Musical coincidences # 34

December 2, 2009

I listened to a track by Pink for the first time on Australian Idol* a couple of weeks ago when a contestant performed one of her songs. I was immediately struck by the first part of the verse.

I don’t have a copy of the contestant’s efforts, but here’s Her Pinkness performing the first singin’ bit in the song:

Pink – “Funhouse” (2008) (excerpt)


(I didn’t want to play you more of that than absolutely necessary, because the less I play of Pink’s music, the happier I am.)

If you’re familiar with musicals from the 1930’s then that may have reminded you of this:

Fred Astaire and Debroy Somers and His Band – “Puttin’ On The Ritz” (1930) (excerpt)


By the way, I’ve just been told by the 18-year-old Japanese expert in the house (Hi, Celeste!) that I’m being incredibly nitpicky, and that nobody will think those two things sound similar. Quite possibly. Nevertheless, the first few ascending notes and rhythm instantly reminded me of “Puttin’ On The Ritz.”

Here are the full versions.

Pink – “Funhouse” (2008)


Fred Astaire and Debroy Somers and His Band – “Puttin’ On The Ritz” (1930)


It just occurred to me that whoever wrote “Funhouse” may not have heard Fred Astaire’s version of “Puttin’ On The Ritz” but Taco‘s very 80’s (and very ghastly) version instead (I dare say that in the 80’s there was a greater chance of hearing Taco than Fred):

Taco – “Puttin’ On The Ritz” (1982)


But back to Pink and her, er, song**. The chorus of “Funhouse” begins:

“This used to be a Funhouse
But now it’s full of evil clowns”

That line about the evil clowns reminded me of this. Is there anything in popular music nowadays that doesn’t remind me of something else?

(*Yeah, yeah, I know – but majority rules in this household, so I watched it. Democracy in action!)

(**I called “Funhouse” a ‘track’ at the start of this post. That’s because, after hearing “Funhouse” all the way through, I have a lot of trouble calling it a ‘song’.)