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Old 06-03-2019, 10:59 AM
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'It was the third of June, another sleepy, dusty Delta day.' Other songs about specific days.


I love Bobby Gentry's Ode to Billy Joe, a suicide ballad (a subset of murder ballads) done by a singer/songwriter who had a beautiful voice and played a wicked guitar. The use of a specific date and well-described place anchors it in reality and adds to its power.

What other songs use dates as plot devices?

Note: If there are hijacks regarding what was thrown off the bridge these things happen.
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Old 06-03-2019, 11:04 AM
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Do you remember the 21st night of September?
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Old 06-03-2019, 11:16 AM
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The third of September

"Papa Was a Rollin' Stone"
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Old 06-03-2019, 11:18 AM
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It was the dark of the moon on the sixth of June....

Convoy.
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Old 06-03-2019, 11:21 AM
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Tom Paxton's Born on the Fourth of July
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Old 06-03-2019, 11:22 AM
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The U2 song, Pride (In the Name of Love), mentions the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr on April 4.
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Old 06-03-2019, 11:24 AM
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Now the first of December was covered with snow
So was the turnpike from Stockbridge to Boston...

-James Taylor, Sweet Baby James
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Old 06-03-2019, 11:26 AM
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...On the first of March,
On the holiday...


Sufjan Stevens, "Casimir Pulaski Day"
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Old 06-03-2019, 11:32 AM
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"December 7th, 1941
Divine Wind silhouette
Against the rising sun"
Aloha, Sayonara - The Honolulu Mountain Daffodils. A very specific time (and place, of course)

"Today is the FIRST of SEPTEMBER
See you at your graveside, baby"

I'll meet you in Poland, baby by Scraping Foetus Off the Wheel. Another very specific time and place...
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Old 06-03-2019, 11:35 AM
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The Night Chicago Died.

-Paper Lace

(no actual date is mentioned, and the showdown between Capone and the Chicago PD was fictionalized)
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Old 06-03-2019, 11:42 AM
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Then it doesn't count.
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Old 06-03-2019, 11:46 AM
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"Saturday, here in the park, thinkin' it's the fourth of July..."

By Chicago Transit Authority/Chicago.
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Old 06-03-2019, 11:51 AM
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Not a specific date, but pretty close, especially since it also mentions the year: "December, 1963," by the Four Seasons.

"Oh, what a night
Late December, back in '63"
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Old 06-03-2019, 11:53 AM
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Fourth of July, Asbury Park (Sandy) by Bruce Springsteen

"Remember" by John Lennon ("Remember, Remember the Fifth of November.")

"New Year's Day" by U2.
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Old 06-03-2019, 11:56 AM
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Any song that mentions Christmas.
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Old 06-03-2019, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenobi 65 View Post
Not a specific date, but pretty close, especially since it also mentions the year: "December, 1963," by the Four Seasons.

"Oh, what a night
Late December, back in '63"
Similarly, Peter Gabriel's Biko has:

September, '77
Port Elizabeth, weather fine
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Old 06-03-2019, 11:59 AM
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Yesterday--Beatles
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Old 06-03-2019, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
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Any song that mentions Christmas.
Not always. The Bee Gee's "First of May" mentions Christmas trees.
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Old 06-03-2019, 12:02 PM
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Ironically, on that same day in June that Billie Joe McAllister committed suicide, Neil Diamond was deflowered by an older woman (in the song "Desiree"):

"It was the third of June
On that summer's day
When I became a man
At the hands of a girl almost twice my age"
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Old 06-03-2019, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
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Do you remember the 21st night of September?
There's a song celebrating my birthday?
  #21  
Old 06-03-2019, 12:18 PM
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There's a song celebrating my birthday?
If your name is Ba-dee-yah, there certainly is!
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Old 06-03-2019, 01:11 PM
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From Groundhog Day: The Musical:

"February 2nd" / "There Will Be Sun"
"February 2nd" / "There Will Be Sun"
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Old 06-03-2019, 01:18 PM
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April 29, 1992 by Sublime, about the riots following the acquital of the LAPD officers that beat Rodney King. Although the song title and CD lyrics booklet give the correct date, in the song the date is sung as April 26.
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Old 06-03-2019, 03:45 PM
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I'm five; Barbra Streisand - April 24th (1947)

American Pie; Don McLean; February [1958] made me shiver with every paper I deliver

Last edited by bizerta; 06-03-2019 at 03:45 PM.
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Old 06-04-2019, 03:10 AM
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Eric Bogle's And The Band played Waltzing Matilda - final verses sung as he's watching Anzac Day [25 April] marches.
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Old 06-04-2019, 03:39 AM
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Celtas Cortos, 20 de abril. It's a letter written on April 20th 1990. Aside from their own multiple recordings there's an Oysterband cover in English.

Last edited by Nava; 06-04-2019 at 03:42 AM.
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Old 06-04-2019, 05:29 AM
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"Everyone would gather on the 24th of May
Sitting in the sand to watch the fireworks display"

-Rush, Lakeside Park
  #28  
Old 06-04-2019, 06:13 AM
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Quote:
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It was the dark of the moon on the sixth of June....
That's instantly where my mind went.
  #29  
Old 06-04-2019, 07:43 AM
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First of May by Jonathan Coulton.

(two-click rule)
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Old 06-04-2019, 08:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dewey Finn View Post
The U2 song, Pride (In the Name of Love), mentions the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr on April 4.
Just to add, Bono sings “Early morning, April 4 .. a shot rings out in the Memphis sky.” Dr. King was actually shot just after 6 pm that evening.

That’s always bugged me a little. “Early evening” scans exactly the same as “early morning” - why not write that instead?
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Old 06-04-2019, 08:27 AM
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Because he made a mistake?

Edited to add, the Wikipedia article mentions that he sometimes changes the lyric to "early evening" in live performances.

Last edited by Dewey Finn; 06-04-2019 at 08:28 AM.
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Old 06-04-2019, 08:34 AM
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Because he made a mistake?
Well, maybe if he'd spent more than 12 parsecs fact-checking his lyrics...
  #33  
Old 06-04-2019, 09:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bizerta View Post
American Pie; Don McLean; February [1958] made me shiver with every paper I deliver
No, if you need to look up what date that happened it doesn't count for this thread. Ditto for vague parts of the month, and don't get me started about Orthodox Christmas (Jan 7th-ish). I think my brother converted so he could delay his shopping to take advantage of the after-Western-Christmas sales.
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Old 06-04-2019, 01:27 PM
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Gillian Welch -April the 14th.

Last edited by Philliam; 06-04-2019 at 01:28 PM. Reason: Italics for title
  #35  
Old 06-04-2019, 04:14 PM
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It was Christmas Eve, babe,
In the drunk tank...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9jbdgZidu8

j

God, I miss Kirsty MacColl.

Last edited by Treppenwitz; 06-04-2019 at 04:17 PM. Reason: Bless you, Kirsty.
  #36  
Old 06-04-2019, 04:25 PM
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Adrian Belew has a song named "May 1, 1990" (the day he met his wife)
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Old 06-04-2019, 06:38 PM
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The Band's The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down has this lyric:
Quote:
By May the tenth, Richmond had fell, it's a time I remember, oh so well
. That one always bothered me, Lincoln visited the fallen Richmond in April before he was shot.
  #38  
Old 06-04-2019, 06:58 PM
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"Independence Day," by Martina McBride.

Well she lit up the sky that fourth of July....
  #39  
Old 06-04-2019, 08:11 PM
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"8th of November" by Big & Rich.
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Old 06-05-2019, 08:45 AM
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I'm the first to mention this classic:

Grandma got run over by a reindeer
Walking home from our house Christmas eve
You can say there's no such thing as Santa
But as for me and grandpa we believe
  #41  
Old 06-05-2019, 09:20 AM
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"What Are You Doing New Year's (New Year's Eve)?

"Hooray, hooray, it's the first of May..."
  #42  
Old 06-05-2019, 09:46 AM
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Paul and Storm have a song about Christmas Eve Eve (December 23rd) and their Way Too Early Christmas Song mentions that "Halloween was yesterday", so November 1.
  #43  
Old 06-05-2019, 10:29 AM
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The Temptations:

It was the third of September
That day I'll always remember, yes I will
'Cause that was the day that my daddy died
I never got a chance to see him
Never heard nothin' but bad things about him
Momma I'm depending on you to tell me the truth
Momma just hung her head and said, son

Papa was a rolling stone
Wherever he laid his hat was his home
And when he died, all he left us was alone.
  #44  
Old 06-05-2019, 10:59 AM
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ABBA's Happy New Year
Manilow's Another New Year's Eve
  #45  
Old 06-05-2019, 04:23 PM
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Dan Fogelberg's "Same Old Lang Syne"

"Met my old lover in the grocery store
The snow was falling, Christmas Eve"


Side note: I'm told by someone who saw him perform this in concert that the story is autobiographical, and that in real life, they hooked up.

Last edited by KneadToKnow; 06-05-2019 at 04:25 PM.
  #46  
Old 06-05-2019, 11:16 PM
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Midnight Oil

Armistice Day [also name of the album for double points].
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Old 06-06-2019, 12:11 AM
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Sammy Hagar's Ten 13 is a song about throwing a birthday party, as Hagar's birthday is October 13.

Van Halen's 316 is titled after Wolfgang Van Halen's birthdate, March 16. But it's an instrumental so the date doesn't really factor into the song.
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Old 06-06-2019, 11:28 AM
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Bobby Goldsboro, Summer

It was a hot afternoon
Last day of June
And the sun was a demon


Suppose that's more mentioning a date than it having any solid relevance, though...
  #49  
Old 06-06-2019, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KneadToKnow View Post
Dan Fogelberg's "Same Old Lang Syne"

"Met my old lover in the grocery store
The snow was falling, Christmas Eve"


Side note: I'm told by someone who saw him perform this in concert that the story is autobiographical, and that in real life, they hooked up.
Another one that's autobiographical is Alice's Restaurant, part of which takes place on Thanksgiving.
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