Fours

Worryingly, if you’re as moderately obsessed as I am by the passing of time, today is already the fourth day of the fourth month of two-thousand and fourteen. All those fours…

At about this time in 1964, the Beatles had an incredible fourteen singles on the the US Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, including five right at the very top of it (‘Please Please Me’, ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’, ‘She Loves You’, ‘Twist and Shout’, ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’) – an achievement that has never been equalled, unsurprisingly.

‘Can’t Buy Me Love’, the Beatles’ fourth UK chart-topping hit single, completed in just four takes, topped the charts practically wherever it was released and broke records galore. There were four biggies in the States; other than those already mentioned, it was the biggest jump to Number One (up 26 places) and the first time anyone had had three Number Ones in a row. (Altogether these three – ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’, ‘She Loves You’ and ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’- spent 14 consecutive weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100.)

Although I could probably blog all day about the Fab Four, it’s Friday and nobody should work too hard on a Friday. So, for fun and to help keep you focused on something less taxing than whatever it is you should be doing until the weekend officially starts, how about: songs with a “four”, “for” or even a “fore” in the title, lyric or wherever else they could possibly put them. There are absolutely loads of them.

I missed April Fools’ Day, so be as silly as you can allow yourself to be. ‘Don’t Vier the Reaper’ anyone? Get it? ‘Phenomenal Quatre‘?

You don’t have to limit yourself to just four, either. Here are four songs you might choose to give a metaphorical spin today, from traditional foursomes I don’t believe we’ve mentioned that many times before:

Bon Jovi – Something for the Pain
The Clash – Mensforth Hill
Creedence Clearwater Revival – Fortunate Son
Quicksilver Messenger Service – Three or Four Feet from Home

And four lyrics to identify and complete, because that’s always fun:

‘Up on Housing Project Hill
It’s either …’

‘A time to rend
A time to sew’

‘But something sure is wrong
‘Cause I’m so blue and lonely’

‘Never free
Never me
So I dub thee …’

Hey, if you just want to listen to and tell us your favourite parts of Led Zeppelin IV, which also has plenty of fours connected, I don’t mind.

The chatroom will be open later today, from 2pm (UK), closing at – yep, you guessed it, four. Everybody’s welcome. Don’t be shy.

50 comments

  1. Tim_c

    For goodness sake Fed. All this talk of numbers will serve only to excite Michèle and keep her from her foremost task of formulating petit fours for the chat forum …

    Actually Four has never been a number that means a great deal to me (except a nod to 1964) but I’m now intrigued by the whole subject of three, four and five piece bands. Pink Floyd was of course a four-piece, which, like the Beatles, had the virtue of players who sing and so sounded like a five-piece, whilst Deep Purple was a five-piece that sounded like a four (unless Ian Gillan was playing the bongos or harmonica of course). However Pink Floyd ceased to play live as a four piece, needing assorted Jon Carin’s, Dick Parry’s, Snowy White’s, mullet-haired also ran’s and charming lady backing singers to cut the Mustard. Meanwhile Led Zeppelin and the Who were powerful four-pieces that were really three pieces. Anyway, you can see how I can get confused.

    While we all wait for the definite A-Z of Four from Ken, I can dredge up a few relevant items (leaning heavily on for) from my music collection to tickle the memories …

    Artists – Tears For Fears, The Four Tops, Julie Fordham and dare I mention Death Cab for Cutie?

    Albums – Appetite for Destruction, Automatic for the People, and Life for Rent.

    Songs – our very own part-song Mother Fore and Free Four, Exit Music (for a film) (Radiohead of course).

    Four Sticks (Page & Plant) and Four to the Floor (Starsailor).

    Right, better brush my four-legged friends …

    • KenF

      Before I saw Tim’s comments I was filled with foreboding regarding the formidable foray into formulating another A to Z.

      Fortunately, I forgot about any foreboding and I forecast that one (not four) will soon be forthcoming, for your perusal.

    • Taki

      For goodness sake Fed. Should’t that read “Four goodness sake Fed.”?

  2. lorraine

    I’m currently addicted to this wee game. They even let you customise the tiles – so I’ve ditched the numbers in favour of something far prettier. Sorry four.

  3. Suzy Smith

    FEd, you are so correct about the speed of time. It goes so fast. I can not believe it is already the fourth month of 2014. Where does the time go? When I was young my elders would make the comment about how time speeds up as one gets older. Again they were correct.

    I have thoughts on many songs. But I will need to get back with them. As today is another busy day with not enough hours in it. As the time flies…

  4. Michèle

    Oui, Tim, how exciting! :))

    Just for Maths lovers (forgive me, please, Maths haters):

    4 to the power of…

    4^0=1 – ‘One’, Metallica
    4^1=4 – ‘Love Is Just a Four-Letter Word’, written by Bob Dylan.
    4^2=16 – ‘Sweet Sixteen’, Iggy Pop
    4^3= 64 – ‘When I’m Sixty Four’, the Beatles

    Oh and the song with the number ((4+4/4)^4)*4+(4+4/4)^(4/4+4/4) in the title? Who can identify it? 😉 It’s a four digit number and the digits appear twice.

    • Tim-c

      At the risk of being exposed as a Maths bone-head (forehead?), is 4 to the power of 0 really 1?

      I rather struggling with the concept of anything to the power of 0, but I’m sure someone (Madame Professeur) will explain it to me … Or failing that Lorraine could just hit me over the head with a spanner.

    • Michèle

      To Tim:

      I’ll write “a multiplied by b” as “a.b”

      a^n = a.a.a.—-.a (n times)
      a^p = a.a.a.—.a (p times)

      So a^n.a^p = a^(n+p)

      Let’s choose p=0, then a^n.a^0 = a^(n+0) = a^n

      Therefore, if a^n.a^0 = a^n, necessarily a^0 = 1

      a^0 = 1… alors 4^0 = 1; ….; 40^0 = 1; …; even 4 000 000^0 =1 😉

      Youpi! C’est formidable! :))

    • Michèle

      And ((4+4/4)^4)*4+(4+4/4)^(4/4+4/4) = 2525

      So it was ‘In The Year 2525’, Zager And Evans.

      Funny that Pavlov wrote about it below…

    • Tim_c

      Lorraine !!! Next time we are in the chatroom, can you explain this without letting Michèle think I am thick please?

    • Pavlov

      Michèle, I replied, in error, to the wrong post. I didn’t actually solve it myself — had help from the mathematically inclined husband and must give credit where it is due. I wished with all my heart that it wasn’t Zager and Evans — it’s an unpleasant song at the best of times. 😉

    • Tim_c

      Michèle, as you are such a brilliant teacher I followed your proof. Tres elegant.

      BUT, what actually does a^0 mean? Something multiplied by itself zero times?

    • Taki

      @Tim_c: per definition n^0 = 1, which is also called an “empty product”. See also this.

      Cheers

      Taki

    • Michèle

      Oh Tim, so many questions! 😉 Can’t you just enjoy the beauty, mystery and magic of the Mathematical world? It doesn’t matter what a^0 means, it’s such a wonder, the eighth Wonder of the World, I think. 😀 You just have to admire it!

      Did you ever wonder why pizza is circular, delivered in a square box, and served in triangular slices? 😉

  5. KenF

    Here’s a Four, For, Fore, 4, IV, formatted A to Z formation for you (except for X &Z) forgive me for forgetting…

    A Great Day For Freedom
    Before I Forget – Slipknot
    Comfortably Numb
    Delta Lady – Joe Cocker
    Experiment IV – Kate Bush
    Free Four
    Going For The One – Yes
    Hot Blooded – Foreigner
    It’s Four In The Morning – Faron Young
    Juliet – Four Pennies
    King For A Day –Thompson Twins
    Lost For Words
    Mother Fore
    No Quarter – Led Zeppelin
    One In Ten – UB40
    Phorever People – Shamen
    Quatro, Suzi – 48 Crash
    Reaching For The Rail
    Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun
    The Happiest Days Of Our Lives
    Unforgettable Fire – Nat King Cole
    Vandellas, Martha Reeves and The – Forget Me Not
    Waiting For The Worms
    X – ?
    Yardbirds – For Your Love
    Z – ?

    I foraged for X & Z but was forced to give up. I need to get to bed before four.

    Bye for now.

  6. Taki

    “Free Four” from “Obscured By Clouds” seems to fit into this topic perfectly …

    What about “Three Point One Four” by “The Bloodhound Gang”? Who else would have thought combing pi in the title with such lyrics?

    Taki

  7. ash

    – 4 Way Street by Crosby Stills Nash & Young
    – Automatic FOR the People by REM
    – FOR Once in My Life by Stevie Wonder (also a single)
    – Waiting FOR a Girl Like You, track 4, on the album “4” by FOREigner
    – Sympathy FOR The Devil by The Rolling Stones
    -The FOUR Seasons

    That’s all I have FOR now,
    ash

  8. ash

    Of the mystery lyrics, I got Turn Turn Turn made popular by The Byrds.

    I also recognised a Dylan song, I knew which album it was on but hadn’t got a tune in my head so had two wrong guesses beFORE I found it!

    ash 🙂

  9. ash

    Unit FOUR Plus Two. . . a name of a group that just popped into my head. . . now what did they sing?

    Crumble, mountains tumble, this love will never die. . . hum hum hum. . .that’s the way. . .

    😀

  10. Michèle

    ‘Up on Housing Project Hill, It’s either fortune or fame‘ – Bob Dylan, ‘Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues’.

    Ken’s A-Z virus must be very contagious, I think I got it.

    – ‘4th Of July’, The Beach Boys

    – ‘Ain’t No Cure For Love’, Leonard Cohen
    – Bob Dylan, ‘2×2’: “Four by four, they danced on the shore”
    – Cherry Song: ‘1, 2, 3 nous irons au bois; 4, 5, 6 cueillir des cerises…’
    – Dark Side Of The Moon spent 14 consecutive years on the billboard 200 album chart.
    – ‘Euphoria’, Loreen
    – ‘Four Sticks’, Led Zeppelin
    – George Brassens, ‘La Route aux Quatre Chansons’
    – ‘Hallelujah’, Leonard Cohen: “It goes like this, The fourth, the fifth, The minor fall, the major lift”
    – ‘I’m A Slave 4U’, Britney Spears
    – Justin Bieber, ‘Before The World Ends’
    – Kate Bush, ‘Experiment IV’
    – Level 42 …
    – Metallica, ‘For Whom The Bell Tolls’
    – Napoleon XIV, ‘They’re Coming To Take Me Away’
    – Oasis, ‘Live Forever’
    – Pink Floyd, ‘Vierless’ (See, I got it! 😉 )
    – (Suzi) Quatro… (that’s ‘four’ in Portuguese, right?)
    – Radiohead, ‘2+2=5’ (a reference to George Orwell’s novel, “1984”, no?)
    – ‘Soldier Of Fortune’, Deep Purple
    Tessera, guitar quartet – “tessera” (or “τέσσερα”) is the number 4 in Greek.
    – UB40…
    – Vivaldi, ‘Le Quattro Stagioni’ (‘The Four Seasons’)
    – ‘When I’m 64’, The Beatles
    – X? – I offer those who can help eXcellent ‘petits fours’ …
    – Y Niwl, ‘Pedwar’ – I have seen the video on YouTube, I have no idea what ‘Y Niwl’ means, sorry, but I think that ‘pedwar’ is ‘four’ in Welsh.
    – Zzzzz… It’s what I do at ‘4:30 AM’ (Roger Waters, ‘The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking’) 😉

    • FEd

      Very good.

      “Y Niwl” means “The Fog” in Welsh (and “pedwar” is indeed the number four).

      They have a tune called ‘Undegpedwar’ as well, which football fans in the UK might recognise, which is the number 14 (un-deg-pedwar is literally one-ten-four). All their songs, being instrumental tracks, are named – in Welsh – after numbers.

    • Michèle

      This is for you, to thank you for your explanation: un gâteau ‘quatre quarts’, literally ‘four fourths’ as the four ingredients (eggs, flour, sugar, butter) should weigh the same. Even better you can add chopped fruits or chocolate

    • KenF

      Ken’s A-Z virus must be very contagious, I think I got it.

      Forgive me Michèle.

      Fortunately, you weren’t forced to conform.

  11. Pavlov

    Let’s see whether I can take a ‘stab’ at this …

    Suzi Quatro – 48 Crash
    Judas Priest – Nostradamus (only because Nostradamus wrote in quatrains)
    Boston – Forplay
    Manic Street Preachers – 4 Lonely Roads
    Megadeath – 44 Minutes
    The Lightning Seeds – Four Winds
    Crowded House – Four Seasons in One Day
    Blind Melon – 2 x 4
    Avenged Sevenfold – Chapter Four
    Aphrodite’s Child – The Four Horsemen (worth a listen although it takes time to get going)
    Moody Blues – House of Four Doors
    Paul McCartney & Wings – Band on the Run … “Stuck inside these four walls …”
    Antonio Vivaldi –The Four Seasons
    Alan Parsons Project – Pyramid (a pyramid has four faces)
    Golden Earring – Radar Love … “And it’s half past four and I’m shifting gear”
    Leonard Cohen – Famous Blue Raincoat … “It’s four in the morning, the end of December …”
    A bit of an ‘obscure’ band from South Africa called Four Jacks and a Jill who had an international hit called “Master Jack”.

    There are four movements in a symphony, four stings on a violin and ukelele, common time in classical music is four beats.

    Pink Floyd was a foursome, Battersea Power Station has four smoke stacks/chimneys as seen on the cover of Animals. Oh, and Animals runs for 41:41. There are only four variations of the scene on the cover of Ummagumma.

    1. “ … fortune or fame.”

    2. The Byrds … Turn, Turn, Turn (‘To Everything there is a Season’ … there being four of them)

    3. Not sure whose interpretation is preferred – Elvis recorded it first but Johnny Cash and The Beatles did a fair job as well …

    4. Has to be Metallica’s The Unforgiven …

    • FEd

      Judas Priest – Nostradamus (only because Nostradamus wrote in quatrains)

      Like that one. Very clever.

      4/4 for you, written in red ink with a circle around it, just like they did in the good old days.

      Are teachers allowed to use red ink on their pupils’ books these days? In another example of turning our children into pathetic whiners, I believe some schools favour “less negative” colours.

      Marking in red ink banned in case it upsets schoolchildren

      Perhaps the real question ought to be: Does anyone at school, be they pupil or teacher, write with pens in exercise books any more?

    • Pavlov

      Why thank you *BEAMING* …

      Plenty of writing at my son’s school, lots of notebooks and loose-leaf paper (up to 30% recycled I think) and teacher’s comments returned in writing — sometimes red ink, sometimes green and an occasional smiley face drawn for good measure. A fair amount of electronic back and forth as well and key projects and papers have to be submitted via Turnitin (I believe it is global) where it is checked for plagiarism and key elements of grammar well before it ever reaches a teacher’s critical (one hopes) eye.

      I’m afraid penmanship is a dying art form and I’ve heard it is no longer taught in some elementary schools. Cursive writing is becoming obsolete in some places. 😮

      There are already a whole generation of ‘wusses’ who are, sadly, raising more ‘wusses’!

    • ash

      Perhaps the real question ought to be: Does anyone at school, be they pupil or teacher, write with pens in exercise books any more?

      You might have read or heard in the media the past few days, that school inspectors think nursery education is failing:

      Nurseries not preparing children for school – Ofsted

      Recently, whilst out shopping, I’ve seen a child sitting in the child seat of the supermarket trolley (so you can imagine the age group, maybe between two or three?). He had a hand held tablet thingy and was doing something that required sweeping the screen with your finger or touching it.

      Another day I heard a baby (somewhere between 6 and 9 months old) bawling in his pram and the mother took the mobile phone from it. She did something (to restore a page?) with it and gave it back to the baby who willingly accepted it and was instantly quietened.

      I thought to myself that these children have electronic baby sitters!

      When my children were pre-schoool age, we talked about the shopping the colours the smells, we counted, they fetched stuff to “help” mummy (rather than go running about out of control).

      The parents are failing their children, I think.

      It’s a very strange world our children are growing up in.

      As for not upsetting them at school, also not forcing competition, like in sports and quizzes and other competitive activities, I think it’s wrong. They’ll meet up with an awful lot of competition out in the adult world and need to be prepared for it.

      To answer your question Fed, some three year olds arrive in nursery not knowing what to do with any book. They’ve never seen one or had one read to them or looked at the pictures. They don’t even know how to open a book!

      It’s deprivation in my opinion.

      ash

    • ash

      I’m sure everyone here will recognise what I’m saying about technology being a dangerous replacement for human interaction for our children. Sorry if my rant seemed like a lecture. 🙂

      I despair for future generations.

    • Tim-c

      Can that really be true about Red Ink? I don’t normally look to the disgruntled right wing press for authority on these matters.

      Whoever decided / proposed or pontificated that Red has any negative connotation cannot be a football fan, eh Fed …. Hang on, maybe a Cardiff one.

  12. Pavlov

    Clutching at straws here – some options for the letter Zed, or Zee if one prefers 🙂 …

    Zevon — Werewolves of London … “He was lookin’ for the place called Lee Ho Fooks…”

    ZZ Top — Tush … “I’m just lookin’ for some tush.”

    (The) Zombies

  13. ash

    Fed and everyone! Look what I found:

    NASA spacecraft to rock dark side of the moon

    Note the number of hours mentioned in the third paragraph, but click on the link in the same line!

    The night of 14/04/14 should be a good one for lying in a field somewhere. . .

    Not that I’m obsessive or anything, but I spotted this article on MSN news last night.

    I liked number 4 and 8 and 12 and 16 and 20 and 24 which I thought was a really strange coincidence of fours!

    Oh, and 14 is absolutely fabulous!

    ash 😀

    • Pavlov

      Oh I so wish I’d be able to capture that on camera. It will be phenomenal. I adore the moon.

  14. Pavlov

    For all the would-be scientists out there — Beryllium’s atomic number is 4. I thought this was rather creative.

  15. laterr

    What an irony… I forgot I forgot The Forgotten. I thought its title was Unforgettable…

    There it is, by Joe Satriani: The Forgotten (Part 2)

    There are lots of them with ‘forgive’, ‘forgot’, ‘forever’, and almost every song includes ‘for’ …

    – If Not For You
    – Chapter 24
    – Money for Nothing – not mentioned yet?

    There should be by ABBA – the greatest pop FouR… OK, I do not put them here, I’ll say of them next time, in the previous topic. 🙂

  16. Damian Cunningham

    Well, time really does fly by. I’m writing this on Thursday before the Friday that comes after the Friday you wrote this Fed.

    Being silly I know.

    Damian