(original, chuckle)

Last night, I was out trashing a few brain cells on Walnut Street at a bar that features a CD jukebox. If you're so inclined, you can select the 20-minute version of "Whipping Post," although the bartender will probably treat you with disdain thereafter. Come to think of it, he'll treat you with disdain anyway, especially if you don't leave a big tip. My cell-trashing cohort punched up Steely Dan's "Hey, Nineteen," whereupon I remarked, "There aren't many songs with a prime number in their title, but that's one of them." Here are some of the others: 1. As I recall from grade school math classes, 1 is neither prime nor composite, but this seems arbitrary, as if it were decided by a consortium of textbook publishers, not real mathematicians. The Texas state legislature recently tried to set the value of pi to 3 or 22/7, I forget which, so 1 may be a radioisotope in Galveston, for all I know. 2. Tea for Two Cocktails for Two (there must be dozens more...) 3. Three Coins in the Fountain 5. Take Five (Dave Brubeck) 7. Dance of the Seven Veils, from "Salome" (Richard Strauss) 17. Seventeen (Janis Ian) 19. Hey, Nineteen (Steely Dan) 67. Questions 67 and 68 (Chicago Transit Authority) 409. She's Real Fine, My 409 (Beach Boys) 1999. Party 'til It's 1999 (Prince) There must be a song with the word "eleven" in it, but I can't think of one. Opus numbers, or things like "Shostakovitch's Symphony No. 11" don't count; otherwise, Haydn would have a symphony for every two-digit prime. Kirschl (sp?) numbers, named after Mozart's librarian, and used to catalog his works, will also be rejected. I'm going to go out on a limb and declare that Prince's "1999" has the highest prime number of any song ever written. In case you're thinking "What about Richard Strauss's 'Also Sprach Zarathustra,' a.k.a. 'Theme from 2001?'" take note that 2001 is divisible by 3. Chicago's "25 or 6 to 4" contains no primes, but deserves a special citation for being the only song title with two perfect squares. Clearly, this is more fun than trying to find the names of classical compositions on liquor bottles. Once you get past "Finlandia" and Beethoven's "Triple Sec Concerto," there isn't much else. I think I'll go back to the bar tonight and see if they have "Fibonacci's Greatest Hits." -- Musically yours, jcj

(From the "Rest" of RHF)