The frustration of false information (Or: searching for song lyrics)

There is a great song in the middle of Episode 12 (“Isabella”) of the Sopranos. It’s the scene where Tony Soprano goes out to buy a paper and some juice and nearly gets shot and killed by the two guys paid to kill him. I had the tune of the song in my head, but didn’t know the words, the name of the song or who sang it.

So this evening, I set about doing a search for the song so, perhaps, I could buy it and download it to my iPod.

It’s a pretty straight forward thing to do. I did a search for “Sopranos music” and came up with a number of hits, all of which listed songs by episode. Here are the songs that are listed for Episode 12:

  1. Tipsy – “Ugly Stadium”
  2. Thornetta Davis – “Cry”
  3. Garbage – “Tempation Waits”
  4. Tindersticks – “Ballad of Tindersticks”
  5. Al DiMeola – “Milonga del Angel”
  6. Cream – “I Feel Free”

I then proceeded to check for each song on iTunes and listened to the preview. And would you believe that none of the songs sounded like a match to what I had in my head? I thought perhaps there were different versions of the songs so I also listened to previews on Barnes & Nothing sounded right to me.

I popped in the DVD and watched the scene to make sure I’d remembered it correctly, and sure enough, I had. But it didn’t match any of the songs on the lists. I went to the source, the Official Sopranos website on They had a music list by episode and that list was also identical to the one above.

To me, there were only two possibly explanations: either the list was wrong, or it left off a song.

So I listened carefully to the lyrics in the scene, and picked out a what I thought was a good sample, and typed those lyrics into a google search.

And I got a perfect match: Tiny Tears by the Tindersticks.

Now this is the interesting part. All of the song lists, including HBO’s “official” list, for that episode list a Tindersticks song called “Ballad of Tindersticks”. Clearly someone entered the wrong song. But all of these other websites probably never checked their facts, or even confirmed the lists were correct. They all took for granted what was there and reproduced it without question–which just goes to show you how useful the Internet can be for disseminating false information.

There is a happy ending, however. “Tiny Tears” was available on the Apple Music Store, and I’m listening to it right now.