Friday 5: Songs that Have Something (However Tenuous) to Do with Law
There are a lot of songs and a lot of laws, but they don’t overlap that much in terms of content. However, here are 5 selections that have some connection with law, even if it’s just a corny play on words.
Nos. 1 and 2. “Cell Mates,” “Litigation.” Artist: Mariachi El Bronx. Album: Mariachi El Bronx (2009). These are the first two tracks from the first album by the wonderfully incongruous MEB, the alter-ego of The Bronx, an L.A. punk band. These are original MEB compositions done in Mariachi style, but sung in English. Criminal and civil law are both represented here, in lyrically touching and musically irresistible form.
No. 3. “Court and Spark.” Artist: Joni Mitchell. Album: Court and Spark (1974). She’s singing about “court” in the romantic sense (someone courting someone), not the legal sense. But it’s such a great song from such a magnificent album, who cares? Put on your headphones and enjoy a three-minute aural massage.
No. 4. “I Had a Dream.” Artist: Hubert Laws. Album: Carnegie Hall (1973). (Note: His name is Laws!) I was mainly a rock music fan in high school. But I played in the jazz band, so I often tuned in to KYAC, Seattle’s now-defunked (see what I did there?) “black” music station, which played R&B, soul, funk, and blues you wouldn’t hear elsewhere on the airwaves. On weeknights they played jazz like this track by the living-legend flutist. This still makes me want to hop in a Monte Carlo and cruise Alki.
No. 5. “I Fought the Law.” Artist: Bobby Fuller Four. (Single, 1965). Please don’t steal this idea, but if I ever write an autobiography, the title will be the refrain from this song: “I fought the law and the law won.” This was the first hit version, although it was later covered again by The Clash and others. I play this in my head repeatedly when I have to do something awful, like answer interrogatories.