Archive | Dec 23, 2017

Certain Songs #1080: The Magnetic Fields – “The Death of Ferdinand De Saussure”

Album: 69 Love Songs
Year: 1999

Since Ferdinand De Saussure died in 1913, the murder confessed to in the amazing second verse of this song probably didn’t happen.

He was a linguist who was a great contributor to what is called semiotics which — I think, cos I’m trying to boil this down from several wiki articles — is all about the relationship between a word (the signifier) and what it means (the signified). In Saussure’s mind, that relationship was completely arbitrary.