4 Famous Songs Used in Hilarious Ways Around the World
Once art is released into the world, its ownership shifts from the artist to anybody and everybody. Release a song, and before the running time has elapsed there's already a dozen ukulele covers on YouTube.
It's hard to control what happens to a song after it's released, as evidenced by the four songs in this article. These songs were all big hits, but for one reason or another found big success in very specific, truly bizarre corners of life. For example ...
Barney's "I Love You" Was Used to Torture People
From timeless classics to unquestionable garbage, the CIA knows exactly what kind of music can be used to ravage a person's brain. We all love "We Are the Champions" by Queen, but after 30 hours of it while locked in a small room, your brain would be jelly, and even your most complex thoughts could be smeared on toast. "The Real Slim Shady" by Eminem and "Stayin' Alive" by the Bee Gees are CIA torture favorites as well, but the single most used song is "I Love You," the song Barney the dinosaur sings at the end of every episode of Barney and Friends.
It's all a part of a procedure called futility. The "collector" of information infuses a profound sense of hopelessness within the person they're trying to get information from. Barney and his song so sweet that it has to be a satanic chant in disguise have been number one on Billboard's CIA Torment and Agony charts since the early 2000s. It's not hard to see why. Whether it's crazy Norwegian black metal or American hip-hop or highly sexualized American pop, the whole idea is to batter a Muslim extremist with music filled with messages that run up against their philosophy. So, naturally, there's nothing more anti-extremist than the unconditional love of a dinosaur.
War is hell.
When the writer of Barney's "I Love You" heard that his song was being used to torture people, he "just laughed." Probably while sitting on his throne of skulls.
Marvin Gaye's Music Helps Animals Have Sex
Marvin Gaye's songs are sex -- pure sex. Every note and lyric from songs like "Let's Get It On" and "Sexual Healing" drips with the goo of sex funk. You can almost smell the friction of genitals wafting off those songs. They are the perfect soundtrack for boning the ever-loving shit out of another person, and not just for humans, either.
Marvin Gaye's music is so sexually charged that its sex-force transcends humanity and can penetrate the hearts, minds, and junk of the rest of the animal kingdom. Pandas are notoriously fickle fuckers, and their prime mating period is only about two days long. So when it came time for Tian Tian the panda at Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland to get knocked up, the zookeepers called a local radio station and requested some Marvin Gaye. The pandas showed signs of relaxation, but ultimately they didn't go through with it. Pandas suck and are incapable of feeling boners.
"Goddamnit! That idiot's humping the log again!"
That doesn't mean Marvin Gaye's music can't make animals have sex. A zoo in Alfriston, England, played Marvin Gaye songs on a loop, along with some Barry White as a nuclear option, to get their flamingos to mate. And mate they did! Two of their flamingos got nasty and had themselves some little flamingo babies.
You'd be hard-pressed to find any actual science that suggests animals respond to the sexy tunes made by humans, but hey, why not? The sheer coincidence of some animals giving each other suggestive looks before they violently plow each other as a Marvin Gaye song narrates the whole thing is the kind of YouTube gold the world needs.
Saddam Hussein Used "I Will Always Love You" as His Campaign Song
Apparently, Whitney Houston was a goddess to ruthlessly powerful Middle Eastern men. Osama bin Laden was supposedly obsessed with Whitney and even fantasized about marrying her. Every woman loves a guy with goals, even if those goals begin and end with "Death to America." Saddam Hussein was also a fan and used an Arabic cover of Whitney Houston's version of "I Will Always Love You" as his campaign song during his 2002 re-election.
It's not like Saddam needed a campaign song to rally the voters, or even a campaign. That election saw a 100 percent voter turnout, and all 11.4 million Iraqis voted for Saddam. That turnout means one of two things: 1) it was all a pathetically veiled sham, or 2) people really responded to Saddam's choice of campaign song and turned out in massive numbers because, hey, that murderous dictator is playing that song from The Bodyguard! Which of these levers that all say "Saddam" do I pull?
Saddam listening to "I Wanna Dance With Somebody."
The song blared on the radio and on all three state-controlled TV stations all day, every day, I guess as a constant reminder that the man who once gassed many of his own citizens to death did it out of an undying love for them. He didn't know the strength of his own love, like Lennie from Of Mice and Men, if he had access to sarin gas and an army.
Kenny G's "Going Home" Lets People in China Know It's Closing Time
Like it or not, Kenny G is one of the most popular musicians in the world. He's sold over 75 million albums worldwide, and for reasons absolutely no one understands, one of his biggest hits has become so ingrained within Chinese culture that it's inexplicably used by tons of businesses and at the end of news broadcasts as an audio cue to tell people that they need to get the hell out.
"GET THE FUCK OUT."
In 1989, Kenny G released his first live album, Kenny G Live. It went triple platinum, and its opening track, "Going Home," became a huge hit in waiting rooms everywhere. But in China, the song was more than just a hit; it became an essential and ubiquitous part of life. No one knows when it began, but to this day, "Going Home" is played in libraries, gyms, and shopping malls to let people know that they don't have to go home, but they can't stay here. The day's done. Get out. It's a really relaxing security guard ushering you out the door at your own smooth jazz pace.
I could make a joke about how it's such a terrible song that of course people would flee from it if it were played on a loop for up to an hour and a half at closing time -- which is exactly what happens in some places in China -- but the truth is, people don't seem to mind it. It just is. It's a part of the fabric of a nation. And Kenny G is fully aware of it all. When he tours China, "Going Home" is his closer because, in his own words, "I don't want everyone going home early."
"B-but ... I haven't even played 'Going Home' yet."
It's for that reason that I've held off on embedding the song. I didn't want you to prematurely walk away from this article. I haven't even listened to it myself. I fear there might be a subliminal suggestion buried within it that makes me leave my house and walk into traffic. I don't know. I wouldn't put it past Kenny G to pull some wicked shit like that. But, seeing as this article is done, I am now proud to present Kenny G playing the tune that lets Chinese people know they need to get the fuck out.
Ladies and gentlemen, this article has ended. It's time for you to leave.
Inexplicably, Luis has the sudden urge to call it a day. You can find him on Twitter and Tumblr.