Songs about Fences

//Songs about Fences

Songs about Fences

If not since time in memorium then at least since 1934, popular songs have been written and recorded that center around the theme of fences.

The granddaddy of them all is the classic “Don’t Fence Me In,” composed and partially written by the legendary Cole Porter. The song, originally written for the 1934 film Adios, Argentina, was voted by the Western Writers of America as one of the Top 100 Western songs of all time.

But the tandem of “fences” and music didn’t end its association there. Popular music is rife with usage of the word (and theme) of fences in the eight decades since Porter’s hit debuted.

The Rolling Stones issued “Sittin’ On A Fence” in 1967, off the group’s Flowers album. The protagonist in the pop/country song views the misfortunes of others in relationships and decides he’s better off sitting on the fence, not committing to anyone.

No less an icon than Bob Dylan got into the act, penning “Sitting On A Barbed Wire Fence” in 1965 but not releasing the tune until 1991, on The Bootleg Series, Volumes 1-3, 1961-1991. The song for sure won’t be remembered as one of Dylan’s great contributions to the American musical canvas and features a typically surreal rant from the iconoclast, who opens the song with a perplexing series of unrelated non sequiturs to get to his title line:

I paid fifteen million dollars, twelve hundred and seventy-two cents
I paid one thousand two hundred twenty-seven dollars and fifty-five cents
See my hound dog bite a rabbit
And my football’s sittin’ on a barbed-wire fence
©Warner Bros. Music, 1970.

The eclectic folk/pop/Celtic artist wm Alan Ross released “Fences Without Gates” on his Poet Warrior album (1992), taking a look at the question of fence-building in relationships:

Fences without gates, locks without keys
Who are you keeping out or keeping in?
©Drumpst Music, 1992

Alt-rockers Paremore released “Fences” in 2009 off their album Riot. The song, an upbeat teen rocker, carries lyrics that convey the division between stars and their followers/fans, with a little self-destructive invective thrown in for good measure.

If you let me, I’d show you how to build your fences
Set restrictions, separate from the world
The constant battle that you hate to fight
Just blame the limelight
©Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group

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410 Jefferson • PO Box 1565 • West Memphis, AR 72303
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(Sources: http://www.metrolyrics.com/fences-lyrics-paramore.html; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sittin’_on_a_Fence; http://www.bobdylan.com/us/songs/sitting-barbed-wire-fence; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don’t_Fence_Me_In_(song)

By |2018-02-08T10:13:50+00:00February 8th, 2018|fencing|0 Comments