song, and minor variations were inevitable.

Although maybe exactly which version of "39 Steps" the sample is pulled from might be a red herring? No wikipedia page or combination of Google search terms regarding "39 Steps" has yielded fruit for me.

That Music 411 service is an awesome idea and I can see myself using it all the time. Unfortunately, it didn't come back with any results when I tried it with this song, although my phone seems to meet the requirements. (I also tried Tunatic, MusicBrainz and SongTapper to no avail.)

There's half-gibberish speaking at 2:32 that sounds like it might be a short sample from a totally different movie ("yah sho-koko, shoko-leko-moko, dia; I love you"?), but there is muffled speaking at 4:28 ("I like that -- it's ???") as well as the ensuing vocalizations that I assume are the band's male vocalist. Hence, presumably not the band "Come," which appears to have a female singer.

I've used this song as a 'lead-in' first track for mix CDs on several occasions. It's a great song! It's maddening to not know who it actually is!
posted by churl at 2:54 AM on March 10, 2008

Response by poster: Thank you -- I sincerely appreciate everyone's help.

I'll definitely post back here if I ever find out who it is. Cheers!
posted by churl at 2:26 AM on March 12, 2008

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