I often wonder what goes into deciding to add a parentheses to a song title. I mean sometimes I truly do get it because the song title doesn’t help identify the song and the contents of the parenthesis does…like the Clash’s Train in Vain (Stand by Me) or REM’s So.Central Rain (I’m sorry)
Sometimes a parenthesis is for legal purposes like with Bang A Gong (Get it On) This one makes perfect sense. T. Rex mastermind Marc Bolan released a song called “Get It On” in the U.K. At the same time a jazz-fusion band Chase had a song on the charts in the U.S. called “Get It On,” so the T. Rex title was parenthesized. Luckily, either title would have been acceptable, as both phrases are utilized equally.
(I can’t Get No) Satisfaction …Perhaps the best-known case of unnecessary parentheses in musical history, The Rolling Stones’ 1965 classic actually didn’t feature the “(I Can’t Get No)” on the artwork for the single—only on the Out Of Our Heads album art and points beyond. Purists just call it “Satisfaction,” anyway. Much better parentheses use by the Stones, but on a far lesser song: “It’s Only Rock ’N Roll (But I Like It).
One of my biggest pet peeves of unnecessary parenthesis use is in the eighties classic by Flock of Seagulls … I Ran (So Far Away). Do you really think we don’t know what song you are talking about when you just say I Ran? You said it a million times in the song. Everyone would’ve remembered the name without that extra information. Why confuse the issue?
So here is an early classic that used parenthesis (not sure why – ha)
Swing over to Facebook and let me know your punctuation heavy title.