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The Surprising Origins of Popular Songs

Iconic pop songs, like any other form of art, often have by-turns profound, surprising, or extraordinary backstories to their creation. When inspiration strikes, talented musicians are known to put pen to paper and follow their instincts.

As such, many of our most iconic songs have incredible origins behind their lyrics, titles, and underlying messages – and here we’re going to take a look at some of our favourites. Each has made waves in the cultural imagination over the decades, though few know the unlikely tales that underpin these classic tunes.

Bonnie Tyler – Total Eclipse of the Heart

Total Eclipse of the Heart has been loved the world over as one of the greatest heart-wrenching power ballads of the 1980s and an unrivaled karaoke favourite. Yet the song’s lyrical exploration of love and loss – all standard fare for 80s rock-pop, actually conceals a much spookier motive.

This is because, as the song’s original title, ‘Vampires in Love’, elucidates – this song is about those iconic creatures of the night.

This is because Tyler was once working on a musical adaptation of the classic 1922 silent movie Nosferatu, and had originally written the song for inclusion in this stalled project.

Charles Coborn – The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte-Carlo

This enduring classic of a song, written by Fred Gilbert in the 1890s and performed by music hall legend Charles Coborn explores the fortunes of a roguish character that enjoys a successful streak in Monaco’s most popular venue.

What few realise though is that this is based on a real event. In 1891, one Charles Wells enjoyed an unprecedented run on the Casino de Monte-Carlo, resulting in winnings over three days of 1 million francs ($13 million in today’s money) at the roulette tables.

This extraordinary act was made possible by Wells employing a roulette betting strategy known today as the Martingale strategy, a technique thought to have been developed in France in the 1700s.

Gilbert’s pen ensured that Charles Wells’ legend would survive long beyond the initial buzz his success caused in the European press of the day, yet the true survivor of this story is the aforementioned method.

While far less commonly employed in the modern game of roulette, the Martingale system is often covered alongside related and alternative strategies for this most prestigious casino title.

What’s more, with greater numbers than ever turning to lead online gaming providers such as ArabianBetting, a platform that not only brings together the leading gaming providers across the Arabian gulf but serves up competitive welcome offers for each, access to digital variants of its spinning thrills is ensuring this classic technique looks set to respectfully endure well on into the 21st century.

The Surprising Origins of Popular Songs

The Beatles – Come Together

Few bands or musical acts have had as outsized an impact on popular culture as The Beatles. Even to this day, no artist has managed to match their record of no less than twenty No. 1 hit throughout their career.

The collaborative songwriting efforts of the Fab Four resulted in a diverse melting pot of influences on their music, with everything from Hindu spirituality to American bluegrass music contributing to the band’s rich musical tapestry.

Yet one song, Come Together – which would become the opening track on their 11th album, Abbey Road, enjoyed a more overt influence than most.

The world of the late 1960s was bursting with progressive ideals and social movements, and among the many luminaries of this period was former Harvard research psychologist, and proponent of psychedelics, Timothy Leary. A virtual pariah in his day, Leary became a counter-cultural touchstone with his proclamation to the burgeoning hippie culture to collectively ‘turn on, tune in and drop out’ from the rat race.

Eager to establish a foothold in the American political ranks, Leary 1969 sought to campaign for the governorship of California in the state elections. Drawing on the combined might of his cultural capital, Leary approached friend and confidant John Lennon with a request to compose a song for his campaign ticket.

The result has Come Together, a swaggering rock anthem that went on to survive Leary’s unsuccessful bid for office to become one of the most streamed Beatles tracks enjoyed today on platforms such as Spotify.

abubakarbilal
abubakarbilal
Abubakar is a writer and digital marketing expert. Who has founded multiple blogs and successful businesses in the fields of digital marketing, software development. A full-service digital media agency that partners with clients to boost their business outcomes.
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