Well-known songs that many people have never heard

Both Green Fields of France (aka No Man’s Land) and The Band Played Waltzing Matilda were written by Eric Bogle. Sometimes I prefer his versions, sometimes I prefer John McDermitt’s covers.

Did you know “The Stars and Stripes Forever” has lyrics?

classical music would have many instances just due to its nature. it’s long and unless you have time and like the stuff you wouldn’t have heard it.

because of it being less known it popular culture and it is written to produce a feeling then bits were widely used. it appears in old time radio, cartoons, movies and tv.

light classical (light orchestral) is very ripe for the picking. Leroy Anderson composed this type of music and his The Syncopated Clock and The Typewriter have been used in lots of places.

Aaron Copland’s music is all over the place…most ubiquitous are excerpts from his works Fanfare from the Common Man, Appalachian Spring, Rodeo. It’s used at inaugurations, political conventions and rallies, background musics for advertisements (Archer Daniel Midland?), western film scores, Sports events…

It’s the quintessential American “feel-good” music, which is ironic since Copland was on the FBI watch list for his communist affiliations and was a closeted homosexual, which really made me chuckle when Glenn Beck used Fanfare at one of his right wing rallies to “restore honor” in 2010.

Similar to Copland’s music is the theme for “The Magnificent Seven” movie in 1960, by Elmer Bernstein and used as the Marlboro Man commercials.

Actually, just reread the OP, and these are more Songs that everyone has heard but don’t realize it.

Pretty much any tune Leroy Anderson wrote for the Boston Pops is so familiar that nobody knows what it’s even named, except maybe for “Sleigh Ride”. “Belle of the Ball”, “Syncopated Clock”, “The Typewriter,” “Bugler’s Holiday,” “A Trumpeter’s Lullaby”, “Blue Tango” - trust me, you’ve heard them all.

So does the theme from MASH. It was used at least twice in the movie, at the beginning and during Painless’ suicide scene. I don’t know if they sang the whole thing though. It’s official title is "Theme from MASH (Suicide is Painless).

Funny but when I clicked on the link, I was expecting the version by Mitch Miller, which delighted me as 6 year old.


Many people have heard bits and pieces of Raymond Scott’s Powerhouse in Warner Brothers cartoons without knowing that it’s a complete composition. Some of Scott’s other works that have been excerpted in movies and cartoons include The Toy Trumpet, War Dance for Wooden Indians and Dinner Music for a Pack of Hungry Cannibals.

I once heard Hal Linden and Michelle Lee sing it, and it was really cool. I could not find it on YouTube. These two were the best I could find:



IMHO Liam Clancy performs the most intense version of both of these.

The lyrics were written by Sheldon (Fiddler On The Roof) Harnick and it was performed in a 1982 TV special - I Love Liberty - produced by Norman (All In The Family) Lear. I worked on the show and wrote the orchestra accompaniment. I’d all-but-forgotten about that gig. Thanks for reminding me.

Andy Griffith tv show whistling song has lyrics, it’s called The Old Fishing Hole.

That old timey hammered dulcimer or mandolin music, I think it used to be played at the start of the Victory Garden on PBS, is called The Arkansas Traveller. Everyone has heard it!

I must make mention of ‘light industrial music’, akin to the happy-busy ‘Holiday On Strings’ plinky plinky. ‘Music for TV Dinners’ is a compilation of the scraps of music heard on old educational films back in school, tv commercials from long ago, you know it when you hear it! Conjures up images of 50’s housewives pushing a cart through the A&P, shopping for the perfect roast for when Bob’s boss comes to dinner…

Completely honest: I thought it WAS the Australian National Anthem until a couple of years back, when in a Reddit thread about who has the coolest National Anthem I learned that the real anthem is Advance Australia Fair. which I’d never heard until then.

If anyone is interested, the consensus in that thread was that the coolest National Anthem was the South African one, but that’s neither here nor there.

Also, borrowed by Tchaikovsky for the “1812 Overture”.

As someone once observed on another thread, most people don’t really know Take Me Out to the Ball Game. The part that is invariably played is only the chorus. You rarely hear the verses.

Another one we spoke about recently was Mouret’s Rindeau, the opening section of which was used for years as the theme for Masterpiece Theater on PBS. Now that they’ve shortened it to Masterpiece, they’ve abbreviated the Rondeau even further. But they never played the whole thing

This jisn’t really the whole thing, either:

Beethoven’s 5th symphony, Beethoven’s 9th symphony, Beethoven’s 14th Piano Sonata

Many of old liberal do consider those songs patriotic.

A lot of popular TV show themes are kown by their instrumental-only version, but have lyrics if you look them up. I Love Lucy, Bonanza, The Andy Griffith Show and Star Trek (There’s a sleazy story behind this one; don’t read it if you love Gene Roddenberry).