1001 Songs Challenge,  1990s,  Music

1001 Songs Challenge #756: Justified & Ancient (1991)

On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenging of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.

My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.

I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.

So long as I post everyday (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be…


The KLF featuring Tammy Wynette – Justified & Ancient (1991)

Justified & Ancient

” Justified & Ancient” is a song by British band The KLF. It was featured on their 1991 album, The White Room , but its origins date back to the duo’s debut album, 1987 (What the Fuck Is Going On?) .



We’re staying in the UK today, dear reader, but making our way from Bristol over to London. The KLF were formed in 1987 and had an uneasy relationship with the music industry, carrying out anarchistic actions such as defacing billboards and even deleting their back catalogue when they decided to abandon the industry in 1992. They went by other names such as the Justified Ancients of Mu Mu, The JAMs and The Timelords. We join them in 1991 with the release of Justified & Ancient.

Justified and Ancient dates back to the group’s debut work in 1987 but here we have a new version with Tammy Wynette providing some of the vocals. The song is rather peculiar with the lyrics concerning a journey to Mu Mu Land and using an ice cream van to traverse this path. The group were influenced by The Illuminatus! Trilogy written by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson and embraced some of the philosophy to be found in these texts. As I understand Mu Mu Land features in the trilogy but I have not read them so can’t comment for sure. 

This was an interesting collaboration with Tammy Wynette saying she was not 100% sure what she was singing about and although she knew about ice cream vans she had never heard of a “99”. I assume these are a British thing. I have had many a 99 in my time and can vouch for their excellence. As stated above, KLF disbanded in 1992 leaving a dead sheep at a party then deleting their entire back catalogue. Well, there are less interesting ways to bow out. Although this departure is true of the UK, the group have reformed over the years to release new music. They are certainly different to other acts.


Favourite songs so far:

The Animals – House of the Rising Sun (1964)

Simon & Garfunkel – The Sounds of Silence (1965)

The Beatles – A Day in the Life (1967)

The Doors – The End (1967)

Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here (1975)

Meat Loaf – Bat Out of Hell (1977)

Ultravox – Vienna (1980)

The Smiths – How Soon Is Now? (1984)

Tracy Chapman – Fast Car (1988)

U2 – One (1991)

My name is Dave and I live in Yorkshire in the north of England and have been here all my life. I hope you enjoy your visit to All is Ephemeral.

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