Ken Jennings


December 23, 2016

The final question on my weekly Tuesday Trivia email quiz a couple weeks ago was one of the hardest in the quiz’s ten-year history. Only two respondents guessed the correct answer.

The gimmick was: artists who had two well-known songs, one of which contains the full title of the other. The examples on the quiz were:

The Beach Boys “Surfin'” “Surfin’ U.S.A.”
The Beatles “Help!” “With a Little Help from My Friends”
The Bee Gees “Alive” “Stayin’ Alive”
Janet Jackson “Again” “Together Again”
Joni Mitchell “Blue” “Cold Blue Steel and Sweet Fire”
Elvis Presley “Don’t” “Don’t Be Cruel”
Bruce Springsteen “Fire” “I’m on Fire”
U2 “One” “One Tree Hill”

As far as I know, I’m the first person in the history of the universe to care about this, so that list was built from the ground up, mostly by looking at one-word songs in old Billboard charts. In all cases, both songs were singles, hits in most cases. In Elvis’s and Janet’s cases (Miss Jackson’s if you’re nasty) both went to #1. The lone exception is “Blue” by Joni Mitchell, which was never released as a single, but I let it through since it’s the title track off her best-known album.

My question is: what other song pairs did I miss? My brother came up with a few options that weren’t necessarily hits: the Rolling Stones’ “Think” and “Do You Think I Really Care” and R.E.M.’s “You” and “You Are the Everything.” Ignore trivial cases like sequel songs (“Freedom” and “Freedom ’90,” though technically those are from two different artists).

Posted by Ken at 7:10 pm