66 years ago five U.S. torpedo bombers dubbed Flight 19 disappeared during a navigation training exercise in the area known as the Bermuda Triangle, claiming the lives of 14 airmen. It is commonly assumed that the flight became disoriented and lost, ran out of fuel, and then ditched in the ocean where they subsequently drowned. Nonetheless, the flight is the basis for much of the Bermuda Triangle's reputation as a mysterious place where ships and aircraft disappear without a trace.
As much as it pains us to argue with Charles Berlitz, we don't believe there is anything particularly uncanny in the Bermuda Triangle. Partly because it's a heavily travelled area where thousands of craft travel every day without incident. Mostly because there's another Triangle up near Massachusetts that is 1,000 times more terrifying.
Still, we're happy to admit that the Bermuda Triangle has quite a hold on the public imagination, and some very diverse artists have paid homage to it in song.
Yep, we're starting off with Barry, and we could've used an Enya song so lets not hear any complaints. Manilow is using the Triangle as an analogy for losing his girl, an idea so far-fetched we refuse to entertain it. Manilow does not lose girls.
We're more interested in what Hodgy has to say in this track from Goblin than Tyler. Though the reference is a bit oblique, it's clear that Hodgy is talking about the Bermuda Triangle via its more colorful nickname of the Devil's Triangle.
There's not much going on here besides the title, but "Happy Birthday Bermuda Triangle" is still a piercing song about the desire to up and disappear. We're willing to bet that few of the souls lost, mysteriously or not, in the waters of the Triangle did so willingly, but what do we know. Maybe there is some allure in running away into an enigma.
Any opportunity to use Mojo Nixon we are going to take... even though we got turned down when we asked to feature him in our 30 Seconds With column. We don't believe Elvis is still with us anymore than we believe that the Bermuda Triangle holds untold mysteries, but hey, if you're going to believe both then you might as well combine them.
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We'll let Frank Black tell it himself...
"On one hand, it's [the ocean] this big organic toilet. Things get flushed and repurified or decomposed and it's this big, dark, mysterious place", Black later said, "It's also a very mythological place where there are octopus's gardens, the Bermuda Triangle, Atlantis, and mermaids."