The Attic (a name which commemorates our first physical location) is, first and foremost, a site for the research students of the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester: a virtual community which aims to include all students, be they campus-based and full-time, or distance-learning and overseas. But we welcome contributions from students of museum studies - and allied subject areas - from outside the School and from around the world. Here you will find a lot of serious stuff, like exhibition and research seminar reviews, conference alerts and calls for papers, but there's also some 'fluff'; the things that inspire, distract and keep us going. After all, while we may be dead serious academic types, we're human too.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Songs about Museums

In the three hours I drove from my one home to my other home today, I was thinking about songs about museums - sadly and surprisingly, I could think of very few. Here's what I have so far:
Donovan, Museum, 1966 [covered by Herman's Hermits in 1967]
"Meet me under the whale at the Natural History Museum..."

Bob Dylan, Visions of Johanna, 1966
"Inside the museums, infinity goes up on trial..."

Joni Mitchell, Big Yellow Taxi, 1970
"They took all the trees and put 'em in a tree museum..."

Eric Idle, The Getty, 1999-2000
"There's a new place in LA, I go there every day, it's the Getty..."

So far, we have two natural history museums (one is used for erotic encounters, the other overcharges for admission), and two art museums (one with ugly paintings of women, the other with rather sexier pictures of women...). Any other ideas? I was thinking Mussorgsky's Pictures At An Exhibition, too, but that was inspired by a temporary exhibition, and as such, I'm not sure it counts... Google brings up only people I've never heard of...

9 comments:

Amy said...

Hmmm. *strokes chin* Do they have to be songs about museums? Or can they be songs with 'museum' in the title?

(Ceri's really the girl for this sort of thing - she's a playlist demon!)

Mike Simpson said...

It's tangential, but the theme from The Addams Family includes:

Their house is a museum / When people come to see 'em / They really are a scre-am / The Addams Family

Amy said...

Okay how about...

Muse, 'Muscle Museum'

And a few I've never actually listened to...

Emmy the Great, 'On the Museum Island'

Paul Weller, 'The Strange Museum'

The Future Sound of London, 'Museum'

They Might be Giants, 'The Edison Museum'

We definitely need a museum playlist for the symposium soirees. ;)

J said...

Good suggestions Mike and Amy! The never-heard problem was also something I came up against. Maybe the issue is that museums don't make good grist for a good pop song? (But WHY??)

OK, how about songs whose videos take place in museums - Sheryl Crow, "If It Makes You Happy"...

City Kat said...

Not a happy song, but The Tragically Hip's (A great Canadian rock band out of Kingston Ontario) Wheat Kings - about a true story of a man in the prairies who was wrongfully convicted o murder and spent 15 or 20 years in prison before he was exonerated.

lyrics:
There's a dream he dreams where the high school is dead and stark

It's a museum and we're al locked up and after dark up in it and after dark

Where the walls are lined all yellow gray and sinister

Hung with pictures of our parents prime ministers

Ed Rodley said...

My personal, parochial favorite would have to be the Modern Lover's 1970 masterpiece "Girlfriend"

If I were to walk to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston
Well, first I'd go to the room where they keep the Cezanne
But if I had by my side a girlfriend
Then I could look through the paintings
I could look right through them
Because I'd have found something that I understand
I understand a girlfriend.

J said...

Yay The Hip, City Kat!

Ed: Thanks, this is a great one. I even know where the Cezannes are hung in teh MFA, so it's very evocative!

Elee said...

Rufus Wainwright - The Art Teacher. I love this song...
"He was not that much older than I was / He had taken our class to the Metropolitan Museum / He asked us what our favorite work of art was / But never could I tell it was him"

Amy said...

Added to the Spotify playlist (plus a few others) - thanks Elee!