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This Is a Song
Sarah's ringtone is very descriptive.

Joss, that song had no content. It wasn't even about the movie, it was about itself! That's like breaking the ninth wall!
Jed, Ten Dollar Solo, Commentary! The Musical

A song that is, at least partially, about itself.

When Medium Awareness meets music. There are quite a few songs in which the lyrics explicitly reference the fact that... well, it's a song. However, since listing every example that does this would be practically impossible, this trope limits the range to songs that don't just break the fourth wall, but, in fact, are pretty much all about the fact that they're songs.

Generally Played for Laughs. Closely related to The Something Song. Compare Self-Demonstrating Song. Sometimes Breaking the Fourth Wall. See also [Trope Name], Postmodernism and Heavy Meta.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Whenever Pokémon's Team Rocket decide to forgo their usual motto in favor of a song:
    You know us as Team Rocket, and we fight for what is wrong.
    We're tired of our motto, so we thought we'd try a song.

    Film 
  • The Title Theme Tune from Spy Hard. Of course, given the artist who wrote it and the type of film it is...
    You're watching Spy Hard.
    It's the theme from Spy Hard.
  • "The Credits Song" from Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie:
    This is the song that comes under the credits, These are the credits, so this is where it goes. Has nothing to do with the movie, so we'll say: Hey, hey, hey-hey hey hey hey hey!
    • And then later:
    There should be a rule that the song under the credits, remotely pertains to the movie's basic plot! That rule has not been made, so for now we'll have to say: Hey, hey, hey-hey hey hey hey hey!
  • In The Sound of Music, the song "Do Re Mi" is about singing the song "Do Re Mi". The scene is a Training Montage as the characters learn how to sing.
  • In A Colbert Christmas, the first song is "Another Christmas Song," which is about how he wrote a christmas song and intends to make lots of money off of it.
  • Elf: Buddy improvises one to demonstrate how easy it is to sing in public.
    I'm singing...I'm in a store, and I'm singing...

    Live Action TV 

    Music 
  • In Markoolio's song "Nostalgi", the verses are about nostalgia. The refrain, however, is an argument where Markoolio sings that he want the song to have a refrain - and the chorus sing a They Just Didn't Care message about how he shouldn't bother because they can just record one later.
  • "Just a Song About Ping Pong" by Operator Please.
  • Tim Minchin's "Dark Side".
    • Also, his song "The Fence".
  • Jon Lajoie's "Radio Friendly Song".
    • Also, "Pop Song":
    'Cause they market this song to young, impressionable, and insecure teenage girls
    'Cause all you gotta say is "ooh baby, I love you" and "girl, I need you in my world"
    Yes, they market this song to young, impressionable, and insecure teenage girls
    'Cause all they gotta do is find a sexually attractive man that can sing all the words
  • Leonard Cohen' "Hallelujah" spells its own chord progression.
  • Molly and the Tinker's "The Anti-Singalong Song" is a song about the act of singing "The Anti-Singalong Song". Or rather, about refusing to sing it.
  • "So Far, So Bad" by Five Iron Frenzy.
    Don't worry what this song would say,
    you'll never hear it anyway.
    They won't play this song on the radio.
    So far, so bad, that's how it goes.
  • "Please Play This Song On The Radio" by NOFX.
  • Britney Spears - "Everytime"
    I may have made it rain
    Please forgive me
    My weakness caused you pain
    And this song is my sorry
  • "I Write the Songs" by Barry Manilow is the Trope Codifier.
  • Microdisney's "Bullwhip Road" uses it twice, in a bitter and cynical way:
    I am no good for you; I can do no wrong
    I've written you this song
    • And later on:
    I hate the world
    I hate my life and this song
    Now run along
  • From "I'm Lucky" by Jim's Big Ego:
    Now here's the part of the song where you'd expect to find a little
    IRONY!
    About how I'd really much rather have you back
    SORRY!
  • "Chicken and Corn" by Annihilator:
    This is a song,
    All about...
    The best darned food in the world,
    It's called Chick-Chick-Chicken and Corn.
  • Naturally, "Your Song" by Elton John:
    And you can tell everybody
    This is your song.
  • Lampshaded to hell and back in the self-explanatory "This Song's Just Six Words Long" by "Weird Al" Yankovic. It's a send-up of George Harrison's "I've Got My Mind Set On You."
    • In fact, Weird Al does this all the time, throughout his repertoire. Another example would be "Don't Download This Song".
    • "Achy Breaky Song" is a meta-example, as it's not about itself, but rather about the song it's parodying:
    Don't play that song
    That "Achy Breaky" song
    You know I hate that song a bunch
    And if you play that song
    That nauseating song
    It might just make me lose my lunch.
  • Shel Silverstein's "26 Second Song", designed as a Take That to all who thought his usual songs were too long.
    • Kenny Price had a novelty song that topped this. The lyrics, in their entirety:
    This is the shortest song in the world.
  • DaVinci's Notebook's song "Title of the Song" is made of this trope.
  • Dave Soroka pushes this to another level in "Thief Of Hearts":
    I've taken enough of your time with this stuff,
    And all without a change of key.
    The intention here was to try and help make it clear
    Not to start crying pity for me.
  • "The Last Song" by The All-American Rejects:
    This may be the last thing
    That I write for long.
    Can you hear me smiling
    When I sing this song,
    For you and only you?
    • Similarly, the earlier "Last Song" by Edward Bear:
      It's the last song I'll ever write for you
      It's the last time that I'll tell you
      Just how much I really care
      This is the last song I'll ever sing for you
      You'll come looking for the light
      And it won't be there
  • Barenaked Ladies, "What A Good Boy":
    I couldn't tell you that I was wrong,
    Chickened out, grabbed a pen and a paper, sat down and I wrote this song.
  • Tenacious D does this frequently, from advising all male listeners to pay close attention at the start of their song, "Fuck Her Gently", to making tributes to other songs.
    • "Tribute" is not the greatest song in the world. Rather, as the lyrics state, it is just a tribute to the greatest song in the world.
  • Lagwagon's "Falling Apart":
    Second verse,
    The same as the first.
    I forgot the words again.
  • Lemon Demon's "Holy Bison Breaks" is about songwriters block.
    Well, I thought I'd write a little song,
    So I wrote a little song.
    Then I tried to write some lyrics,
    But I didn't last too long.
    So I figured: why not sing about me
    Trying to write a song an' stuff,
    And I decided to keep on singing 'till I had had enough.
  • Tony Mason, author of Barney's on Fire, did an entire album of this, with tracks such as "Title Track", "Hit Single" and "The Song You Skip".
  • Carly Simon presents a Logic Bomb in "You're So Vain".
    You prob'ly think this song is about you.
  • Let's not forget Bowling for Soup's song "A Really Cool Dance Song".
    This song sounds like a dance song
    Because dance songs are cool now
    So get up and shake what your mama gave you
    It's our attempt at a dance song
    A really cool dance song
    It's gonna be a great big hit!
    • And then there's: "You want it? You got it! Here's your freakin' song!"
  • Frank Sinatra, "I Sing the Songs"
  • They Might Be Giants, "Number Three" (which is the third track on their debut album):
    There's only two songs in me, and I just wrote the third.
    Don't know where I got the inspiration or how I wrote the words.
    Spent my whole life just diggin' up my music's shallow grave
    For the two songs in me, and the third one I just made.
  • Ringo Starr, "This Be Called a Song".
  • Pet Shop Boys' "All Over The World":
    This is a song about boys and girls
    You hear it playing all over the world
  • Pulp's "The Fear":
    So now you know the words to our song,
    Pretty soon you'll all be singing along.
    When you're sad, when you're lonely & it all turns out wrong.
  • "Kill The Director" by The Wombats
    So with the angst of a teenage band
    Here's another song about a gender I'll never understand
    Here's another song about a gender I'll never understand
  • "Track #10" by the Procussions. The lyrics consist solely of variations on "This is track number ten!"
  • "The Song Of No-involvement" by Skyclad.
  • Anything by Fall Out Boy.
  • "Sad Songs and Waltzes" by Willie Nelson (or CAKE), although it's not necessarily talking about itself.
    I'm writing a song all about you
    A true song as real as my tears
    But you've no need to fear it, 'cause no one will hear it
    Sad songs and waltzes aren't selling this year
  • Subverted by "This is Not a Song, It's a Sandwich" by Psychostick. Which is not a song, it's a sandwich.
    • But played straight later in the same album with "#1 Radio $ingle", which actually IS a song about itself.
      This is the part of the song where I talk about emotions
      And this is the part of the song where I sing about how I feel so cold inside
      And this is where my producer told me
      To say "Yeah!" (yeah!)
  • "Only A Northern Song" by The Beatles, which is actually more about the dissonance in the song than the song itself.
  • George Harrison, who wrote "Only a Northern Song" (see above), used this trope again as a solo artist. He wrote "This Song" while legal action was underway regarding "My Sweet Lord/He's So Fine", saying in part:
    This song ain't bad or good and as far as I know
    Don't infringe on anyone's copyright so
    This song we'll let be
  • Radiohead's "My Iron Lung", which was about Fan Dumb audiences who wanted to hear "Creep" and only "Creep". It's up to interpretation whether the song is talking about itself or a hypothetical song, though, in the relevant part:
    This, this is our new song
    Just like the last one
    A total waste of time
    My iron lung...
  • Simon & Garfunkel's "Song for the Asking"
    Here is my song for the asking
    Ask me and I will play
    So sweetly I'll make you smile
    This is my tune for the taking
    Take it, don't turn away
    • Also the first two lines of "Leaves That Are Green," which were reused by Billy Bragg for his hit "A New England":
    I was twenty-one years when I wrote this song
    I'm twenty-two now, but I won't be long
  • "This is the Hook" by Deadmau5, which sounds something like an electronica-backed DJing lesson.
    Now it is time for the breakdown.
    The breakdown allows the track to really break the repetition.
    Let's filter the hi-hat, let's filter the chords, let's filter the bass.
    I like the filters. I like the grooves, but I digress.
  • "When Did You Fall" by Chris Rice:
    And I can tell now by the way that you’re looking at me
    I’d better finish this song so my lips will be free.
  • "This Song for You" by Chris de Burgh, although it's not entirely self-referential.
  • "It's My Life" by Bon Jovi:
    This ain't a song for the broken-hearted
  • Trace Adkins' "This Ain't No Love Song" is somewhere between this and Suspiciously Specific Denial:
    This ain't no love song
    I just felt like gettin' my guitar on
    And singing a tune, singing about you
    Yeah feeling good and tapping my shoes
    And all this stuff I’m making up
    Well, you probably wont be hearing it on the radio
    But then you never know
    So baby, if you want, you can sing along
    But this ain’t no love song
  • Darryl Rhoades and the Hahavishnu Orchestra's "This Song is Boring" lampshades itself with not only the words repeated ad infinitum but the same guitar riff over and over.
  • "This Is My Song," written by Sir Charles Chaplin for his 1966 movie A Countess From Hong Kong and performed by Petula Clark.
  • This portion of the last verse from The Beatles' "I Will":
    And when at last I find you,
    This song will fill the air
    Sing it loud so I can hear you, make it easy to be near you
  • Chicago's "25 Or 6 To 4" was about the song writer's bout with writer's block.
  • "West End Musical" by Mitch Benn is three of these put together.
    This is a great big opening song...
    ''This is a very simple tune...'
    This is the song you've already heard...
    • And in The Now Show Pantomime (2010), he completed things with "The Very Happy Ending Song"
      This iiisss - the Very Happy Ending Song !
      It's a happy, clappy ending song, it's a bit too long,
      But it has to go right here !
  • "Song About Nothing" by <3
    So this is a song about nothing (Nothing!)
    This is a song about nothing at all
    Some other bands try to write serious songs
    But we'll just have a ball
    • The completely unrelated "Song About Nothing", by Andy Corwin, which even goes so far as to say that "the very idea for this song isn't even original".
      • Meanwhile, "Nothing to Say", written a couple years earlier by Carla Ulbrich, has most of the same thoughts as Corwin's song, up to and including hoping that, despite saying nothing, it'll become a hit due to its catchiness.
  • Dragon Road song — not Akira Kushida's, Dungeons & Dragons-themed filk one ("It was on the first of August...").
  • Sparks' "Strange Animal" is about someone escaping the police by somehow walking into a song, although it's never quite specified that it's the song you're now hearing. At one point he begins to criticize the very song he's now part of ("But this song lacks a heart \ comes off overly smart"), and in the end it seems that he murders everyone else in the song and tries to change it into something more to his liking ("You're in need of a fix \ of a total remix \ so I must kill you all").
  • The lyrics to King Crimson's song "Happy with What You Have to Be Happy With" from their album "The Power to Believe" is filled with this trope. Here is a sample:
    And when I have some words
    This is the way I'll sing -
    Through a distortion box
    To make them menacing
    Yeah, then I'm gonna have to write a chorus
    We're gonna need to have a chorus
    And this seems to be as good as any other place to sing it till I'm blue in the face
  • "Hook" by Blues Traveler is entirely about itself, describing how the hook brings you back, confessing that he doesn't mean any of what he is singing, and how the lyrics affect the listener, among other things.
  • "Wild Swimming" by Martha Tilston contains a verse in which she tells the person to whom the song is directed, that she plans to write a song about him, in which she will compare him to wild swimming. That song is, presumably, the one being sung.
  • Vanessa Amorosi: "Heres your fucking song" on "I Thought We'd Stay Together".
  • Taylor Swift has done this at least a couple of times. "Dear John" and "Our Song" are the ones that spring immediately to mind.
  • Charlie McDonnell has a few:
    • "A Song About A Song"
    Welcome to this song, which I wrote all myself
    It's all about this song, which I did write
    • "The Birthday Song"
    This is a song that I wrote you for your birthday
    • "A Song About Love"
    This is a song about love!
  • Alice Cooper plays with this trope in "School's Out":
    Well we got no class
    And we got no principles
    And we got no innocence
    We can't even think of a word that rhymes
  • Monty Python's "I Bet You They Won't Play This Song on the Radio". Which is only kind of about itself, as it actually could be played on the radio due to all the self-censorship.
    You can't say [airhorn] on the radio/Or [gunshot] or [twang] or [splat] ...
  • fun.'s "Some Nights"
    When I hear songs, they sound like this one...
  • When this trope is applied to a whole genre, we get the Gaita Zuliana. There is a lot of songs about how itself is a traditional gaita song, how the song is more authentic and in a traditional style than others, and so on. Not that they doesn't hit other themes, but still a good third of all Gaita songs are or have some form of this trope.
  • The Shins' "Simple Song"
    This is a simple song/To say what you'd done
  • "Julia" by The Beatles states that it's a song of love. It's not a "Love Song" per se, as it's about John Lennon's late mother.
  • "Silly Love Songs" by Wings. It's basically Paul McCartney going "there's a lot of silly love songs, I got no problem with that, I'm gonna sing one right now... IIIIII looooooove yooooooou..."
  • "This is Just a Modern Rock Song" by Belle and Sebastian.
  • As you might anticipate from the title, "A Song For Worm Quartet To Sing With TV's Kyle" by Worm Quartet featuring TV's Kyle. Which breaks the fourth wall even more than you might expect, since it also has Kyle singing about how he refuses to appear on the song because it's repetitive and lazily written... And pointing out that Shoebox must have realized he'd feel that way to begin with, because he was the one who wrote all of the lyrics.
  • Jonathan Coulton uses this trope in "Not About You":
    This song is not about you
    You can put that in your pipe and smoke it
  • Paul Williams wrote "An Old Fashioned Love Song" along these lines. You might know the Three Dog Night version best.
    Just an old fashioned love song / Comin' down in three part harmony
    Just an old fashioned love song / One I'm sure they wrote for you and me
  • Pixies gave us "Tony's Theme:"
    This is a song about a superhero named Tony! It's called Tony's Theme!
  • "One Of Those Songs" (also called "One of Those Wonderful Songs"), by Jimmy Durante
    Well, this is one of those songs that you hear now and then...
  • In "New Orleans" by Silver Jews, David Berman and Stephen Malkmus become "trapped inside the song".
  • The Frank And Walters' "This Is Not A Song", which arrives at its heartwarming chorus after first telling us a whole list of things the song is not.
    This is not a song about politics
    This is not a song about sex...
  • Foo Fighters' "The Last Song" even opens with "This is a song". In that case, the last "that I will dedicate to you".
  • Common for Scatman John. The majority of his songs is about some message, some call themselves a song with a message explicitly.
    I betcha really glad we're near the end on the song
    Popstar
    Scatman John: Hey Louis
    Ghost of Louis Armstrong: Yeah...
    SJ: Is that you?
    LA: Yes, yes
    SJ: Oh, I'm Scatman John
    SJ: Would you like to sing a song man?
    LA: Well, sure could look out...
    Everybody Jam!
    This is my song for you
    Happiness will see you through
    Listen to what I say
    We can make a happy day
    Pripri Scat
    Just listen to the song,
    That's as close as you'll get
    To any sense of hope
    To get your soul out of debt.
    Shut your mouth and open your mind
  • Relient K's "Crayons Can Melt on Us For All I Care" is ten seconds long. The lyrics go like this:
    I
    Just wasted
    Ten seconds of your life.

    Theatre 
  • Several songs in Spamalot fall under this, most notably "The Song That Goes Like This".
  • "Poppa's Blues" from Starlight Express.
    The first line of the blues is always sung a second time
    First line of the blues is always sung a second time
    So by the time you get to the third line you've had time to think up a rhyme.
  • "Untitled Opening Number" from [title of show] is mostly one of these.
    It's the opening song
    It doesn't have a title, no
    And it's not very long
    But it's the starting point for our musical

    Web Comics 
  • In El Goonish Shive, Sarah's cellphone has this little gem:
    * this is a ringtone song... ringing all the—*

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 

Theme Tune CameoScore and Music TropesTitle Theme Drop
Teenage Death SongsMusic TropesThis Is Your Song
Sub TextImageSource/Web ComicsUnrequited Love Switcheroo

alternative title(s): A Song About Itself
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