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Get Yourself Into A “Medical Jam”

Thanks to the PSP Blog which linked to the “Culture Map” article by By Douglas Newman — Medical jams: From plastic surgery to cancer to sex changes, it’s been rocked about.

Newman has put together the following list with audio links included in his article. I hope you will pop over and give them a listen. Do you have any to add to the list? 

“Heart Doctor” by Lee “Scratch” Perry

This late period track by the legendary (and legendarily kooky) Lee “Scratch” Perry finds the reggae/dub artist and producer doling out “advice” to his patients…

“A Nurse’s Life is Full of Woe” by Billy Bragg

An unreleased track taken from the sessions of Talking With the Taxman About Poetry, “A Nurse’s Life is Full of Woe” finds Bragg taking on the plight of the working class…

“Plastic Surgery” by Maps of Africa

You can’t have a medical-themed songlist without a nod to the vain, and there’s no better ode to plastic surgery than this psychedelic thumper by Maps of Africa. Granted, it seems as if things have gone horribly wrong for this patient: “I used to be a person/but I’ve turned into a version/of my plastic surgery.”

“Still Ill” by The Smiths

If you know anything about Morrissey you know that the illness in question is undoubtedly an ailment of the heart. And by heart, I don’t mean clogged arteries. As is true with almost any song by The Smiths, there are multiple interpretations of “Still Ill.” Depression? Knowing Morrissey I would say that’s a safe bet.

“Call the Doctor” by J.J. Cale

Such a smooth groove, this track from J.J. Cale’s 1971 debut finds the laid back bluesman ravaged after a particularly rough night of loving: “A shady lady took all my bread/Ravished my body, lord, and messed with my head/I don’t know but I’ve had my fill/Call the doctor and tell him I’m ill/”

“I Tried to Stay Healthy For You” by Palace Brothers

Like the rest of the Palace Brother’s mysterious debut, “I Tried to Stay Healthy For You” sounds like it was recorded in Appalachia during the early part of the 20th century…

The lyrics, seemingly written from the point of view of an aging coalminer are equally ancient and haunting, “Sing to them all and I’ll stand by/Though jealousy it threatens/Smoke’s around my blackened lungs/It is my only weapon.”

“Cure for Pain” by Morphine

“Sick Bed Blues” by Skip James

…”Oh Lordy, Lord, Lord, Lord/I been so badly misused/An treated just like a dog.”

“Cancer” by Joe Jackson

Jackson laments that everything give you cancer and that’s no cure and there’s no answer…

“Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues” by The Kinks

“Hospital” by The Lemonheads

“Lady Godiva’s Operation” by The Velvet Underground

“Lady Godiva’s Operation” is a terrifying account of a sex-change operation…

“Love Sick” by Bob Dylan

A few I can think of might include:

Doctor My Eyes” – Jackson Brown

Bad Case Of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor Give Me The news) – Robert Palmer

Addicted to Love – Robert Palmer

Bad Medicine – Bon Jovi

Disease – Matchbox Twenty

Fever – Elvis Presley

*This blog post was originally published at Suture for a Living*


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