24

Jaws was never my scene
And I don't like Star Wars

"Bicycle Race" (1978) by Queen

In the 1978 song "Bicycle Race" by Queen, off their album Jazz, the films Star Wars and Jaws are mentioned.

When it comes to Star Wars, was this the first hit song to do so? If not, what was the first hit song that mentions Star Wars?


Wikipedia defines a hit record thus:

A hit record is an audio recording, usually in the form of a single or album, that sells a large number of copies or otherwise becomes broadly popular or well-known, through airplay, club play, inclusion in a film or stage play soundtrack, causing it to have 'hit' (appeared on) one of the popular chart listings.

In other words, a hit song is a song that has hit the charts.

  • 3
    (Sung to the tune of Gilligan's Isle.) Now sit right back and hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip that started from Mos Eisley port about this tiny ship. The mate was a might Wookie and the skipper brave and sure. Four passengers set off that day for Alderaan, for Alderaan. The imperials started getting rough, the tiny ship was caught, if not for the courage of the fearless crew, the princess, the princess would be lost. – RichS Jan 21 '17 at 9:25
  • That reminds me. There was also The Star Wars Theme by Meco, which I'm pretty sure was on the radio even before the film came out here in Europe. Does that count? – Mr Lister Jan 21 '17 at 18:28
  • 4
    Oh, dang ... you mean it wasn't Weird Al Yankovic singing about Yoda? – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jan 21 '17 at 23:31
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    Nowhere near being the first, but Mark Jonathan Davis’ Star Wars Cantina is definitely the best! – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jan 22 '17 at 10:33
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    Bicycle race was recorded in June-July 1978, and released 13 Oct 78. It remains popular and is considered a Queen classic, so can be regarded as a hit. I can't think of any song that mentions star wars from that era which could be considered in the same light. – Tim Jan 22 '17 at 20:41
6

It seems that Bicycle Race is the earliest hit song to mention Star Wars.

Bicycle race was recorded in June-July 1978, and released 13 Oct 78. It remains popular and is considered a Queen classic, so can be regarded as a hit.

More than that, it is well known internationally, unlike the SNL song, or the Nils Lofgren song, which didn't mention Star Wars originally.

I can't think of any other song that mentions star wars from that era which could be considered in the same light.

30

Nils Lofgren sang

I'm gonna take you to see Star Wars tonight

on the live version of Take you to the Movies on the album Night After Night.

The Discogs page says that the record was released in 1977. It doesn't mention a recording date.

  • 9
    The trousers definitely agree that it was the ’70s. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jan 21 '17 at 16:37
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    Was this a "hit song" though? Did it chart? – Tim Jan 22 '17 at 20:38
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    This song comes from an album called "Grin" which was recorded 1969-1970. The record was released in June 1971 - six years before Star Wars. We have to assume that this rendition was rewritten for the Night After Night solo album, released in October 1977. But there's no indication that the song was a hit. – Tim Jan 22 '17 at 20:47
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    @Tim That's right, the Star Wars ref was only on the live version (as I said in the answer). Also, at the time of writing it was unclear if the OP only wanted hit songs or just songs (see user14111's comment). – Mr Lister Jan 23 '17 at 7:15
19

Bill Murray sang the Star Wars theme during The January 28th, 1978 episode of Saturday Night Live. The episode included a sketch with Bill Murray playing Nick the Lounge Singer, a parody of a lounge singer. The sketch opens with Nick singing the theme to 2001: A Space Odyssey. Nick goes on to schmooze with the audience, sing bits of other songs, interview the staff, and finally sing some lyrics that he presumably made up, set to the Star Wars theme:

Star Wars, nothing but Star Wars
Give me those Star Wars, don't let them end
Ahh, Star Wars, if they should bar wars
Please let these Star Wars
stay...


And hey, how 'bout that nutty Star Wars bar
Can you forget all the creatures in there?
And hey, Darth Vader in that black and evil mask?
Did he scare you as much as he scared me?
AAAAAHHHHHHH!


Star Wars, those near-and-far wars
Star Wars!

Nick the Lounge Singer singing "Star Wars"

The full sketch

Bonus: Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron) covers Bill Murray

5

There were two Star Wars instrumentals that got a TON of airplay in 1977, and I am sure both qualify as hits, although perhaps not as songs as they had no words and thus didn't technically mention Star Wars. One was a straight recording of the Star Wars theme from the soundtrack; the other was the Disco Cantina Theme by Meco. Both of these predate the Queen song, of course.

  • They're certainly songs, but I suspect the question looks for mentions of the film in songs not directly connected TO the film. As in, there's lots of James Bond movie theme songs, but not as many songs that mention Bond as a pop-culture reference. (Hm, that may make another good question...) – VBartilucci Jul 11 '18 at 13:55
0

In 1977, there was Meco with Star Wars and Other Galactic Funk. The disco arrangement Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band hit #1 on the Billboard charts that year, and was even nominated for a Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Performance, only losing out to John Williams and the actual soundtrack.

  • This was already mentioned in Ernest’s answer. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jul 11 '18 at 20:01

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