“Black Hole Sun” by Soundgarden (1994)

Chris Cornell didn’t really know what “Black Hole Sun” was about. Allegedly.

“Regarding “Black Hole Sun”, Cornell stated, “It’s just sort of a surreal dreamscape, a weird, play-with-the-title kind of song.”[5] He also said that “lyrically it’s probably the closest to me just playing with words for words’ sake, of anything I’ve written. I guess it worked for a lot of people who heard it, but I have no idea how you’d begin to take that one literally.”

Song packs a punch, though. Especially in light of Cornell’s death. Maybe he didn’t want to play his hand?


“Black Cow” by Steely Dan (1977):  Much has been made of Donald Fagen and Walter Becker’s obsessive studio craftsmanship. And make no mistake, the talk is real. Steely Dan’s records sound impeccably made, and “Black Cow” is a perfect example; from that opening guitar squonk to that song-ending sax solo.

One of The Dan’s more linear narratives, Fagen is singing about how he’ll no longer be a sounding board for a friend while she continues getting her heart stepped on by a variety of suitors. Is Fagen (or Fagen’s character) interested in this woman too? Is it a Vertical Horizon “Everything You Want” kind of situation? Not sure.

Also not sure what the fuck the “big black cow” is. Large coffee with milk? Black Russian? How has no one asked Donald Fagen (or Walter Becker, when he was alive) about this before?

Jack move bonus: When Lord Tariq & Peter Gunz sampled “Black Cow” on their hit “Deja Vu (Uptown Baby)”, Fagen & Becker got all (as in 100%) of the songwriting credit and the publishing. I mean, it’s not like anything creative was done with the beat-Tariq and Gunz were essentially rapping over “Black Cow”’s instrumental. But 100%? That’s cold.

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