"song," "anthem"= musical composition.

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Fri Dec 22 23:20:50 UTC 2006

An outfit called Bamzu (a retail sales arm of Turner Broadcasting) is offering a multi-CD collection called _The Best 100_.  The TV commercials feature a narrator with an extremely upper-crust English accent (or an attempt at one) informing us that the collection comprises a hundred of the best "songs" of all time.  (The website turns "songs" into "anthems.")

  Of course none of the compositions featured on the commercial are actually "songs." They have no words. They have titles like "Pachelbel: Can in D Major"and "Holst: Jupiter, Bringer of Jollity."

  This general usage of song is not unprecedented. Twenty-odd years ago a friend of mine who played Irish fiddle music indiscriminately refrerred to all his pieces as "songs," whether there wer words or not.  And of course we're all familiar with the similar broadening of "tunes" to mean "music, esp. recorded popular songs orother musical selections."


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