Wait a Minute Mr. Postman: 10 Songs About the Mail
By now it's news to no one that the United States Postal Service is in trouble. As detailed by Nick Greene earlier this month at Village Voice's Running Scared, this means print media is in for a punch (you know, while it's down and everything), your bills are going to show up later than they should, and most egregiously, the whole damn thing is essentially going to raise Netflix prices.
The Postal Service is desperate, launching ad campaigns that pretty much state that the snail mail is safer than emails. And though The Daily Show's Wyatt Cenac enlisted Harold & Kumar, Cee-Lo Green, ?uestlove, and more to try and help make the post office seem cool ("Mail: Jam it in your box"), the fate of the postman looks gloomy.
I don't advocate saving something just for the sake of saving it -- but there is a certain charm in the whole anachronistic process of putting pen to paper, slapping a cheesy commemorative stamp on an envelope, and heading down to the post office to have the uniformed folks whisk it off to the intended recipient (or drop it along the way).
At any rate, pop music has always romanticized the notion -- and we love our pop music around here. Here are 10 songs about the mail. Feel free to mail a letter if you love this list -- but feel free to live angry ranty notes in the comments section below. That's what it's there for!
Tupac, "Letter to The President"
Because they don't make books of emails to the president, do they?
The Box Tops, "The Letter"
Pre-Big Star Alex Chilton sounds angrier and older than he ever did with his legendary power-pop band. He doesn't have time to take a fast train -- he's baby wrote him a letter.
Elvis Presley, "Return to Sender"
Returning a letter to the sender is so much more spiteful than blocking a sender or flagging their stuff as spam in your inbox.
Taj Mahal, "Paint My Mailbox Blue"
I guess mailboxes aren't really in danger -- UPS and FedEx need 'em, but
Tallest Man on Earth, "Death Letter Blues"
This Son House classic has been done by The White Stripes and Bon Iver's Justin Vernon, but 28-year-old Swede Kristian Matsson does something pretty undeniable with it, and "Death Facebook Status" just doesn't have the same ring to it.
Neko Case, "Christmas Card From a Hooker in Minneapolis" \
Yeah, we already used this song once today, but Neko Case's haunting, beautiful version of this malcontent classic is worth it, and like the mail, takes a little time to get but it worth it.The Marvelettes, "Please Mr. Postman"
The momma of all mail songs.Weezer, "Across the Sea"
International mail, sure, but it's hard to make an email smell like anything.Stevie Wonder, "Signed Sealed Delivered (I'm Yours)"
You know, incriminating love notes may be easier to dispose of than digital ones.The Velvet Underground (Squeeze-era), "Send No Letter"
A lesser-known VU cut from a record that shouldn't really have been credited to the VU, this Doug Yule boogier is a fun cut anyhow, and could very soon describe the state of the USPS.
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