Irrational Anthem

May 31, 2006  |  music

Bud ThurlowA recent post over on Adfreak combined with the revelation that companies with DoD contracts are now basically exempt from standard SEC filings got me to thinking about all of the crappy corporate anthems I have heard over the years.

You know what I’m talking about. You work as some cubicle drone for mega global corporation and in order to further implant the idea in your head that the global mega corporation world is a better world and you are a worthless piece of shit they come up with a song to remind you each and every moment of the day. A song that they play in the elevators, on the phone, in the shitter. A song that those who have drank the Kool-Aid like to lip-sync or, even worse, sing, at every corporate outing, or when before you start you company-sponsored calisthenics routine in the morning.

A song that you hum to yourself as you look down forty floors to the traffic clogged streets below, pondering if it was all worth it.

Take heart, my friend. You are not alone.

Composed by Bobby Gosh, this is perhaps the most evil song of the lot. I worked as a greeter at FAO Schwarz one Christmas in college and there was a large tree in the middle of the store that sang this song on repeat from opening to close. By the end of every shift I was curled up in a ball crying.

I’ve spent over $20 today on four iced venti americanos with three pumps of mocha, a pump of chai tea, and whipped cream topping and you know what? I feel grrrrrrrrrrrreat. Hey is that Starship? Turn that motherfucker up.

  • Association of International Glaucoma Societies – Glaucoma Hymn

Are you going blind? Would you like to? Here’s a little ditty that will permanently dam your aural canal and make you bleed out your eyes.

This soaring power ballad/rock opera seems to go on forever… but it’s got everything. Dennis DeYoung-like vocals pining for a lost love, crescendoing strings and timpanis, and a cheering audience hoisting burning DVD players in the air.

Featuring the vocal talents of Japanese jazz singer, Mitsuko “Martha” Miyake, this is the kind of song Japanese businessmen love to drunkenly belt out in karaoke bars. It’s also the kind of song that milk-muddled droogs like to kick the shit out of drunken Japanese businessmen to…

This song almost singularly explains Germany’s fascination with the musical talents of David Hasselhoff. Fans of American Idol should enjoy this as runner-up Katharine McPhee will be recording shit like this soon.

What kind of quality, you ask? The kind of quality that seems to still be emanating from the lobby elevator days after the sales team’s lunch meeting at Taco Casa. This song is recorded entirely by your co-workers who like to sing Happy Birthday when they bring the cake into the conference room… plus a few muppets. Listen closely and you’ll hear Kermit, Piggy, and Janice from the Electric Mayhem Band.

Equal parts Growing Pains theme song and Spandau Ballet, this song is perfect for a company like KPMG because after listening to it you still have no fucking idea what they do.

Not only does the Sun in-house band recycle a crappy song by Huey Lewis and the News, they take Hewlett-Packard and IBM to the woodshed! Take that, HP! Forget you, IBM! Talk about balls. And stupidity.

This song is not just about the merger of nebulous consulting powers Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand, it’s about swiping part of the melody from GenesisDriving The Last Spike. Can you hear me? Can you see? Dont you hear me? Dont you see?

This isn’t really a corporate anthem – I’m sure it was somehow part of a trade between TMBG and the Chopping Block – but it does make me want oranges for some reason.

Oh, here’s one last one for you.

  • Target – Everything I Want to Be (see below)

In case everyone forgot what the fuck you’re supposed to do today, we’ve got a song to help you remember. This is for kids raised on Barney who chose not to go to college and work in the service industry instead. This song almost makes me want to shop at Wal-mart.


  1. Whoever posted the FAO Schwarz song, THANK YOU. I’ve been looking for it for a long time. Many of you may think I’m crazy, but I LOVE that song. The Bobby Gosh version isn’t as good as the former SF store version, but I still like it. Brings back memories…. Thanks again.

  2. OMG!!!! I can’t believe KPMG has a theme song! And it’s awful! (But at least it’s better than our rival PWC!!!!)

    I feel so bad for the FAO Schwartz and Target people. After listening to their songs I wanted to cry! Talk about brain washing! There should be a ban on bad corporate songs!

    Beware to all those without corporate songs….one day soon you might have to suffer as we do.

  3. I am from KPMG and I think the corporate song is cool.I worked for PwC before and I didn’t feel as inspired as much by PwC corporate song.

  4. There’s a whole lot of these over at ZDNet UK. I know because I put them there. The current ZDNet search won’t find them, but Google will. Here’s a chart listing to get you started.

    I’m sure a small campaign could get these restored…

    Peter Judge

  5. A great collection, and one that inspired me (nearly two years after reading your post!) to locate a ditty you may wish to add to your collection — or not.
    Marcus Ranum provided serious warnings to anyone who came a-searching for this, so I shall link to the warning rather than the particular anthem^Wtravesty:

    Are You Sure? (link to Symantec_Revolution.mp3)

    I used to work there. That this is no longer the case … well, I’m okay with that.


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