DJ Enhanced Interrogation Techniques: 30-Day Song Challenge, the Sequel, day 27 – a song you think would be an effective instrument of torture

It seems that America now officially believes in torture as a primary tool of investigation. And back in 2008, I did a little story on how, believe it or not, we are using music as an implement of torture. So I suppose today’s challenge has a dark side, huh?

Mercifully for those suspected terrorists in captivity, DJ EIT (Enhanced Interrogation Techniques) lacks imagination (although, +1 for the “Barney Theme Song” and Meow Mix jingle). Still, nothing at all from the Disco era? (Of course, al Qaeda operatives may lack the cultural context to fully appreciate how badly they were really suffering as I spun the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack at them for the 157th straight time. This is music that doesn’t hurt as much if you weren’t there, I guess.)

In any case, I feel certain I could whip up a playlist that would have even the most hardened Talibaner begging for the waterboard inside of an hour. Check this, from the 2008 article linked above:

  • “It’s a Small World After All”
  • “Copacabana” – Barry Manilow
  • “Your Body is a Wonderland” – John Mayer (right about here is where the prisoner would begin begging for death)
  • “Achy Breaky Heart” – Billy Ray Cyrus
  • “The Chicken Dance”
  • “Da Da Da” – Trio
  • “Tom’s Diner” – Suzanne Vega (just the first couple measures on endless loop)
  • “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)” – Meatloaf (actually, I’d just use the section where he repeats the title about 65 times in a row – on loop)
  • “The End” – The Doors (stop teasing me – please let it be the end)
  • Soundtrack from episode one of “Cop Rock”
  • “Hollaback Girl” – Gwen Stefani
  • “The Hamster Dance”
  • “Ice Ice Baby” – Vanilla Ice
  • “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” – William Shatner
  • “Someone’s Knockin’ at the Door” – Paul McCartney
  • “Muskrat Love” – Captain & Tennile
  • “The Macarena”
  • “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” – Vicki Lawrence
  • “Coconut” – Nilsson
  • “Mambo No. 5″ – Lou Bega
  • “Glory of Love” – Chicago (hearing Peter Cetera sing the lines “I am a man / who will fight for your honor” will make the detainee laugh so hard he’ll hack up his own gall bladder)
  • “Two Princes” – Spin Doctors (especially effective if captives are from a culture that has invented musical phrasing)
  • “Mr. Roboto” – Styx
  • “Hot Rod Lincoln” – Commander Cody & the Lost Planet Airmen
  • “The Star-Spangled Banner” – Roseanne Barr
  • “The Star-Spangled Banner” – Carl Lewis
  • Any five-second snippet of Mariah Carey hitting her dog-slayer note – on a loop
  • “YMCA” – The Village People
  • “Mickey” – Toni Basil
  • “I’m Too Sexy” – Right Said Fred
  • “What’s Up?” – 4 Non-Blondes (Jesus, I just threw up in my mouth a little)
  • “Don’t Worry Be Happy” – Bobby McFerrin (also effective when torturing captives with irony)
  • “If You’re Happy and You Know It”
  • “Kumbaya” – any youth praise choir in America

How long do you think you’d last?

But…one song, huh? Gods. How about this one? (You’d have to get the info you needed out of the subject quickly, though, because his head might explode during that last chorus.)


  • Lou Reed’s two-record “Metal Machine Music” can take on all of those songs at once and beat them with one of the discs tied behind its back. A friend of mine used to run a record store, and if people didn’t leave after he announced it was time to close, he’d put this on, crank it up, and people would be elbowing each other aside as they rushed for the door.

  • The Barney Song

  • I tried to post this the other day but got database errors.

    Donna Summer! I love Donna Summer! This song however, is a mess.

    Seeing It’s a Small World makes me think of almost any kids music CD. The kind with kids singing and you have to listen to it in the minivan on vacation until your ears bleed and you MUST put in some U2 or Led Zeppelin to purge.

    I’d also say that new metal stuff where the singer sounds like the mic is in his throat and he’s growling and screeching at the same time. Sorry, don’t know the names of any bands for that.

    My wife says Who Let the Dogs Out.

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