Albums with the longest song titles

I’ve recently gotten into Red Sparowes, and noticed they have the longest song titles I’ve ever seen.

Album Every Red Heart Shines Toward the Red Sun:

  1. the great leap forward poured down upon us one day like a mighty storm, suddenly and furiously blinding our senses.
  2. we stood transfixed in blank devotion as our leader spoke to us, looking down on our mute faces with a great, raging, and unseeing eye.
  3. like the howling glory of the darkest winds, this voice was thunderous and the words holy, tangling their way around our hearts and clutching our innocent awe.
  4. a message of avarice rained down and carried us away into false dreams of endless riches.
  5. “annihilate the sparrow, that stealer of seed, and our harvests will abound; we will watch our wealth flood in.”
  6. and by our own hand did every last bird lie silent in their puddles, the air barren of song as the clouds drifted away.
  7. millions starved and we became skinnier and skinnier, while our leaders became fatter and fatter.
  8. finally, as that blazing sun shone down upon us, did we know that true enemy was the voice of blind idolatry; and only then did we begin to think for ourselves.

Reading from an Amazon review, I just learned that this relates the story of China’s Great sparrow campaign.
For anyone interested, it is purely instrumental music and it’s absolutely awesome. :slight_smile:

There’s lots of records that cheat and have novel length titles, but how many have the long title as part of the lyric, like The Cardigans 'I Need Some Fine Wine And You, You Need To Be Nicer?

Bal-Sagoth has song titles like “The Dark Liege of Chaos is Unleashed at the Ensorcelled Shrine of A’Zura Kai (The Splendour of a Thousand Swords Gleaming Beneath the Blazon of the Hyperborean Empire Part II)” and
“And Lo, When the Imperium Marches Against Gul-Kothoth, Then Dark Sorceries Shall Enshroud the Citadel of the Obsidian Crown”.

on preview, sohvan beat me to it, but here’s the tracklist for one album by Bal-Sagoth:

Starfire Burning Upon the Ice-Veiled Throne of Ultima Thule

1 Black Dragons Soar Above the Mountain of Shadows (Prologue)
2 To Dethrone the Witch-Queen of Mytos K’unn (The Legend of the Battle of Blackhelm Vale)
3 As the Vortex Illumines the Crystalline Walls of Kor-Avul-Thaa
4 Starfire Burning Upon the Ice-Veiled Throne of Ultima Thule
5 Journey to the Isle of Mists (Over the Moonless Depths of Night-Dark Seas)
6 The Splendour of a Thousand Swords Gleaming Beneath the Blazon of the Hyperborean Empire
7 And Lo, When the Imperium Marches Against Gul-Kothoth, Then Dark Sorceries Shall Enshroud the Citadel of the Obsidian Crown (Episode: VIII)
8 Summoning the Guardians of the Astral Gate
9 In the Raven-Haunted Forests of Darkenhold, Where Shadows Reign and the Hues of Sunlight Never Dance
10 At the Altar of the Dreaming Gods (Epilogue)

Sufjan Stevens’ Illinois contains a few contenders, with the second song perhaps being in the running for top spot:

  1. “Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois”
  2. “The Black Hawk War, or, How to Demolish an Entire Civilization and Still Feel Good About Yourself in the Morning, or, We Apologize for the Inconvenience but You’re Going to Have to Leave Now, or, ‘I Have Fought the Big Knives and Will Continue to Fight Them Until They Are Off Our Lands!’”
  3. “Come On! Feel the Illinoise!” (Part 1: The World’s Columbian Exposition — Part 2: Carl Sandburg Visits Me in a Dream)
  4. “John Wayne Gacy, Jr”
  5. “Jacksonville”
  6. “A Short Reprise for Mary Todd, Who Went Insane, but for Very Good Reasons”
  7. “Decatur, or, Round of Applause for Your Stepmother!”
  8. “One Last ‘Whoo-Hoo!’ for the Pullman”
  9. “Chicago”
  10. "Casimir Pulaski Day"   	
  11. "To the Workers of the Rock River Valley Region, I Have an Idea Concerning Your Predicament"   	
  12. "The Man of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts"   	
  13. "Prairie Fire That Wanders About"   	
  14. "A Conjunction of Drones Simulating the Way in Which Sufjan Stevens Has an Existential Crisis in the Great Godfrey Maze"   	
  15. "The Predatory Wasp of the Palisades Is Out to Get Us!"   	
  16. "They Are Night Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!! They Have Come Back from the Dead!! Ahhhh!"   	
  17. "Let's Hear That String Part Again, Because I Don't Think They Heard It All the Way Out in Bushnell"   	
  18. "In This Temple as in the Hearts of Man for Whom He Saved the Earth"   	
  19. "The Seer's Tower"   	
  20. "The Tallest Man, the Broadest Shoulders" (Part 1: The Great Frontier — Part 2: Come to Me Only with Playthings Now) 	
  21. "Riffs and Variations on a Single Note for Jelly Roll, Earl Hines, Louis Armstrong, Baby Dodds, and the King of Swing, to Name a Few"   	
  22. "Out of Egypt, into the Great Laugh of Mankind, and I Shake the Dirt from My Sandals as I Run"

Disappointingly, the album My People Were Fair and Had Sky in Their Hair… But Now They’re Content to Wear Stars on Their Brows (Tyrannosaurus Rex, 1968) contains no title track.

I attempted to write one once, but encountered major difficulties getting the lyrics to scan.

“Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict.”

Will Ackerman’s In Search of the Turtle’s Navel has “The Second Great Tortion Bar Overland of West Townshend, Vermont, Jose Pepsi Attending.”

I’ve always liked Hoagy Carmichael’s “I’m a Cranky Old Yank in a Clanky Old Tank on the Streets of Yokohama with my Honolulu Mama Doing Those Beat-o, Beat-o, Flat on my Seat-o Hirohito Blues”.

On Christine Lavin’s Future Fossils

It’s subtitled “A Musical Apology”.

A Simple Desultory Philippic (or How I Was Robert McNamara’d into Submission)

  • Paul Simon

When the pawn hits the conflicts he thinks like a king
What he knows throws the blows when he goes to the fight
And he’ll win the whole thing 'fore he enters the ring
There’s no body to batter when your mind is your might
So when you go solo, you hold your own hand
And remember that depth is the greatest of heights
And if you know where you stand, then you know where to land
And if you fall it won’t matter, cuz you’ll know that you’re right

  • Fiona Apple (album title)

*The Strange Tale of Captain Shannon and the Hunchback from Gigha *by Bread, Love and Dreams (album and track title)

I don’t know if this would count, but “Supper’s Ready” on the Foxtrot album by Genesis, is divided into movements, each with its own title. As I recall, the label of the LP itself names the song and its movements thusly (note that the song was track 2 of side 2):

2. Supper’s Ready I. Lover’s Leap II. The Guaranteed Eternal Sanctuary Man III. Ikhnaton and Itsacon and Their Band of Merry Men IV. How Dare I Be So Beautiful? V. Willow Farm VI. Apocalypse in 9/8 (Co-Starring the Delicious Talents of Gabble Ratchet) VII. As Sure As Eggs Is Eggs (Aching Men’s Feet).

Still, in spite of all the movement titles and a length of 22:58, the entire work is presented as a single song–one wide band of groove on the LP, few if any discernable breaks between movements (not enough to play them separately even if you could find them). Again, like I said, I don’t know if this would qualify for the thread, but it’s the longest title I’ve ever seen on a label for a single song.

The longest song title ever to make it onto the Billboard Hot 100 was a 1981 single often referred to as “Stars on 45” but was actually entitled, for legal reasons, Medley: Intro / Venus / Sugar Sugar / No Reply / I’ll Be Back / Drive My Car / Do You Want to Know a Secret / We Can Work It Out / I Should Have Known Better / Nowhere Man / You’re Going to Lose That Girl / Stars on 45. This is followed by Ray Stevens’s Jeremiah Peabody’s Polyunsaturated Quick-Dissolving Fast-Acting Pleasant-Tasting Green and Purple Pills.

Fiona Apple’s second album is a rare instance of the album title being longer than the titles of the tracks: the longest track title is four words long, whereas the album is entitled When The Pawn Hits The Conflicts He Thinks Like A King What He Knows Throws The Blows When He Goes To The Fight And He’ll Win The Whole Thing 'Fore He Enters The Ring There’s No Body To Batter When Your Mind Is Your Might So When You Go Solo You Hold Your Own Hand And Remember That Depth Is The Greatest Of Heights And If You Know Where To Stand Then You’ll Know Where To Land And If You Fall It Won’t Matter 'Cuz You Know That You’re Right. This was the longest title ever for an album until the release of Chumbawumba’s The Boy Bands Have Won, and All The Copyists and The Tribute Bands and The TV Talent Show Producers Have Won, If We Allow Our Culture To Be Shaped By Mimicry, Whether From Lack Of Ideas Or From Exaggerated Respect. You Should Never Try To Freeze Culture. What You Can Do Is Recycle That Culture. Take Your Older Brother’s Hand-Me-Down Jacket and Re-Style It, Re-Fashion It to the Point Where It Becomes Your Own. But Don’t Just Regurgitate Creative History, Or Hold Art And Music And Literature As Fixed, Untouchable And Kept Under Glass. The People Who Try To ‘Guard’ Any Particular Form Of Music Are, Like The Copyists And Manufactured Bands, Doing It The Worst Disservice, Because The Only Thing That You Can Do To Music That Will Damage It Is Not Change It, Not Make It Your Own. Because Then It Dies, Then It’s Over, Then It’s Done, and The Boy Bands Have Won, the longest song title on which has six words.

Yeah, but the song is simply titled Supper’s Ready. I don’t think this should count - if we were to include subtitles, I could come up with all sorts of lengthy progressive rock songs with titles much longer than this.

Of Montreal had a song titled “Upon Settling on the Frozen Island, Lecithin Presents Claude and Coquelicot With His Animal Creations for Them to Approve or Reject (The Rejected Inventions Walk Towards The Reverse Magnetizer)”

It’s a short song, too. Almost takes as long to say the title as it does to sing the song.

My band’s second album had a song called “Being an Account of the Amazing, Improbable Journey of a Mr. Phineas T. Snodgrass, Balloonist Extraordinaire,” which I think is a decent length for a non-prog band.