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Top 10 Torture Soundtracks

Jamie Frater

Some time ago I read a fascinating article describing the experiences of MPs and soldiers who had been involved in interrogation against suspected terrorists in Iraq. The MPs and soldiers talked candidly about their methods when using “no-touch torture” – loud music and sounds designed to cause discomfort and prevent sleep. The soldiers listed their “favorite” music for interrogation sessions – and from that list I give you this list – the top 10 torture soundtracks.

10

Christina Aguilera

The provocative music and singing style of Aguilera is the reason that it has been so popular with young MPs (Military Police) who were handling interrogation of suspected terrorists. It would go against the morals of the suspects (who would not approve of such outward displays of femaleness) while allowing the MPs to enjoy some “music from home”. It is not known whether Aguilera approves the use of her music for interrogation.


9

White America
Eminem

White America is Eminem’s take on American society and his rocketing to fame – which he blames on his white skin. The song criticizes various politicians and speaks out for suburban youths. The music style is most likely the reason for its choice in torture soundtracks as it would be very alien to the ears of most people under interrogation at the present time. The song was very popular in Canada where it reached number 3 on the charts.

8

Stayin’ Alive
The Bee Gees

The lyrics of this song are hardly provocative, so it is most likely that it was used because it was sung by the Bee Gees, and frankly, the Bee Gees music is torture even without lyrics. It may have also been seen to be ironic by the people performing the interrogation sessions due to its title. Forced to listen to the Gibb brothers for hours on end would make me confess to absolutely anything.

7

Rage Against the Machine

A lot of torture sessions involve(d) the use of music by Rage Against the Machine – an American rap cum rock group formed in 1991. Apparently the band members have some integrity, because as soon as they found out their music was being used in this way, they wrote to the State Department and demanded that it cease immediately. Whether or not that happened is unknown, but good on them for standing up and speaking out.

6

Meow Mix Commercial

For the non-Americans amongst us (myself included), Meow Mix is a popular type of cat food in the USA. In 1970, Meow Mix launched a commercial which has now become iconic. The jingle was written by Shelly Palmer in 1970. The lyrics were, “I want tuna, I want chicken, Meow Mix flavors keep me lickin.” In commercials, it was typically meowed by a cat (often called “Mr Meow”), with English subtitles. This commercial is extremely popular in torture sessions – I am not sure why, except that maybe it becomes annoying in time, though it is also possible that it was simply used as it reminded the MPs of home.


5

Country Music

You don’t need to be a terrorist to despise Country Music – millions of people everywhere do. It is likely that the majority of interrogation MPs dislike country music and that may explain the fact that it appears on a large number of interrogation soundtracks. I personally like a bit of country so it would not be tortuous for me, but played at sufficiently high a volume, I am not sure I would be too pleased with it.

4

America
Neil Diamond

America (or “They’re coming to America”) is the name of a patriotic song written and originally recorded by Neil Diamond in 1980. Its patriotic bent is the reason that it is so popular with interrogators. Interestingly, this song was added to the Clear Channel list of songs deemed inappropriate for broadcast after the 9/11 attacks in the US. Shortly after the attacks, Diamond changed the lyrics in live performances from “They’re coming to America” to “Stand up for America”.

3

Barney Theme Song

Those here who knew children while Barney was a hit will well remember this terrible song. The Barney Theme Song was so hated amongst adults that it became something of an Internet Meme. For this reason I am sure most here will understand the reason that so many MPs would choose this music when supervising interrogation sessions. Against my better judgement I have included a video clip of it. Listen at your own risk.

2

Janeane Garofalo

Janeane Garofalo is a powerful Jewish American woman who does standup comedy that frequently refers to sleeping around and dating. You could say that she is the epitome of all that the “enemy” hates about America and its society. It therefore stands to reason that her stand up routines would frequently appear in torture playlists. Having said that, I am sure that if Sarah Silverman started her show a few years ago, she would be used instead. Personally, I find her amusing – but many people find her annoying. For your viewing pleasure I have included a clip of Janeane doing a standup routine.

1

Enter Sandman
Metallica

Just when you thought Metallica couldn’t damage their reputation any further, the morons wrote to the State Department saying they were “excited” that their music was being used in torture sessions and said that they were “honored” to be contributing to the war on terror. Nice one guys. Now, I am not saying that the torture is wrong or evil (I am also not saying it is good) – what I do think is wrong is to publicly state that you are “excited” about it.

Jamie Frater

Jamie is the founder of Listverse. He spends his time working on the site, doing research for new lists, and cooking. He is fascinated with all things morbid and bizarre.

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