mp3 player update

Since the last time I reported on the contents of my mp3 player, I’ve added more songs and fleshed out my spreadsheet detailing the location of their titles, so now I can sort by artist and album. There are a few striking results…

Klein Four (the a capella math grad students at Northwestern whose “Finite Simple Group (Of Order 2)” was an internet sensation a few years back) have released one album, and fully eleven of its fourteen songs first contain their titles in the chorus. And of the two with their titles in the first verse, one also appears in the chorus. The other is Finite Simple Group itself, which is a case of Dylan Syndrome;  it’s part of a line repeated (with minor variations) after every verse so if you squint you could call it a chorus–but in my judgment it’s just too attached, musically, to the verse to count as anything but part of the verse.

Not quite so skewed, but still impressive, is Stephen Schwartz’s “Wicked”. Ten of its nineteen song titles appear in the first verse, but not the first line, of their respective songs (“A Sentimental Man” is in the first line, bringing the total to eleven, and that’s not counting “One Short Day”…not quite sure how to deal with that one.)

Then there’s one of my new acquisitions, and a fitting one for the blog–“Damn Yankees”. This throws off the data firstly by including lots of “Scene”s together with the songs, so a lot of tracks are just categorized as “yes they never sing their title, but there’s a reason for that”. Of the twelve songs that do include a title, however, seven include it as their very first words, three more include it in the first line, and “A Little Brains, A Little Talent” waits until later in the first verse. “Those Were The Good Old Days” is a case of Dylan Syndrome, and “Shoeless Joe (Reprise)” shows up in the second snippet of its song (the contents of parentheses are excluded, and the “reprise” is actually the second half of a track that begins with the words “Shoeless Joe”).

Interestingly, another class of songs I have always begins (at least the ones I have do) with their titles–religious hymns. Is this a case of old-time musicals being more grounded in religious traditions before Modernism(TM) came along and deconstructed things? Let’s see, “Damn Yankees” had seven such songs. The next highest for any of my albums is three, reached by, um, “Jesus Christ Superstar”. Make of that what you will…

Anyway, here are pie graphs for three different sources (between them, they amount for about half of my music collection). Let’s just say that maybe I’m not the only one out there who isn’t great at coming up with relevant titles…

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