Songs that try to use mythology to add gravitas and look smart that totally F it up.

“Something just like this” by Coldplay and the Chainsmokers starts like this:

“I’ve been reading books of old
The legends and the myths
Achilles and his gold
Hercules and his gifts
Spiderman’s control
And Batman with his fists
And clearly I don’t see myself upon that list”

It’s funny how they consider Batman and Spider-Man books of old, but even worse is how they got every single one of these references wrong.

Achilles was known for his fighting skill, his heel, his need for vengeance. There is a possible obscure reference being cited here, but considering how they get everything else I don’t think I can give them pass.

Hercules and his gifts? What gifts? He was known for his strength and his tasks.

Spider-Man is not known for his control. In fact he acts instinctually relying on his spidersense and improvising.

Batman is the greatest detective. Yes, he can punch, but most often he engages in a bit more of a sophisticated attack. He is not known for his fists.

They got everything wrong


I’d say Batman is pretty well-known for fisticuffs.

The one that bugged me was:

“Superman never made any money,
Saving the world from Solomon Grundy.”

Grundy was never a regular Superman foe. He was an opponent of the golden age Green Lantern.

Bryan:

While Batman fights well, he mostly uses Ninja tactics and clever weapons. Yes, he can punch but that is not the main thing about him.

I always assumed they confused Solomon Grundy with Bizarro.

Achilles cares nothing for gold really.
Heracles? Gifts? Well he was strong, but gifts? the man got screwed over and tormented by the gods, what gifts?

This is what happens when you write a song knowing nothing about the source material i guess

Or when you’re using poetic license to create a dramatic effect?

Remember: the Thermians from Galaxy Quest were meant to be a joke, not a role model.

Maybe the songwriter is practicing irony.

You know, like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife.
mmm

But that’s like the one line in the song that IS irony, right?

Are you… Being ironic?

Well, not just the Golden Age Green Lantern. That’s where he started, but they brought him back in the Silver Age in the 1960s, where he fought the Justice League a few times, of which Superman was a member.

He’s since been resurrected – literally, in fact – for the more recent DC comics, with Superman notable among his foes:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solomon_Grundy_(comics)

Achilles had gold accoutrements, didn’t he?

Maybe those are the gifts? My daughter is in a class for gifted students, but that’s not a reference to the presents I gave her for Hanukkah.

He pulls his punch every time he slugs a human; because, if he doesn’t hold back, he’ll kill them with his lift-a-car superstrength.

He’s an expert at pretty much everything in general; but he’s so known for his fists that, when he punches a guy, the world takes notice.

It goes SOCK! or POW! or ZOK!

Biff! Pow! Splat!

I watch Batman every Saturday on MeTV. There’s a fist fight in every episode! :slight_smile:

When I saw **Scyllas’s **name and the thread title, I was sure this was going to be about The Police’s Wrapped Around Your Finger. Mr. Sumner’s reference seems factually correct here but I took the part about fucking it up to mean it *sounds *awkward :smack:

Yeah, you are missing the point. Generally speaking you can take a descriptor, apply it to anybody, torture it, and make it fit a little bit.

Achilles for example had some golden armor, and there is a time he rejects a quantity of gold offered to him to start fighting again. He does this because gold is not important to him. Gold has nothing to do with his character. It is not what he is known for.

Similarly, I might say “Waldo and his squid,” and you might say, “well, I do like calamari” or “I saw some squid in an aquarium once.” That doesn’t make it fit. The point is that you are not known for your squid.

You might say “Hitler and his marksmanship” and surely Hitler has fired a gun at some point. However, you have failed to capture the essential essence of Hitler by choosing an irrelevant descriptor that fits generically.

Had one said “Midas and his gold” They would have caught the essential essence of who Midas was. Applying that to Achilles is just stupid because it pretty much demonstrates that the person had no idea who Achilles was. This makes Coldplay a liar. They really weren’t reading books of old or else they wouldn’t have fucked up their references.

The same applies. Basically everybody has either given or received a gift, and anything about them that is exceptional might be considered a gift. Hercules is not known for his gifts anymore than Hitler is for his marksmanship or Achilles for his gold. He is known for his strength.

Yes Batman punches, pretty much like every other superhero in every single comic. Punching is not a distinguishing characteristic of Batman.

Similarly pretty much every superhero pulls there punches when fighting generic individuals. That control is not a distinguishing characteristic of Spiderman.

The references made in the song are random and sloppy. You could have taken five minutes, gotten it right, and made a better song that doesn’t shit on mythology and comics. That they didn’t is inexcusable. For this and there long history of crimes and offenses Coldplay should be brought to account!

I was pissed at Selena Gomez for a while because of her line:

“Just like the Battle of Troy nothing was settled here” in her song Bad Liar. I was conflicted about this because I think she is a talente singer and I enjoy the quiet precision and play in meter in rhyme in that and other songs, plus I feel bad that she needed a kidney and had to put up with Bieber.

I was relieved to find out the line is actually “nothing is subtle here” which I guess is ok.

There’s at least one tradition about the birth of Heracles that Hera was conned into nursing him for a bit and from that he gained the superstrength and other godly traits so I could see that being framed generically as gifts.

I was going to suggest Rush’s “Hemispheres”, with Apollo as the god of reason and Dionysus as the god of love. While I don’t think that’s what the two gods are primarily known for (I associate Apollo with the sun and Dionysus with wine or the harvest) I think they both cover enough ground that you can stretch it and make it work.

Than the line should have been “Hercules sucking tits”. It would have rhymed as well.

I forgive Led Zeppelin for suggesting that Golem and Sauron kidnapped Aragorn’s girlfriend.

Wow. Somehow, I never paid attention to the lyrics of this song (which already annoys the crap out of me.) Thanks for making it worse. I wanted to be a bit contrarian, but, you’re right, the lyrics are just terrible and arbitrary in those lines. I can maybe make an allowance for Hercules and even Batman, but just, as a whole, it’s lazy writing, at best. Surely they could have found more sensible rhyming imagery involving heroic figures?

thank you!

Since the song came out in 1991, I’m not inclined to give the Crash Test Dummies credit for how the character was later used by DC.