Deadsplinter Up! All Night: The End of Music?

Songs that will never be used in commercials

Art for art's sake, money for God's sake

One of the things I worry about, on a regular basis, is that the day will come when all good music will have been used in a television commercial or as the credits roll in some crappy movie and will be spoiled for me forever. I call this the “Musical Singularity”. When Mammon and the lesser gods of Commerce will have completely sucked the life and enjoyment out of music.

I first noticed this phenomenon when I was just a kid. I really liked Donovan, mostly because my older sister had some of his records and I went for that folk/psych sound. My favorite song of his at the time was “Wear Your Love Like Heaven” and I straight up wore out the album “A Gift from a Flower to a Garden” playing that song. That is, until some shitty cosmetic company came out with frangrance called “Love’s Fresh Lemon” and used the song in it’s commercial campaign (see below). I was only in the single digits at the time, but I knew even then that I would never hear that lovely song the same way again.

So here we are, half a century later, and there seems to be nothing Capitalist Pigs won’t ruin. No song too sacred.

So I’m asking you tonight, no…imploring you…to convince me that there are still great records that will NEVER be used to sell soap or pharmaceuticals or pickup trucks or crypto investment firms. Just give me something to hold on to that’s likely to remain pure. On the other hand, if there’s some tune that you think is a missed opportunity for Madison Avenue share that too. Might as well drive this Ford F-250 off the cliff to the tune of “It’s the End of the World As We Know It” once and for all.

Once again, thank you all for participating in DUAN and for supporting Deadsplinter. And thank you for letting me be myself. Again.

So here are three songs that will never be used in commercials. Probably. And at the bottom, the execrable Love’s Fresh Lemon commercial that first cut me, referenced above.



  1. Still mad about them changing the lyrics from Mercury to “Ford Truck”…It’s not even the same amount of syllables!


    • [and yes I know I did NOT understand the assignment]

  2. i really like this one..and doubt it would ever be a commercial…but i guess with some creative editing it could be

    • I’m a big Chip Taylor fan.

    • This is really nice. Going on the playlist.

    • Nobody is perfect…it seems some just happen to think they are:

  3. I doubt we’ll ever hear A Place To Bury Strangers used in an ad campaign.

    To Fix The Gash In Your Head


    I was originally gonna say Lost Sounds but you know, I think I could see this working in a number of situations.

    I Get Nervous


    • I could see A Place to Bury Strangers working in a fragrance ad with a couple of moody-looking models.

      • Okay for you Don Draper! Now that you mention it I can too.

    • calling it fair trades today as im taking a place to bury strangers

      thats nice

  4. Even though this would be a great anti-NRA song, I’m pretty sure it won’t ever happen…


    Although this would be a prefect song for a commercial for anyone running against anyone in the GOP!


  5. also…. miles off topic….but muse turned up again

    and i love the new sound

  6. The first time I heard Fitz and the Tantrums, I asked my wife, “What is this ad for?” I was dutifully informed that it was, in fact, an actual song. Some time later, we heard that song (“The Walker” – I had to look it up) being used in an ad.

    Still an earworm! I also have the same feelings about Feist’s “1234”, and was rewarded later with an ad featuring that song as well (I’m not going bother linking or posting that).

    In terms of songs that might not be co-opted for commerce, that’s tougher. I’m sure some of the harsher stuff out there seems like it could never be used, but I’m really feeling like in our current times that we should never say never. Sorry — it’s been a tough week.



  7. I have been reminded of this post from 2005:

    Applebees wants to shove a steak up my ass?

    KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) using ‘Sweet Home Alabama.’ Wouldn’t that make it AFC?

    • Lust for Life has already been in at least one commercial.

    • That’s a good article.  I wish I’d read it before I wrote my DUAN.

  8. I defy Madison Ave to use this one.
    Andre Williams – Pussy Stank


  9. Pretty sure Rage’s “Killing in the Name” won’t get used for any ads.

    But in general I don’t mind seeing a song get used in an ad for stuff.


  11. Perhaps you should probably specify that you’re talking about songs that would never be in commercials in the US. I’m sure that in Europe or other places with less rigorous censorship, the playing field may be a bit, uh, wider, as our homie farscythe could probably attest:

    And because this video features the credits at the beginning, I was able to find the song — and, yes, it is an actual full song — in question. In fact, the whole album is on YouTube has a playlist, which led me down a bit of a rabbit hole about four or five years ago. Here’s a short cut, then, but I’m not holding myself responsible for what else you may find:

    Outhere Brothers — “F.Y.I.T.A.”

    • So, Trojans commercial?  Astroglide?  Jose Cuervo ?

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