Tribute is a song by the 2-man rock band Tenacious D; the song, first put to wax in 2002, details the story of two travelers confronted by a demon (played, in the video, by Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters, said demon demanding they play "the best song in the world" for him, else he will eat their souls (putting aside the quixotic problem of how such an insubstantial thing as a "soul" could be masticated). So, the song tells, the duo dynamically spontaneously burst out with "the best {or "greatest"} song in the world," and so condemn the demon back from whence it came.

They then point out (in the song itself) that the song they are then singing is not the greatest song in the world, but is instead "just a tribute" to that song -- which they could not remember. This brings to mind the interesting ontological argument question of whether it is even possible to "know" something that is the greatest manifestation of a given abstraction, such knowledge being necessary to precipitate the actualisation of that manifestation.

The scene is replicated with a vital modification in the Tenacious D movie, The Pick of Destiny, but there the characters, engaged in a "rock-off" with the Devil, are not required to perform "the best song in the world" but merely one that rocks harder than the Devil's. Interestingly, they fail at this because the Devil's song is just soooo much more rockin' (with the Devil calling them lame and preparing to take KG as a sex slave as his prize) but evade the consequences of losing when the Devil's magic is reflected back at him off JB's guitar. The movie's reconceptualisation of the confrontation lifts from the players the burden of having to put out there a song which could match Tribute's promise of being "the best song in the world."

You are
looking the other way, as usual
Not as much disinterested as

I shouldn't care,
should not even lose a minute of sleep
but I do and I will

Your lack of interest,
delicate and lilac scented,
does not deter me.

You will continue looking the other way,
I will continue hoping you will glance at me by accident.

The fact that I hold out hope a mystery,
or perhaps just a tribute
to the blueness of your eyes

Trib"ute (?), n. [OE. tribut, L. tributum, fr. tribuere, tributum, to bestow, grant, pay, allot, assign, originally, to a tribe, from tribus tribe; cf. F. tribut. See Tribe, and cf. Attribute, Contribute.]


An annual or stated sum of money or other valuable thing, paid by one ruler or nation to another, either as an acknowledgment of submission, or as the price of peace and protection, or by virtue of some treaty; as, the Romans made their conquered countries pay tribute.

Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute. C. C. Pinckney.


A personal contribution, as of money, praise, service, etc., made in token of services rendered, or as that which is due or deserved; as, a tribute of affection.

Implores the passing tribute of a sigh. Gray.

3. Mining

A certain proportion of the ore raised, or of its value, given to the miner as his recompense.

Pryce. Tomlinson.

Tribute money, money paid as a tribute or tax. -- Tribute pitch. Mining See under Tributer. [Eng.]

Syn. -- See Subsidy.


© Webster 1913.

Trib"ute, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Tributed; p. pr. & vb. n. Tributing.]

To pay as tribute.


Whitlock (1654).


© Webster 1913.

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