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Pop Goes Pest – Buggin’ Out: Episode III

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It’s Music Monday!!!!

We’ve reached Part Three of our ongoing “Pop Goes Pest” series. As before, we’re looking at popular artists who have immortalized bugs, spiders, and other pests in their songs. We’ve avoided including artists based solely on band name or song title. To make our compilations, lyrics have to allude to or include pests in some way. And of course, you can always click the individual songs to listen… or you can follow our playlist on Spotify… the perfect companion for your morning commute!

BABS

A Taste of Honey – Barbra Streisand

Truth be told, this could probably have fit in our “Love” Playlist, but we’ll settle for including it here. In this single, Barbra sings what she knows best – a ballad for the hopeless romantics out there. Love will keep her warm in the distance from her lover… Babs states that “He’ll come back for the honey and me.” That honey is “sweeter than wine.”

blondie

Attack of the Giant Ants – Blondie

Blondie rocks out of the gate with a strong drum presence before finally adding instruments and going full out in the whimsical (yet somewhat morbid) tune… It even has its own “la-la-la refrain to offset the countless deaths being chronicled! We wonder if this song is based on the classic horror movie, “Them!” or if it was inspired by (its closely related cousin) “Empire of the Ants.” Either way, it’s a crazy jaunt… the “interlude” even includes sounds from the “invasion” – people screaming, destruction, and more. It really DOES sound like it was ripped out of a movie!

Ticks

Ticks – Brad Paisley

The only country music entry in this installment of our music series, Brad Paisley gets “romantic” … well, as romantic as you can be when ticks are involved, we suppose. A common ritual for kids who spend their childhood outside in tall grass (our readers from the South will be very familiar with this practice), “checking for ticks” is, apparently, more than just disease prevention. We suspect that Mr. Paisley has ulterior motives in this scenario…

DREDG

Bug Eyes – Dredg

Probably most well known for its inclusion on the soundtrack for Stealth (starring Jennifer Biel and Jamie Foxx), Bug Eyes is an interesting introspective… the lyrics “Your journey back to birth is haunting you” seem to indicate that the author (or the listener, as you prefer it) is looking back on his or her life. This song brilliantly sums up the feeling you get when you realize that things aren’t the way you planned them to be – the past is gone and the future is fast approaching (“Your departure from Earth is haunting you.”).

MASSIVE ATTACK

Butterfly Caught – Massive Attack

A driving beat underneath a single with little to no complete sentences, “Butterfly Caught” seems to allude to innocence lost and the struggle against self… the classic Man vs Id scenario. The Eastern influence on Massive Attack’s single is evident from the first notes, and in Eastern cultures A butterfly is symbolic of beauty and the soul. It can also symbolise transitions. A butterfly being captured could mean a soul being confined, abused, and damaged — or something beautiful being stifled and repressed– or even the loss of innocence.

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The King Beetle on Coconut Estate – MeWithoutYou

An existential dilemma, the lyrics of The King Beetle on Coconut Estate uses imagery to describe one of life’s biggest questions: what is out there beyond us? The beetles seek to answer this question for themselves, and only when the king beetle is on his death bed does he come to a conclusion to the life beyond. MeWithoutYou is a band that is know for their allegory, and this song is no exception!

MILEY

Fly on the Wall – Miley Cyrus

Before she went Full Miley and “came in like a wrecking ball,” Billie Ray’s little lady did her best at channeling Britney Spears for this lesser-known single. We’ve ALL wanted to be a fly on the wall at some point… though maybe not for Miley’s life events (we seem to get enough of that in the news and MTV already). Lyrically not amazing, and the power chords overwhelm what little lyrical content the song has, but hey — it’s pop music, what did you expect?

Butterflies_and_Hurricanes_3

Butterflies and Hurricanes – Muse

This song takes its title from The Butterfly Effect of chaos theory — “when a butterfly flaps its wings in one place, it can create a hurricane in another part of the world.” Muse is one of those rare bands which can deliver musically strong singles while ALSO providing deep lyrics. Some people assert that this single is an optimistic outlook on life… that we can change to be better, change in order to change the world (much like a butterfly metamorphosis). Others attest that this is more of a cynical song, pointing to lyrics about changing and being the best as all the pressures that we have stacked upon us to excel, and that we are forced to change or perish. Either way, the deep lyrical content (backed by catchy yet complex music) makes for a memorable single.

Owlcity_fireflies_cover

Fireflies – Owl City

Speaking of pop fluff, Owl City presents their closest imitation of The Postal Service, and their resulting effort is hit or miss (depending on who you ask).  Nevertheless, this single got quite a bit of radio play once it was released. It’s been the subject of parody and praise, but it’s a relatively whimsical song that can easily fit into any laid back playlist you might compile.

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Moth’s Wings – Passion Pit

As with other songs involving butterflies, this song can symbolise both death and rebirth… a death of the old self, a rebirth of self toward a new creature… though some of the lyrics suggest that the transition in this single is merely a surface change, and that the old creature is still under the surface, submerged, but waiting to come out again. It’s a melancholic set of lyrics, pasted against an upbeat tempo and “sing-along” sort of chorus.

 

 BONUS TRACK

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Spanish Flea – Herb Alpert

Most famous for its use as the theme for “The Dating Game,” Spanish Flea has enjoyed pop culture references by Eddie Murphy, The Simpsons, and even in the 2013 movie, White House Down. (OK, we MAY have cheated a little on this one… there are no lyrics, but it’s such a popular tune that we felt it HAD to be included!)

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So what do you think? How does this installment stack against the others? Any songs that we should include on our next portion of the series? We’ve been amazed at how many bug songs there are out there (and we have  managed to stay AWAY from kid’s songs, to boot)! Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know on FacebookTwitter, or Google+… and of course, if bugs start bugging YOU, we can get rid of them SAME DAY! Just give us a call!

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