Antique technology (and its songs)

For two days in the Zits strip, Jeremy’s mother worked at getting him to submit his application to renew his automobile registration via what some have come to call, retronymically, postal mail, using the antique technology and infrastructure of cards and letters, stamps, mailboxes, and a system for transporting and delivering physical pieces of mail. Today, Jeremy admits to his buddy Pierce that he capitulated to this exotic technology, and rather enjoyed the experience —


but Pierce treats the technology involved as not merely antique, but literally ancient.

Yesterday I refrained from playing the Swiss card: the music of the PostBus service. But now I’ll dive into the great ocean of mailmusic.

(Note: mailmusic, not malemusic. Malemusic is stuff like “He’s So Fine” and “Leader of the Pack”, plus musical celebrations of man-man love and/or sex — think Rufus Wainwright and Pansy Division.)

The postman’s arrow. From my 1/21/15 posting “Theme music”:

William Tell is, of course, a national hero of Switzerland, and many Swiss are baffled by Americans’ association of the music with Westerns [thanks to the Lone Ranger tv show].

Meanwhile, another excerpt from the overture [to Rossini’s opera Guillaume Tell] provides the three-tone horn of the Swiss postal service. From the PostBus site:

Our guests will have many beautiful memories of the well-known three-tone horn used on service buses on mountainous PostBus routes. This motif comes from the Andante of Rossini’s “William Tell” Overture, and is made up of the notes C sharp, E and A in the key of A major.

You can hear the motif on the PostBus site.

Meanwhile, in the world of popular music, there’s a ton of music about mail, mail delivery, stamps, and so on. Just a few examples:

Sandie Shaw’s “Send Me a Letter”


The Marvelettes’ “Please Mr. Postman”


Buddy Holly’s “Mailman, Bring Me No More Blues”


Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours)”


Someone should make up a playlist.


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