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My Gift is My Song, August 31: Rock of Ages

If we are to continue with the songs of the week, it really works better to make the weekly reports a distinct Friday item, as opposed to putting a note at the top of the page, or shoehorning it into some other item. So, that is how we will proceed going forward.

Last week's songs, in the order they appeared, were:

  1. Kodachrome, by Paul Simon
  2. Say Say Say, by Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson
  3. Fields of Gold, by Sting
  4. Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang, by Dr. Dre
  5. Dirty Laundry, by Don Henley
  6. Edge of Seventeen, by Stevie Nicks

Here are some of the more interesting comments/guesses we got:

Let us note that we're still getting the hang of this, and our sense of things will become more finely tuned over time. We don't want it to be too hard, but we don't want it to be too easy, either. And it is entirely plausible that a reader will discover a commonality that we did not think of or notice. For example, the one from F.W. in Franklin (although "Edge of Seventeen" was actually 1982). Similarly, reader L.B. in Ashburn, VA, came up with a very creative answer that would be difficult to quote, but boils down to: 6 song titles in item heads, 6 song titles in subheads, 6 lyrical references in body text, which adds up to 18—one for each Trump co-defendant who might "sing." Not what we intended, but very impressive.

At the same time, we're not likely to go with something too general, like "songs [that] have been covered by other artists," just because there are so many of those. If we do it right, the commonality should be narrow enough and precise enough that once you have it, you know you have it (or you are at least pretty sure you have it). That said, the guess from S.W.S. in Los Angeles is actually a pretty good clue to this week's theme.

For the correct answer for the week, here's the response from A.C. in Kingston, MA:

The song theme hit me after two entries, and then "Nuthin' but a G Thang" cemented it. They're all from solo albums by artists (Paul Simon, Sting, Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney, Dr. Dre, Don Henley, Stevie Nicks) who'd previously been in chart-topping bands (Simon and Garfunkel, The Police, The Jackson Five and The Beatles, The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac).

A.C. adds: "It was particularly heartwarming to see Fields of Gold, as it's 'our song' for my husband and me and the first dance at our wedding, which was 20 years ago last week." Happy anniversary to you and your husband, A.C.!

The first 10 readers to get it right:

  1. M.A. in Park Ridge, IL
  2. T.K. in Half Moon Bay, St. Kitts
  3. B.P. in Ellensburg, WA
  4. A.W. in Chicago, IL
  5. A.J. in Baltimore, MD
  6. B.P. in Arlington Heights, IL
  7. C.F. in San Francisco, CA
  8. S.A. in Downey, CA
  9. S.T. in Ocean Grove, NJ
  10. J.E. in Gilbertsville, PA

If you have a guess for this week's theme, or a comment, send it here. And note that "My Gift is My Song" is not one of the clues. (Z)

This item appeared on Read it Monday through Friday for political and election news, Saturday for answers to reader's questions, and Sunday for letters from readers.                     State polls                     All Senate candidates