- Older Than Steam: J. S. Bach, of all people. He wrote a cantata about coffee! Coffee addiction was the moral panic du jour in 18th century Leipzig, so Bach wrote a musical piece in favor of the drink: Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht ("Be still, stop chattering") (BWV 211), better known as the "Coffee cantata." The story concerns a young woman who is in love with coffee. Her father attempts to bribe her out of the habit by promising to find her a husband if she gives it up, to which she agrees. She ends up getting her way after all, by secretly telling her suitors that she will only marry them if they allow her to drink coffee.
- The Aquabats! seem to love writing epic songs about relatively mundane things:
- "CD Repo Man!" is a song about a ruthless mercenary... whose job it is to break into people's houses and steal back borrowed music CDs.With CD Repo Man, that guy is on a roll
He'll jump through windows to get back what those suckers stole
He looks tame, but you know he will attack
He does his job to get your CDs back!
- "Dear Spike!" is a comically enthusiastic thank-you note, based on a real letter written by an Aquacadet, to the delivery-man who brought him his fan-club package.
- "I Fell Asleep On My Arm!" is a Nu Metal parody about a guy freaking out when his arm falls asleep in class.
- "The Baker!" makes being a baker sound downright epic.Up in the morning to start my work
I cannot help wanting to bake a dessert
Like a gladiator about to meet his fate
I enter the arena, bow my head, and start to bake
- "Poppin' A Wheelie!" is a song about a guy who is really enthusiastic about the simple pleasure of doing wheelies on his bicycle.When you see me outside with my wind-swept hair
Riding by with my wheel in the air
You'll never see me happier, you'll never see me happier
Than when I pull those handlebars and get 'em in the air!
- "CD Repo Man!" is a song about a ruthless mercenary... whose job it is to break into people's houses and steal back borrowed music CDs.
- "Just gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme FRIED CHICKEN!!!!!"
- "BI-CYCLE! BI-CYCLE! BI-CYCLE!" "I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike..."
- Nirvana's song "Sliver" from Incesticide details...a young boy begging his grandmother to take him home.
- The Red Hot Chili Peppers make use of this trope at the end of "Under the Bridge" from Blood Sugar Sex Magik, wherein the mostly chill Surprisingly Gentle Song suddenly culminates in an epic climax, complete with a choir.
- And in the video, singer Anthony Kiedis running in slow motion while an atomic bomb detonates in the background for no reason at all.
- Leningrad Cowboys and The Russian Red Army Choir. To put it succinctly, it's a Finnish Rock Band meets Ominous Russian Chanting. Also, Hair of Awesome!
- The Jonas Brothers with their rock song using Triangles
- All heavy metal automatically falls under this trope. With an entire genre defined by being more over-the-top and larger-than-life, there is no middle ground: it's either freaking epic or it's not.
- "Weird Al" Yankovic's parodies live on this trope, changing the lyrics of "epic" rock songs or "heartfelt" pop songs to be about riding the bus or buying crap on eBay or eating ice cream. How do you parody that which already borders on self-parody? You out-Mundane Made Awesome it, of course!
- The song "Trapped In The Drive-Thru" acts as if getting dinner at McDonald's has the same impact as breaking up with a girlfriend.
- The song is a parody of R. Kelly's "Trapped in the Closet", which is an epic-length "Hip-Hopera" (22 separate chapters and counting...) about the inhabitants of an apartment complex doing little worthy of the drama. It features Kelly throwing his full vocal might into lines like "And then he said, 'I'ma heat this chicken!'"
- Perhaps his most pure use of this trope is not in a spoof but in an original song, "Hardware Store", an ecstatic paean to the grand opening of a new hardware store. Also interestingly, his song "Jurassic Park" inverts this — taking an overblown epic about love, loss and soggy cake and making it about fleeing giant killer dinosaurs.
- "Albuquerque" made ordering donuts epic!
- You do NOT mess with CNR... ever! Watch. It's a parody of the Chuck Norris Facts, but it's actually about actor Charles Nelson Reilly.
- "The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota" takes a normal family vacation to a tacky tourist trap and turns it into what could be described as the holy pilgrimage of a group of aficionados of American culture to one of life's greatest mysteries.
- The song "Trapped In The Drive-Thru" acts as if getting dinner at McDonald's has the same impact as breaking up with a girlfriend.
- The Shy Child song "Drop the Phone" features fast-paced, anguished, barely intelligible yelling over an EPIC electro track — until you listen closely to the lyrics and realise it's about a guy checking his voicemail: "Then I just used a landline, to call my phone and check on my voicemail. The message is wiped!". Even worse, the chorus is an angry Rage Against the Heavens... about the fact that everyone else's cellphone can get a signal and his can't!
- James Blunt's music video for "You're Beautiful", as parodied on Mad TV. "Now I'm putting a bunch of stuff on a line on the floor, have you ever seen such a kickass video before?"
- Grunt: Pigorian Chant sounds exactly like something from a Pure Moods compilation... until you read the liner notes and realize it's nursery rhymes about barnyard animals being sung in Pig Latin.
- Parts of Paul McCartney's Liverpool Oratorio. There actually is some important drama of some sort going on in that sequence where the female lead is singing "Cancel my appointment to the squash club"—but it proved hard to get past that line. And if you don't already know the true implications of "making an appointment with the Minister of Love"—a section that really is meant to be climactic—you might get baffled.
- The music video to the AnJ song "Gorbachov". Hot Russian women are under attack by Communist zombies, who get their asses kicked by a Conanized Mikhail Gorbachev wielding everything from his shield and axe to machine guns to laser eyes.
- Eileen Ivers, who dares to ask the question, "Would you like your traditional Irish fiddling with a freakin' wah-wah pedal??" (The answer: Yes.)
- Miley Cyrus has stated that her song "Bottom of the Ocean" is about her mother flushing her fish. However, you would never guess that by the lyrics of the song, which treat the death of the fish as if it had the impact of a sad breakup.
- Michael Jackson's "Ben" is a passionate song about his love for a pet rat.
- Manowar, when they're not touching on traditionally epic fantasy subject matter, are giving similar treatment to the fact that they play Heavy Metal music—of which the heaviness and metallicness of such they are more than happy to boast—and how awesome the listener is for listening to their very heavy and very metallic Heavy Metal music.
- You will never find a more heart-rendingly anguished song about hockey goal-tending than The Tragically Hip's "Lonely End of the Rink".
- "Goin’ Through Your Purse" by Material Issue. A song about snooping in a new love interest's belongings behind her back — featuring breakneck drum work, a gloriously hammy vocal performance with soaring backup, and a wild, manic guitar solo courtesy of Cheap Trick's Rick Nielsen.
- Alestorm and Swashbuckle are pirate metal bands.
- Igor Keller brings you "Mackris vs. O'Reilly", a sexual harassment lawsuit in opera form.
- Jonathan Coulton's song "Mandelbrot Set" is an epic rock ballad with an insanely catchy riff about one man's world-changing battle against the forces of chaos. The man? Benoit Mandelbrot. The forces? Abstract mathematics. The means of his victory? Well... You take a point called Z in the complex plane / Let Z1 be Z squared plus C / And Z2 is Z1 squared plus C / And Z3 is Z2 squared plus C and so on... Gets better with the chorus. "Day-glo pterodactyl" indeed.
- Behold the epic tournament of Hammerfall vs. The Swedish Womens Olympic Curling Team! Guess who wins.
- The Swedes seem to be a target for this. P.O.D's music video for their song, 'Boom', depicts a ping pong match between the band and the blue and orange dressed "Sweden" team. Played in an empty stadium, the match features an epic dive to save a point, a wrist injury resulting from that dive, baseball-style arguing a ref's decision, a Bobby Knight parody flipping his lid when the call is overturned in favor of the Swedes, complete with ripping up the decorative plants next to the competition area, 'another' epic dive to save a point, this time in slow motion, and culminates in a line brawl. All this was over a winner's check for $35,000, that presumably had to be split evenly between the members of a platinum selling band.
- Shower by Psychostick makes it to an impressive length of five and a half minutes.It's shower time, you bitches!!!
- Also The Root of All Evil:"Sitting in the waiting room. Waiting for my turn to sit on the Throne of Pain! While filling out various legal documents. All starting to look the same. My insurance information and my medical history. I dont know if they want me to -"Receptionist: "Excuse me did you have any questions about the form?""YEEES! As a matter of fact I do!!! Do I fill out this field here, too???"
- Also The Root of All Evil:
- Sisqo's "Thong Song". And HOW. A song about butts and the scanty garments that cover them that just keeps escalating in urgency.
- "Canvas Bags" by Tim Minchin embodies this trope. An environmental ballad about taking canvas bags to the supermarket instead of plastic bags. It devolves into a rap-interlude by Minchin, the song becoming a massive Crowd Song with the audience waving canvas bags around, and then he brings on a fan, unbuttons his shirt, and lets it flap in the wind, finishing off with a Truck Driver's Gear Change to end the set. At some gigs, he even sets off the pyrotechnics.
- John Cage's 4:33 consists of a pianist sitting down before a piano and spending the title time making no sound whatsoever.
- Not quite. The piece is made up of the sound of someone not playing the piano, which is entirely different to someone making no sound whatsoever. Cage effectively wrote a duet for the awkward fidget and nervous cough.
- Paul and Storm, formerly of Da Vincis Notebook, present: The Ballad of Eddie Praeger.
- Bon Jovi — "It's My Life" music video A guy takes out the trash and uses Le Parkour to do so.
- The Meat Loaf songs "Paradise By the Dashboard Light" and "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)," among other Jim Steinman-penned hits about teenage flings, are so deliberately overstated in length, arrangement and vocal delivery that they make Romeo and Juliet look like a light Sitcom about two Friends with Benefits by comparison.
- Though for the mundane aspect it is hard to get a clearer example than Objects In The Rear View Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are
- The Beatles:
- "Helter Skelter" from The White Album is often cited by music historians as one of the first metal songs. The basic purpose of the song was to be as loud, raucous, and heavy as possible. This is the song that caused Ringo Starr to throw his drumsticks across the room and shout "I'VE GOT BLISTERS ON MY FINGERS!" Yet the lyrics are about a slide at an amusement park.
- The most epic song by The Beatles is "A Day in the Life". It's about reading the news, getting up in the morning, and the death of a friend of the band in a car crash...
- Not only the songs: the cover of the album Abbey Road made the act of walking through a crosswalk/zebra crossing one of the most iconic images of pop culture, being referenced/copied/parodied countless times.
- "Martha My Dear" from The White Album, an endearing love song that was actually written for Paul's sheepdog.
- "Savoy Truffle" from The White Album, a song about the dangers of candy and tooth decay.
- "I'm So Tired" from The White Album, never did a song about tiredness sound so epic!
- "Fixing a Hole" from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, about fixing a hole in the ceiling against the rain.
- "Taxman" from Revolver, about the irritation of paying taxes.
- "I'm Only Sleeping" from Revolver, about sleeping.
- "Drive My Car" from Rubber Soul, about a girl who wants to become a "star on the screen" and searches for someone to be her driver, despite the fact that she hasn't even got a car yet.
- JAM Project can make anything awesome. This video demonstrates.
- Rock concerts are not what one would call "mundane", but then there is Eien Strife, a cosplaying rock band that performs for anime conventions that mixes their music with storytelling that is equal parts epic and entertaining.
- An ordinary band, playing a rather ordinary rock song at a rather ordinary gig? This calls for some epic drumming.
- Lady Gaga would like to inform you that she wants to take a ride on your disco stick.
LET'S MAKE A SANDWICH
- The mini-movie for "Telephone" is chock-full of this trope.
- Katy Perry would like to inform you that she kissed a girl and she liked it. (Partly due to the taste of her cherry chapstick, of course.)
- "Dragostea din tei" (aka the Numa Numa song), covered by opera singers, with backing orchestra. The finishing touch is the camera pan over the crowd, a good number of whom are doing the dance.
- The Presidents of the United States of America' song "Peaches" is a fast-paced rock song about, well, eating peaches. Particularly so that the most hard-rocking riff is set to such lyrics as "Peaches come from a can! They were put there by a man! In a factory downtown!". Also, in the music video, the band gets attacked by ninjas.
- The Presidents more or less made a living off of this trope. Other songs of theirs cover topics like toy dune buggies and kittens.
- It's the dad life!, a hip-hop parody made by Church on the Move for Father's Day.
- I got DOZENS of dollars!
- Annihilator's "Kraft Dinner" is a Thrash Metal homage.... to a microwave macaroni dinner?
- Iron Maiden's "The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner," which is about a competitive runner.
- The Raconteurs' song "The Switch and the Spur" is an epic song about a man in the Old West dying of a rattlesnake bite. The snake is compared to God; Brendan Benson even included bits of the Lord's Prayer (including a paraphrase of the doxology, "Thine is the power..."; yet another indication that the Catholic Jack White had little to do with the writing of the song).
- Japanese musician No.305's music, almost all of it, takes this stance toward anime shows, driven home by his Large Ham persona.
- Duelling Cellos playing Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal." Seriously
- The video for Owl City's single Fireflies features shaking cameras of doom.... on various toys that have started functioning on their own from the music being played.
- Her Morning Elegance by Oren Lavie's chorus covers a woman elegantly practicing her morning routine. The music video, however, is actually an awesome stop-motion sequence.
- It's Friday!
- They Might Be Giants:
- In "We Want a Rock", the act of wanting "a rock to wind a piece of string around" or "a prosthetic forehead on your real head" is apparently an act of radical rebellion against those who "want to burn the playhouse down".
- "Thermostat" is a energetic, jazzy song about... adjusting the thermostat.
- "Dinner Bell", a bouncy and energetic song about waiting for dinner (and/or classical conditioning).
- "John Lee, Supertaster" is an epic funk song about a man with an unusually sensitive sense of taste that makes it sound like a outright super-power.
- Neil Young's A Man Needs a Maid, complete with dramatic crescendos and an orchestra.
- The video for Brantley Gilbert's "Country Must Be Country Wide" arguably invokes this, turning a song about country having a surprisingly widespread and diverse fan base into.... something else. Tell me, does anyone buy country music as a subversively-cool underground culture?
- The Filipino song "The Ordertaker" is a heavy metal riff about not finding anything good to eat at a restaurant, a Suspiciously Similar Song mashup of two System of a Down songs, and the music video even features poorly-disguised pastiches of WWE wrestlers going at it.
- Nine Inch Nails' video for "Head Like A Hole" shows, amongst other things, Trent Reznor washing his hair and shaking his head in slow motion. The result is surprisingly epic.
- The Divine Comedy play with this trope a few times, largely through their use of an Orchestra making everything sound more epic by default. Sweden, from the album Fin de Siecle, takes it to it's logical conclusion however, featuring a full chorus of enthusiastic opera singers, sinister sounding brass stabs to rival John Williams and a creepy xylophone riff to demonstrate ... the singers wish to retire to Sweden when he's older, because they have such a high standard of living, lovely fresh air and they all seem to be such nice people.
- The The Pillows song "Hello, Welcome to Bubbletown's Happy Zoo" is an explosive, massive, powerful song about...animals. In a zoo.
- In the song "Pistola", Incubus singer Brandon Boyd apparently owns the most epic pen ever.
- "She Don't Use Jelly" by The Flaming Lips IS this trope. It's about a girl who puts vaseline on her toasts, a guy who blows his nose with magazines and a girl who uses tangerines to dye her hair. Clearly this calls for Steven Drozd's massive drumfills, exaggerated quiet-verse-loud-chorus dynamics, Wayne Coyne and Ronald Jones crunching on the distortion pedals in the chorus, and an oddly happy slide guitar melody on top of everything.
- The Voice Australia has already fallen into this with it's advert featuring Seal, Joel Madden, and Delta Goodrem, all in slow motion, with some epic music behind them. It's a talent show.
- Affiance's music video for "Call to the Warrior" takes every stereotypical heavy metal performance video trope... and applies it to the group playing the song on Rock Band.
- Danish heavy-metal group Volbeat wrote a song dedicated to the boxer Mikkel Kessler, which Kessler would go on to use for his entrances. Aside from explicitly describing how he's going to knock you into oblivion, the build-up of the introduction sounds less like a sportsmanlike competition and more like some sort of Uruk-hai army marching to WAR. Complete with echoing war-horns.
- The "Drumming Song" by Florence + the Machine is a epic song about a earworm.
- And continuing with the general thread of Mundane Made Awesome Via Metal, Megadeth's "Wake Up Dead" is a nice bit of classic thrash...of which the subject matter can be literally summed up as "Ohgod, if I wake my wife by stumbling in stinking drunk at 4am she is going to kill me in my sleep...especially when she finds out I've been cheating on her to boot..."
- "Mi equilibrio espiritual" ("My spiritual balance") by 31 Minutos is the result of asking rock band Chancho en Piedra to write a song about a kid finally learning to ride a bike without training wheels.
- The music video to Daughtry's "Outta My Head". It looks like a borderline-Stalker with a Crush Car Chase (well, Chris is in a Dodge Charger and she's a Badass Biker Babe), practically out of an action movie...and why? Because the girl forgot her cell phone and Chris wanted to give it back to her.
- The Who's "Pinball Wizard" is about the most epic song about pinball you will ever hear.
- The theme song for Monty Python's Life of Brian, "Brian's Song", is musically a grandiose, bombastic anthem fit for a Biblical epic, with a very dramatic singer. In fitting with the overall parody of Biblical epics, however, lyrically it describes the average life of a perfectly mundane young boy as he matures into a perfectly mundane man.Brian
The babe they called Brian.
Grew, grew and grew...
Grew up to be...
GREW UP TO BEEEEEEEE...
A boy called Brian.
June the fourth, 1973, was much like any other day on Dalzell Street, Peterborough. And Ralph Mellish, a file clerk for an insurance company, was on his way to work, when...(dramatic sting) nothing happened. Scarcely able to believe his eyes, Ralph Mellish looked down. But one glance confirmed his suspicions. Behind the bush by the side of the road, there was no severed arm. No dismembered trunk of a man in his 50s. No head in a bag. Nothing. Not a sausage.
- In a mainly spoken intent, "The Adventures of Ralph Mellish, Hot Dogs And Knickers" from the Monty Python album Matching Tie And Handkerchief, opens thusly and dramatically:
- We give you...Master Singers' ''The Highway Code''
- Dance Dance Revolution Mario Mix has a ton of awesine musical pieces and remixes already, but the game somehow takes the most basic song, "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star", and remixes it into awesomeness. To top it off, the song is used as the game's tutorial!
- I'M GONNA POP SOME TAGS ONLY GOT 20 DOLLAS IN MY POCKET I'M IMA IMA HUNTIN' LOOKIN FOR A COME UP THIS IS FUCKING AWESOME!
- The Sigur Rós song "Hoppípolla" is quite possibly one of the most epic songs ever. And it's about hopping into puddles.
- "Power User" by MC Frontalot. Upgrading your computer has never sounded so pimp.
- The Japanese band Sakanaction in "Ame(B)", a bouncy song with overdubbed vocals, epic synth arpeggios and a flashy rhythm guitar. The lyrics, when translated, talk about the singer opening an umbrella in the rain, and soaking his left shoulder when the wind starts blowing.
- German Alternative Rock band Tocotronic love playing with this.
- David Wilcox knows how to make a Chevrolet Camaro look like a bigger deal than it actually is. "You see, it actually takes! TWO PARKING SPACES! For Johnny's Camaro, Johnny's Camaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaroooooooooo..."
- "Tupelo" by Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds is so full of this trope that it makes the birth of Elvis Presley sound like the coming of a god.
- Captain Beefheart's song "Telephone" from Doc at the Radar Station is a number about someone who doesn't like telephones.
- Kraftwerk has a song named Autobahn about driving your car on the highway and it sounds epic!
- Frank Zappa was also an expert at this. He wrote songs about the dangers of going to your kitchen at night ("The Dangerous Kitchen", from The Man From Utopia), dental floss ("Montana" from Over-Nite Sensation), sex dolls ("Mrs. Pinky" from Zoot Allures), Smelly Feet ("Stink Foot" from Apostrophe (')), wet t-shirt contests and working in a muffin factory ("Wet T-shirt Nite" and "A Little Green Rosetta" from Joe's Garage),... Even his instrumental music often received mundane titles: "None Of The Above", "A Pound For A Brown On The Bus" (about a bet who would moon his behind the fastest on the bus), "Twenty Small Cigars",...
- The song "Everything Is Awesome", performed by Tegan & Sara in The LEGO Movie, takes this trope about as literally as it possibly can, particularly in the rap verses (which are performed by The Lonely Island, who frequently use the trope in far less kid-friendly circumstances):Trees, frogs, clogsTHEY'RE AWESOME!!!Rocks, clocks, and socksTHEY'RE AWESOME!!!Figs, and jigs, and twigsTHAT'S AWESOME!!!Everything you see, or think, or sayIS AWESOME!!!
- The common belief is that the Taylor Swift song "Long Live" is about winning album of the year at The Grammys, which is awesome, but not as awesome as the song would suggest.
- As mentioned above, this is something of a speciality for The Lonely Island, who tend to combine bombastic R&B/Hip-Hip styles with rather mundane subject matter:
SPACE DISKS! Is totally cancelled
- "Like A Boss" is about a boss who does everything... well, like a boss. It starts off fairly routine, but then goes to some rather strange places.
- "I Just Had Sex" involves two guys giving the full power-ballad treatment to what appear to have been some rather underwhelming sexual encounters.She kept lookin' at her watch! (Doesn't matter, had sex!)
But I cried the whole time! (Doesn't matter, had sex!)
I think she might've been a racist!note (Doesn't matter, had sex!)
She put a bag on my head! (Still counts!)
- "I'm On A Boat", a truly epic set of beats about a guy who is... well, see the title.
- "Lazy Sunday" treats two guys going to see The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe as if it were a hardcore gangster rap about planning a heist and indulging in conspicuous over-consumption with the proceeds.
- Inverted with "Space Olympics", which is a 1980s-style power ballad about competing in the Space Olympics of 3022, but which focusses more on the various logistical headaches and budgetary problems that hosting a large-scale sporting event in the vacuum of space would result in — essentially, making the awesome utterly mundane.
SPACE SWORDS! Is totally cancelled
SPACE LUGE! Is also cancelled
And all other events are pending...
- Sesame Street Platinum All Time Favorites, a Greatest Hits Album with Sesame Street songs. All of it are just children's songs, sometimes about really mundane topics, like Prairie Dawn's "Little Things", about respecting little things in life and Ernie's "Rubber Duckie", about his love for taking a bath with his plastic toy duck. But they are all so catchy that you sing them along easily.
- "Spoonman" by Soundgarden, a late '60s-style Rock & Roll song updated with Heavy Metal guitars and Chris Cornell's Metal Screams, whose Word Salad Lyrics are based on an actual Seattle street busker who played the spoons.
- Swedish cult band Torsson (proudly billing themselves as "The fourth best band in the city of Lund") have made a career of this. Some of their more well-known songs deal with things like a boring bush-league football game where the narrator's team loses, taking the train to a small town in southern Sweden, two kids trying to sell ice cream on a rainy day, and how to start a 1961 DKW on a damp morning.
- Daniel Amos's "Travelog" (from Vox Humana) is a song about watching TV for hours on end—set to driving, ear-worm-y new wave music, and with lyrics to make it sound like a globetrotting adventure. It's almost certainly meant to be satire of the sort of person who would watch TV for hours on end.
- Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water" can be summarised as follows: "We travelled to a city in Switzerland to make a recording using a mobile studio. While we were there, a fire broke out in a neighbouring and more desirable venue. Thanks to the swift action of venue personnel, there were no casualties and our recording schedule was not materially affected."
- The guy singing "I'm Reading A Book" takes his reading a lot more seriously than he should.
- The Doors are made of this. Songs like "Break on Through (to the Other Side)", "The End", "People Are Strange", and "When the Music's Over" are only a few of the many examples from all the songs they wrote.
- Tears for Fears somehow managed to make the word "shout" sound infinitely more awesome than it is in their appropriately song, "Shout".
- Partner's song "Everybody Knows" may be the most awesome song about being visibly stoned ever written.
- Comedy duo Onkel Fisch made "Wir bringen den Müll runter", a hip-hop-style song about how taking out the trash is a man's job.
Mundane Made Awesome / Music