You are here

Help convince me Mars bars aren't actually getting smaller!

Arrangement, instrumentation, lyric writing, music theory, inspiration… it’s all here.

Help convince me Mars bars aren't actually getting smaller!

Postby Mike Senior » Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:53 pm

OK, let me explain what I mean by that title. I've recently started a new free podcast where a friend and I take a not-altogether-serious slant on all things project-studio (http://www.projectstudioteabreak.com). For our latest recording, I mentioned that, although I don't normally agree with the "music was better in the 70s/60s/baroque/whateverpastperiod" point of view I sometimes hear from people of my age, I've begun to worry I might be starting to become such a curmudgeon myself...

You see, as I was reclining by the pool on holiday a couple of weeks ago, I heard ABBA's 'Lay All Your Love On Me', which contains the fabulous couplet "I used to think I was sensible / It makes the truth even more incomprehensible", with its six-syllable final word. So I started trying to think if there were any similarly long words in recent chart hits. And I couldn't come up with any!

Five-syllable words used to be commonplace ("Unforgettable" "You irreplaceable you" "Congratulations"...) and The Carpenters managed a whopping seven syllables in "Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft" (a song which includes another 5-syllable and four 4-syllable words too). But the most recent six-syllable word I could find was "institutionalized" in So Solid Crew's "Broken Silence" back in 2003, and even five-syllable ones seem pretty scarce -- there's "opportunity" in Eminem's "Lose Yourself", for instance, but that's 2002.

So, please -- somebody! -- name me a hit song within the last 10 years that has at least a 5-syllable word in it, and preferably a 7-syllable one to stop The Carpenters looking so smug (a herculean labour, I know). Otherwise, I'm afraid I shall have to concede that Mars bars really are getting smaller, that policemen are getting younger, and that young people really don't show any respect for their elders any more. In my day, etc., etc., ...

:roll:
User avatar
Mike Senior
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1070
Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Cambridge, UK
Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio | Recording Secrets for the Small Studio

Re: Help convince me Mars bars aren't actually getting smaller!

Postby The Bunk » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:07 pm

Dang!! I thought I had a couple of belters and then re-read the post and picked up the "last 10 years" line. So I'll refrain but if we do open up into "last 40 years", I'll be back....
User avatar
The Bunk
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1264
Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 1:00 am
Location: SW London

Re: Help convince me Mars bars aren't actually getting smaller!

Postby wireman » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:47 pm

International Love
E.T.
wireman
Regular
Posts: 485
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 1:00 am

Re: Help convince me Mars bars aren't actually getting smaller!

Postby blinddrew » Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:34 pm

Don't think i can top the syllable count but there's plenty of clever lyric writing from the likes of Frank Turner, David Ford and Tom McRae.
But i guess that doesn't make the charts.
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 11221
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: Help convince me Mars bars aren't actually getting smaller!

Postby Mike Senior » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:00 pm

wireman wrote:International Love
E.T.

Wow -- who'd have thought we'd have Pitbull and Katy Perry fighting the good fight.

:D

OK. So we have a 5-syllable from 2011 and a 6-syllable from 2010. Do I hear a raise on 6-syllable? Or something more recent?
:round1:
User avatar
Mike Senior
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1070
Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Cambridge, UK
Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio | Recording Secrets for the Small Studio

Re: Help convince me Mars bars aren't actually getting smaller!

Postby Mike Senior » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:02 pm

blinddrew wrote:Don't think i can top the syllable count but there's plenty of clever lyric writing from the likes of Frank Turner, David Ford and Tom McRae.
But i guess that doesn't make the charts.

Yeah. That's the problem. Hell, DieNasty Records, the San Diego hip-hop collective used pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis in 2008 and 2010, but I'd hardly call that mainstream...
User avatar
Mike Senior
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1070
Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Cambridge, UK
Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio | Recording Secrets for the Small Studio

Re: Help convince me Mars bars aren't actually getting smaller!

Postby tomas » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:05 pm

...except, as any serious prog heads should know, “Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft" was written and originally recorded by Klaatu for their 1977 album Hope, which includes many other gems like “We’re Off You Know”, “Around the Universe in 80 Days” and “Anus of Uranus”... ;) I like the album a lot since way back then, and I honestly only found out here and now that the Carpenters made a cover of Calling!

From Ambrose Akinmusire there’s “Ceaseless Inexhaustible Child” released just four years ago, but not quite a chart topper...
User avatar
tomas
Regular
Posts: 165
Joined: Tue Feb 04, 2003 1:00 am
Location: Luxembourg
cheers, t-:

Re: Help convince me Mars bars aren't actually getting smaller!

Postby Mike Senior » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:07 pm

tomas wrote:...except, as any serious prog heads should know, “Calling Occupants Of Interplanetary Craft" was written and originally recorded by Klaatu for their 1977 album Hope
Cool! Didn't realise that!
User avatar
Mike Senior
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1070
Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Cambridge, UK
Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio | Recording Secrets for the Small Studio

Re: Help convince me Mars bars aren't actually getting smaller!

Postby Logarhythm » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:13 pm

It appears that Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious was released as a single that made the charts in the US, so that's the Carpenters pipped for you ;)

Whilst I'm embarrassed to admit that I can remember this, I believe Eminem got "antidisestablishmentarianism" into a song that Google claims is from an album in 2010.

N.B. Mars Bars are getting smaller. Music peaked in 1825 :mrgreen:
Logarhythm
Frequent Poster
Posts: 999
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:00 am
Location: On an intergalactic voyage to collect fresh electrons

Re: Help convince me Mars bars aren't actually getting smaller!

Postby Mike Senior » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:25 pm

Logarhythm wrote:Music peaked in 1825 :mrgreen:

That late?
User avatar
Mike Senior
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1070
Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Cambridge, UK
Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio | Recording Secrets for the Small Studio

Re: Help convince me Mars bars aren't actually getting smaller!

Postby Mike Senior » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:28 pm

Logarhythm wrote:It appears that Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious was released as a single that made the charts in the US, so that's the Carpenters pipped for you ;)

It only entered the OED well after that, though... :)

Whilst I'm embarrassed to admit that I can remember this, I believe Eminem got "antidisestablishmentarianism" into a song that Google claims is from an album in 2010.

Hah -- yes, you're right. It's in Almost Famous off Recovery. Wasn't a hit, though... Dang!
User avatar
Mike Senior
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1070
Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Cambridge, UK
Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio | Recording Secrets for the Small Studio

Re: Help convince me Mars bars aren't actually getting smaller!

Postby Matt Houghton » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:16 pm

Outside your time limit but RHCP's Californication includes 'civilisation'... which is 5 or arguably 6 syllables. Mars bars were clearly longer back then.
Matt Houghton
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1029
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2007 12:00 am
SOS Reviews Editor

Re: Help convince me Mars bars aren't actually getting smaller!

Postby blinddrew » Fri Sep 14, 2018 10:33 pm

Florence and the machine, sky full of hope (this year) scores a 6 with unimaginable.
Fairly mainstream.
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 11221
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: Help convince me Mars bars aren't actually getting smaller!

Postby BJG145 » Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:24 am

...and "Interplanetary" is only 6 too...
User avatar
BJG145
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4524
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2005 12:00 am

Re: Help convince me Mars bars aren't actually getting smaller!

Postby ConcertinaChap » Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:55 am

[non sequitur] Did you know that Mars bars were invented in Slough? [/non sequitur]

CC
User avatar
ConcertinaChap
Jedi Poster
Posts: 8983
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2005 12:00 am
Location: Bradford on Avon
Making music: Eagle Alley, recording music: Mr Punch's Studio
We are normal and we want our freedom!.

Next