Friday, April 27, 2007

The Simpsons and Samuel Barber

Robert Gable is a blogger who I suspect stays up late - since his posts arrive in my reader very early in the morning. He has documented various appearances of the Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber. The tune, funereal, beautiful, morbid, elegant, depressing, easy to recognize and therefore very popular, has obviously become an established "musical icon" in our culture.

Last week Leslie and I caught a new Simpsons episode which we had taped. In it Bart and Marge play online video games while Lisa and Homer get involved in soccer. That is until Lisa watches a DVD (from Canal+) on soccer hooliganism.

Here are four captures from the short clip (inexpertly done directly from the TV into my pocket point 'n shoot) which are accompanied by the narration below.

And the music to accompany this Rambo-like action scene? Why it's the Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber, of course. I didn't actually fall out of my chair laughing. Came close.

NARRATOR: Last year in Brazil an onfield scuffle became so violent that locals say a statue of the virgin Mary came alive . . . and beat the holy snot out of everyone.

P.S. Someday I will explain my idea of "musical iconography" here on Mixed Meters - probably when I finally publish my midi-symphony Wagner and Schubert Have Intercourse, which makes use of the concept.

Hooliganism Tags: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Here's a previous Mixed Meters post on the Simpsons.

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