absolutely trivial: linguistic songs

Beverly Flanigan flanigan at OAK.CATS.OHIOU.EDU
Mon Aug 14 15:52:16 UTC 2000

Great!  Now if we could find a song about Wittgenstein....

At 03:41 PM 8/14/00 +0100, you wrote:
>Every once and again, I threaten to make a mix tape of songs with
>linguistics themes, but after I get past "Let's call the whole thing
>off" and the Proclaimers' "Throw the R away", I tend to run out of
>material.  But here's one to add to the list:  The Magnetic Fields, on
>their magnum opus _69 Love Songs_, have a song called "The Death of
>Ferdinand de Saussure."  I'm not quite sure what it has to do with FdS,
>except that his name provides some pretty cool rhymes.  (I suppose one
>could argue that the claim of not knowing anything is in tune with FdS's
>claim that there are no positive expressions of meaning?  And perhaps
>the chorus is a reference to all the conjugations that students of
>French have to do?) The lyrics, courtesy of stephinsongs.wiw.org:
>6. The Death of Ferdinand de Saussure
>A:002220      G:320033 D:x00232
>   I met Ferdinand de Saussure
>on a night like this
>On love he said "I'm not so sure
>I even know what it is
>No understanding, no closure
>It is a nemesis
>You can't use a bulldozer
>to study orchids," he said, "so
>we don't know anything
>you don't know anything
>I don't know anything about love
>But we are nothing
>you are nothing
>I am nothing without love"
>I'm just a great composer
>and not a violent man
>but I lost my composure
>and I shot Ferdinand
>crying, "It's well and kosher
>to say you don't understand
>but this is for Holland-Dozier-Holland!"
>His last words were... [chorus]
>His fading words were... [chorus]
>OK, I'll stop procrastinating and bothering you now.
>Dr M Lynne Murphy
>Lecturer in Linguistics
>School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences
>University of Sussex
>Brighton BN1 9QH
>phone +44-(0)1273-678844
>fax   +44-(0)1273-671320

Beverly Olson Flanigan         Department of Linguistics
Ohio University                     Athens, OH  45701
Ph.: (740) 593-4568              Fax: (740) 593-2967

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