I'm intrigued by songs that mention songs, because I think they are doing it as a short-hand way of building on the meaning of the original song. Like how a book's epigram informs the way the author intends you to look at the story you're about to read. I mentioned to my wife once, "If I was getting a doctorate in music theory, I'd write about songs that mention songs, comparing the original to the referencing." My wife said, "I don't think you know what music theory is about."
Anyway, here's a small list that comes to me right now.
- "Roy Orbison singing for the lonely / hey, that's me and I want you only" sung in Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run."
- "Elvis singing 'don't be cruel' and I wonder / if you feel it too, it's like we're going under" sung in The Killers' "The Way It Was."
- The title of The Killers' "Deadlines and Commitments" is a line from the Bob Seger song "Against the Wind."
There are a lot more I've noticed lately, but I didn't write them down and I'm in a hurry now. Maybe I'll keep track of this in future blog posts, like how I have recurring posts about words with alternate pronunciations when they are different parts of speech ("I'll permit you to drive with your learner's permit because your dominate hand will dominate.").