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Anyone else bothered by "Some Nights" resemblance to "Cecilia"?


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Showing 1-25 of 41 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 26, 2012 3:55:39 PM PDT
S. Stalcup says:
Okay, so I'm driving to Mom's last weekend after field exams and inbetween changing discs, the radio starts playing this song "Some Nights" by some group called Fun? A misnomer, that, but I digress.

Anyroad, I'm listening to it for not all that long and it occurs to me, this is "Cecilia" by Simon and Garfunkel! Went on YouTube and there was the usual "No it's not/Simon and Garfunkel suck/Your gay [sic]" nonsense.

Have either Paul or Art threatened legal action or do they figure some wiseacre will come back with "Oh yeah, what did you do on Graceland, Paul?" or "Wasn't your career based on Don and Phil?"

It really bothered me hearing how close it was to their song.

Thoughts?

Posted on Aug 26, 2012 4:24:13 PM PDT
Gena Chereck says:
I heard "Some Nights" for the first time last week on NPR's 'World Cafe' -- I thought those choruses were awfully catchy... I can certainly hear the resemblance, especially in the "oh whoa, oh whoa, oh whoa oh oh"s.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 26, 2012 4:37:19 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 26, 2012 4:37:34 PM PDT
S. Stalcup says:
And they don't even attempt to alter it in a way to where it doesn't register immediately THIS IS A RIP-OFF. Compared to "Don't Put Another Dime in the Jukebox" where you have to go through the mental Rolodex before you realize "Gold Coast slave ship bound for cotton fields / Sold in the market down in New Aw-leans" fits in a little too well with the synths.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 26, 2012 6:14:42 PM PDT
The Return says:
S. Stalcup asks:

"Anyone else bothered by "Some Nights" resemblance to "Cecilia"?"

I haven't had a good night's sleep since I first heard it. My stomach churns, day and night. I can't think about anything else.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 26, 2012 7:01:35 PM PDT
S. Stalcup says:
O-kay, not sure if you're taking the mickey here or not, given tone's absence in an online forum. I'll err on the side of caution and thank you until proven otherwise.

Posted on Aug 26, 2012 11:27:38 PM PDT
D. Robinson says:
Hey guys, I was listening to "Ice Ice Baby" and it totally sounds like "Under Pressure."

Seriously though, has anyone noticed that the song "On the Dark Side" from the movie Eddie and the Cruisers sounds a lot like Mellencamp's R.O.C.K. In the USA?

Posted on Aug 26, 2012 11:42:11 PM PDT
Let me first say that I'm a HUGE Simon & Garfunkel fan from their very beginnings.

I ALSO really like Fun & "Some Nights", though not as much as their last single, "We Are Young", and I happen to own both of their albums.

Frankly, I hadn't even realized the similarities until you pointed it out.
Of course NOW that's ALL I can Hear! (Thanks a Lot!)

But I don't find it particularly bothersome. Such re-workings of prior musical themes is a long-time musical tradition.

Brian Wilson lifted Chuck Berry's "Sweet Little Sixteen" for "Surfin' USA".
(Of course Berry sued and got a writer's credit, so that's probably not the best example!)

Paul McCartney admitted that "I'm Down" was pretty much a direct rip off from Little Richard.

Billy Joel's most successful album, "An Innocent Man" was filled with bits copped from earlier artists.

Songs often become hits precisely because they sound like earlier hits and therefore seem instantly "familiar" to the public.
I suspect that's probably the case with "Some Nights".

There's little that's truly original in music today and musicians have been borrowing from each other probably for centuries, including Paul Simon himself as you pointed out.

But, I agree sometimes the line gets crossed into plagiarism intentionally or subconsciously as George Harrison discovered in the "My Sweet Lord" / "He's So Fine" lawsuit.

One instance that HAS annoyed me for Decades now, however, is the Guitar break in "Hotel California" which includes a Note-For-Note duplication of a part of Ritchie Blackmore's "Highway Star" solo, only slowed down by about half! That one drives me nuts every time I hear it!

But as for "Some Nights", You're right, there's enough of a similarity to assume that the song's writer had heard "Cecilia", but not enough to constitute plagiarism I don't think.

Posted on Aug 27, 2012 4:24:54 AM PDT
Music Luver says:
Look at Sugarloaf, lame one hit wonders, *blatently* ripped off the line from I Feel Fine, by the Fabs.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 27, 2012 4:46:03 AM PDT
S. Stalcup says:
D. Robinson.

Back to Nilbog with you! I have a triple decker baloney sandwich and I'm not afraid to eat it, troll!

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 27, 2012 12:11:25 PM PDT
D. Robinson says:
Hey I was serious about the second question.

This phenomenon of "ripoff" songs was examined a little bit in the second season of "Treme". A girl is trying to write a song, works at it for days on end until she likes it. When she plays it for Steve Earle's character, he points out that she just wrote Bob Dylan's "It Ain't Me Babe."

Writing is hard. Everyone brings their influences to the table without realizing it.

Posted on Aug 27, 2012 12:19:04 PM PDT
I listened to the song, heard the resemblances..and I do not feel it crosses the line.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 27, 2012 1:00:54 PM PDT
T. Kinney says:
I thought the exact same thing when I heard it.

Posted on Aug 29, 2012 7:21:12 AM PDT
vivazappa says:
Not really ;)

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 13, 2012 2:32:26 PM PDT
L. Caron says:
I'm getting nowhere on that search either. To me it's a rip-off. It's got the "whoa-oh-oh" and the drum beat oh and THE SAME TUNE.... it's not just the same chord progression as artists often claim now days. I thought it was on purpose being an anti-war song (I think? I haven't dissected the lyrics yet) and Simon and Garfunkel were very anti-war. Now that's I've researched it I don't think the band has given any credit to Simon and Garfunkel. However, it's a clear sample that's proabbly closer to a remake than a sample. lol

Posted on Sep 13, 2012 5:41:55 PM PDT
Jules says:
An English teacher of mine said, "there's nothing new under the sun," (Shakespeare said it first) meaning that as we live we pick up words and phrases from the stuff we listen to and read, then when we go to create our own, all the little bits and pieces we have picked up come together in a hopefully unique way. Yes, some are going to sound like something else because every few generations the songs are forgotten and what was old is new again.

@D. Robinson,
Your story about the girl who wrote a Dylan song reminded me of the song I wrote at 12 called "California" when I let my much older brother read the song he laughed and said
Lynrd Skynrd did it better with their song "Sweet Home Alabama". Then I listened to the song and it was surprisingly similar, I'd used the words 'where the sky's are so blue' but not
much else was the same. Ruined it for me anyway, since theirs was so good and mine was not, lol!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 14, 2012 2:17:35 AM PDT
@Music Luver: yes, but the riff in "I Feel Fine" was a direct rip of Bobby Parker's 1961 song "Watch Your Step". The Beatles weren't immune to this, either, although there are only a few instances of it in their catalog.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 14, 2012 4:13:07 AM PDT
stevign says:
I hate to say it but obviously neurological disorders are contagious, you should have never played the video.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 14, 2012 2:47:40 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 14, 2012 3:05:13 PM PDT
Music Luver says:
I will have to check that out.

Hey Mike, I just listened to it, I can see why you might think it's the same. Rhythmically it is pretty close, but the notes are different enough to where I guess they could not have been sued (ala My Sweet Lord).

Sugarloaf ripped off the Beatle line verbatim.

Posted on Sep 14, 2012 3:13:53 PM PDT
Sodenfir says:
Sugarloaf were two-hit wonders. Are you referring to "Green Eyed Lady" or "Don't Call Us, We'll Call You?"

Posted on Sep 14, 2012 3:18:01 PM PDT
Music Luver says:
Don't Call Us We'll Call You.

LAME!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 14, 2012 3:18:55 PM PDT
Sodenfir says:
This never occurred to me until you pointed it out since I haven't heard Cecelia in ages. Only the whoa whoa sounds alike to me, not sure if that can qualify as plagiarism.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 14, 2012 4:31:30 PM PDT
S. Stalcup says:
What about the percussion. No, not the bit that sounds like they're playing pop bottles like Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, I mean the dominant rhythm played through the song. The whole thing troubles me. Yes the "whoa"s are the most noticeable, but the whole she-bang is just . . . off.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 14, 2012 5:58:32 PM PDT
Sodenfir says:
True, but I'm more appalled by their attempt to sound anthemic and important. For a group called "Fun" they sound like they want to be taken way too seriously.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 14, 2012 6:53:56 PM PDT
S. Stalcup says:
You left off the full stop (period) on their name, ridiculous as its placement is. They're not simply "Fun" no no. They are "Fun."

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That punctuation makes all the difference. "Yeah, our band name has punctuation. Have a go if you think you're hard enough." Let's see the throwdown between !!! and Fun. A band with a punctuation mark and a band whose name is ONLY punctuation marks.

I guess though if they were missing that period, they'd better hope whoever the guy is he'll do the only honorable thing and marry them.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 14, 2012 7:10:50 PM PDT
stevign says:
S. Stalcup:

re: "That punctuation makes all the difference"

I agree.

http://wedelenglish.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/punctuation-saves-lives.jpg
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Discussion in:  Music forum
Participants:  23
Total posts:  41
Initial post:  Aug 26, 2012
Latest post:  Sep 28, 2013

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