Good music for bad times - Good music for bad times

2006-07-17 09:24

Superstition - Stevie Wonder
While Little Stevie's bum-wiggler is a top-notch classic, it must be noted that Texas bluesman Stevie Ray Vaughn tabled a more appropriate, perhaps superior version. SRV subsequently died in a helicopter crash.
Very superstitious, writing's on the wall
Very superstitious, ladders 'bout to fall
Thirteen month old baby, broke the lookin' glass
Seven years of bad luck, the good things in your past
When you believe in things that you don't understand
Then you suffer
Superstition ain't the way

Buy: Stevie Wonder - A Greatest Hits Collection

No 13 baby - The Pixies
Black Francis discusses the misfortune of the blue-eyed girl with the tattooed "number thirteen" on a certain body part.
six foot girl
gonna sweat when she dig
stand close to the fire
when they light the pig
From: The Pixies - Doolittle (1989)

Loser - Grateful Dead
In no way related to the other "Loser" Beck Hansen, this reefer ramble suggests that gambling has a lot to do with luck; gambling can be bad for ya; gambling when high can lead to endless road tours and memory loss.
Everybody prayin' and drinkin' that wine
I can tell the Queen of Diamonds by the way she shines
Come to daddy on the inside straight,
Well I got no chance of losin' this time.

O' Malley's Bar parts 1,2,3 and reprise - Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
It's safe to say that anybody who decided to have a drink at O'Malley's Bar that fateful day was not having a good one. You'll have to sit through the opening 15 minutes to get to this part:
And then there were the police sirens wailing
And a bull-horn squelched and blared
"Drop your weapons and come out
With your hands held in the air"
Well, I checked the chambers of my gun
Saw I had one final bullet left
My hand, it looked almost human
As I held it to my head

From: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - B-Sides and Rarities (2005) or Murder Ballads (1996)

Thirteen - Johnny Cash
If JC, the original man in black, had been given a number instead of a name, it would probably have been number thirteen.
Bad luck wind been blowin' at my back
I was born to bring trouble to wherever I'm at
Got the number 13 tattooed on my neck
When the ink starts to itch, then the black will turn to red
From: Johnny Cash - The American Recordings

NFB - Anthrax
At the height of their careers, Belladonna and co. wail about an on-again, off-again romance, and why they never lived happily ever after.
But we fell in love again
This time forever
True love prevails over all
She got hit by a truck
From: Anthrax - Attack of the Killer Bs (1991)

Cream - Born under a Bad Sign
Written by the legendary Booker T. Jones (of the MGs) and William Bell, but really made famous by some English band featuring Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker, and a young guitarist named Clapton.
Born under a bad sign
I've been down since I began to crawl
From: Cream - Wheels of Fire (1968) or
Buy: Cream - Best of...

Bad Moon Rising - Creedence Clearwater Revival
John Fogerty's contribution to the damnation of mankind is a delta-style old-wives' scare-tale about nothing in particular. Deep.
I see the bad moon arising.
I see trouble on the way.
I see earthquakes and lightnin'.
I see bad times today.

From: Creedence Clearwater Revival -Green River (1969)

Ice Cube - Friday
Written to lead off his self-penned hit movie Friday, the soundtrack hints at the film's less frivolous undertones. Whereas the film leans towards comedy and frivolity, the track tends toward the violence inherent in the system. Or something.
Standin outside on a Friday livin on tha edge,
'cuz we all got 'dem hard heads.
It's seems like we all are waitin,
for a drive by playin tag wit satan.
But we chillin yeah we ready and willin,
ya hear about tha latest westside killin.

Trouble Waiting to Happen - Warren Zevon
Rock's almost forgotten man was a master cynic. This is a bad day that sounds familiar to most of us - at least in part.
I woke up this morning and I fell out of bed
Trouble waiting to happen
I should have quit while I was ahead
Trouble waiting to happen

From: Warren Zevon - Sentimental Hygiene (1987)

- Anton Marshall

Paraskevidekatriaphobia is the fear of Friday the thirteenth. Friday the thirteenth - through many centuries, and for various reasons and superstitions - is regarded as a day for bad omens, poor luck and a reason to act silly.

Bad omens, bad luck, and acting silly are fashionable topics in popular music, too. We dug through the treasure troves to find some classic bad luck music to listen to while you're putting out the garlic to combat your Paraskevidekatriaphobia. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

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