Shareef Ali joins the company of Amanda Palmer, Neil Gaiman and Kate Miller-Heidke: Web 2.0 Love Songs

Last year I wrote a tune titled “Wikipedia Brown”, using the format, policy and idiosyncrasies of that wholly addictive interweb entity as a literary vehicle to illustrate various aspects of my romantic past and present.

I did not realize at the time that my title was shared with some bigshot actor-comedian jerk named B.J. Nor was I aware that I was soon to become a pioneer in a groundbreaking new sub-subgenre of love songs: those making explicit mention of Web 2.0 phenomena.

Exhibit A: “Google You”, a forlorn lament penned and set to music by art-star couple Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer:

Exhibit B: “Are You Fucking Kidding Me? (Facebook song)”, by Kate Miller-Heidke (who admittedly is otherwise unknown to me):

Despite the surprise and humor of hearing references to relatively new fixtures in our cultural landscape, there’s nothing extraordinary about communications technology making an appearance in our popular sentimental songs. 1899’s “Hello! Ma Baby” mentioned the telephone, developed a mere thirteen years earlier (I hope you’ll presume with me that new gadgets did not pervade our common life so swiftly a century ago). More recently, I recall cocking my head when Billy Corgan sang about Caller ID, or when ‘Licia said in the love rap to “You Don’t Know My Name“: “Hold on, my cell phone breakin’ up”. Though I suppose it’s worth noting that these newest works are distributed virally by the very media used as subjects.

Each of the two examples, however, seem to have clear antecedents in terms of sentiment. “Google You” is a stalker song, not unlike “Every Breath You Take“, while “Are You Fucking Kidding Me?” has clear strains of “I Will Survive” in its lyrical code.

Not to toot my own horn whatsoever, but I’m having a hard time identifying the ancestor to my own number. Can anybody think of a song that obsessively catalogues one’s amorous trials and triumphs without analogizing to an interactive, collaborative, user-oriented information hub? Do you know of any other Web 2.0 love songs, so that our new musical movement may have more than three hallmark compositions?

2 thoughts on “Shareef Ali joins the company of Amanda Palmer, Neil Gaiman and Kate Miller-Heidke: Web 2.0 Love Songs

  1. Shareef, your blog is awesome – very intriguing content and well written! I love it all. I’ve been a diehard country music fan since, well, around the time you were born. :) Keep “rockin'” the house with your country soul.

    PS This isn’t about me, but I believe I have that Web 2.0 flavor in my blog piece “Back in the Day.” Didn’t know that’s what it’s called.

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