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Self-Referential Track Placement

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Taylor Swift demonstrates three variations of this trope.
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An Album Trope.

Self-Referential Track Placement is when the title of a song alludes or corresponds to the track's placement on the album.

The most basic version of this is when a song with a Numerical Title like "8" or "Fifteen" is placed as track #8 or 15.

In subtler instances, a track with a name that suggests a certain number—through mentioning a specific month or day or alluding to a Numerological Motif—will be placed at the matching track number.

Subtrope of Visual Title Drop, Painting the Medium, Stealth Pun, and Double-Meaning Title. May overlap with Letters 2 Numbers, Trivial Title, or Arc Number. Sister trope to Chronological Album Title, when the album's name makes reference to its placement in the artist's discography. See also Numerical Theme Naming, Justified Title, Title Drop Chapter, and Unusual Chapter Numbers.

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The tendency for the last song on an album to be called something like "The End" is covered by Album Closure.


Examples:

  • The Bangles' third album begins with "Manic Monday," about the first day of the week.
  • On Beatles for Sale, the song "Eight Days a Week" is track #8.
  • The second track on Blur's eponymous album is simply called "Song 2." (All the other tracks have normal names.)
    • Appropriately enough, the song ended up at #2 in Triple J's Hottest 100 behind The Whitlams' "No Aphrodisiac", having been the favourite to take out the #1 spot.
  • The first song on Built To Spill's first album is called "The First Song".
  • Christine and the Queens's song "5 dollars" is placed at track #5 on Chris.
  • The last track of Diorama's album Even The Devil Doesn't Care is titled "Over."
  • Dream Theater's "Octavarium", from its namesake album, is the eighth track, closing the whole album and its theme of fives and eights.
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  • "Seven Bridges Road" by The Eagles appears as the seventh track on Eagles Live.
  • Track #8 on Billie Eilish's debut album is called "8." It is sung from the perspective of her eight-year-old self.
  • The Grates' song "Welcome to the Middle" is placed exactly in the middle of their album Secret Rituals, at track 6 out of 11.
  • "Spule 4" is the fourth track on Kraftwerk 2.
  • Lemon Jelly take it a stage further with "Experiment #6" from Lost Horizons. Not only is it track #6 but it contains spoken timings that correlate exactly to the running time of the track itself.
  • McFly: The Title Track of the album Room on the 3rd Floor is track #3.
  • Hiroyuki Sawano uses this to an incredibly frustrating extent for Attack on Titan. Some tracks have naming schemes such as "進撃 gt20130218 巨人", which effectively translates to: "Attack, primary instrumentation, date of production/composition/completion, Titan." So in the example given, the theme's name is: "Attack on Titan track, primary instrumentation is acoustic guitar, dated February 18, 2013." What stage of production is listed in the track titles can only be assumed, as the dates given generally precede the first airing of the season the track is used in by a matter of months.
  • The Sinéad O'Connor song "Three Babies" is track #3 on I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got.
  • "All Mirrors" (by Angel Olsen) explores duality and mirroring and is placed at track #2 on its album.
  • "Track 10" is indeed track 10 on 5 Sparrows for 2 Cents by the Procussions. For bonus points, the lyrics consist solely of variations on "This is track number ten!"
  • The PVRIS song "Half," about Double Consciousness, is track #2.
  • Track 1 on Regurgitator's second EP New is called "Track 1".
  • The last song on Sleater-Kinney's self-titled debut is called "The Last Song".
  • Tally Hall's debut album has a brief interlude simply titled "13" as the 13th track (which also happens to be 13 seconds long!)
  • Taylor Swift:
    • Red: Track #13 is titled "The Lucky One," in reference to the 13 Is Unlucky trope. (13 is Swift's personal lucky number, and the track explores the idea of luck and who's really lucky in the end.)
    • Three of the tracks on folklore are arranged in numerological order. Track #1 is called "the 1," track #7 is called "seven," and track #8 is called "august" (August being the eighth month of the year).
  • The third track on the first album by They Might Be Giants is called "Number Three" and explicitly says in the lyrics that it was the third song written.
  • The Twenty One Pilots song "Nico and the Niners" is the ninth track on Trench.
  • The Velvet Teen's debut EP Comasynthesis has "Penning the Penultimate" as the second-to-last track. It's also the penultimate track on their compilation Plus Minus Equals, which also has "Milo 7" as track 7.
  • Half of Scott Walker's album Climate of Hunter is this (Track Three, Track Five, Track Six and Track Seven).
  • Rush's album Fly by Night finishes on the track "In the End".

There's only two songs in me, and I just wrote the third...
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