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July 13, 2017 When songs become eternal memes

Sometimes, a meme is so good that it will make your forget what the original photo, video, or song was even about.

The material being parodied will take on a whole new meaning, and if the meme is great enough, you’ll never look at that thing the same way ever again.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the best appropriations of great songs for the sake of meme glory.

[EVERYBODY HURTS] #REMing #everybodyhurts captured by @yuliycorp

A post shared by browncardigan (@browncardigan) on

R.E.M – Everybody Hurts

First a meme blog, then an extremely tag-able Instagram, Brown Cardigan is about as brazen as you can get. Nothing is off limits—race, drug addiction, police corruption—he’ll have a dig at it all.

This lack of respect extends to classic American rock bands, too. Starting sometime in 2015,  BC started using R.E.M’s 1992 ballad, ‘Everybody Hurts’, as the backing track to a bunch of slow-mo videos featuring loners on hoverboards, segways and other gimmicky modes of transport.

Simon & Garfunkel – The Sound of Silence

“Hello Darkness my old friend” can turn any disaster into a ROFL in seconds. Basically, you add the song to the end of a clip for dramatic affect, sometimes turning the vid to black and white to add an extra sprinkle of melodrama and despair.

The meme was born after Arrested Development used the song in the same way in a 2013 episode, in their comeback fourth season.

Whitney Houston – I Will Always Love You

Listening to any Whitney Houston song should make you sad for obvious reasons, but listening to this song in particular could really make a boulder weep. Or at least it could have up until everybody’s favourite public shaming account, Kook Slams, used it on the best post of its entire history.

In it, a fully clothed tourist is swept out to sea, and instead of fighting it, he simply accepts his fate as his hysteric wife runs in after him. The song has never found a better home.

Bag Raiders – Shooting Stars

This is a relatively new meme, and when executed properly really knows no bounds. The premise is simple. Take a video of someone falling, and right when they should land, drop this track and send their body summersaulting into space.

Recently, the Sydney producers were asked about sound-tracking one of the biggest memes ever, and they answered by saying “the internet is a weird and wonderful place.” Never has a truer word been spoken.

Drake —Hotline Bling

Technically, this one exists thanks to the accompanying music video rather than the song. Drake’s dorky dancing divided the world when the video dropped.

One side said they backed him for being himself, and the other side laughed so hard at the chicken wing swing it became meme fodder in seconds.

The best was when someone inserted a tennis racket and ball into the vid, but then the floodgates opened and that’s when all hell broke loose.

Erin Bromhead
is a contributor for A•STAR