Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Greatest ever song titles

I wrote a post last year about my favourite song lyrics of all time. It still gets regular hits and I've been meaning to follow it up for ages with some of my favourite song titles. I was pushed along in this direction the first time I heard Jarvis Cocker's "Cunts are still running the world".

Apparently Jarvis doesn't think the current wave of "socially conscious" rock festivals (like Live8) are achieving much and this song was his response. You can check it out on his MySpace page if you're so inclined.

Because I am both angry and extremely immature, an in-your-face title like that with swearing included appeals to me. A theme you'll see repeated in the list below. Another common theme is long song titles. For some reason I tend to find long song titles funny. Maybe because they aren't used very often they stand out more. Anyway, without further ado, my list (as always, feel free to add your own selections):

"Why don't you all get fucked?" - Skyhooks
Skyhooks were very big in Australia in the 70s. This song is from the tail end of their career so maybe it was a desperate grab for attention. I thought the lyrics were hilarious when I was at school and I still think they're hilarious today. I particularly like towards the end when the singer basically goes on a spoken word rant saying "Why don't you and you and you and you And your rotten friends too Why don't you and him and not forgettin' you Why dontcha all get fucked?!"

"You are the generation that bought more shoes and you get what you deserve" - Johnny Boy
Either very deep or very fatuous, I'm not sure. It has the bonus of being a pretty good pop song too (See the video on YouTube here)

"Regretting What I Said to You When You Called Me 11:00 On a Friday Morning to Tell Me that at 1:00 Friday Afternoon You're Gonna Leave Your Office, Go Downstairs, Hail a Cab to Go Out to the Airport to Catch a Plane to Go Skiing in the Alps for Two Weeks, Not that I Wanted to Go With You, I Wasn't Able to Leave Town, I'm Not a Very Good Skier, I Couldn't Expect You to Pay My Way, But After Going Out With You for Three Years I DON'T Like Surprises!" - Christin Lavin
I'm not sure if this is the longest song title in the world but it must be close. It's usually summarised as "Regretting what I said..." and it's subtitled "A musical apology". It's also a very funny song. Christine Lavin is a folkie kind of singer/songwriter from New York and she's also one of the best live performers I've ever seen. She also invented the term "Sensitive New Age Guy" (and I was the first person in Australia ever to be called a SNAG - by her). She's a genius.

"Sick with the taste of truckers' come" - Machine Gun Fellatio
Someone had to write a song about truck stop whores I guess. Australian band MGF were the ones to come up with the lyrics to do such an important subject justice.

"The saddest thing I've ever seen was smokers outside the hospital door" - Editors
Some unusual lyrics and I've actually seen this in real life. Outside a cardiac unit at a hospital. Smokers pushing their drips alongside them because even though they're nearly fucking dead they won't stop smoking. Waste of fucking money treating these people.

"I might be a cunt but I'm not a fucking cunt" - This Is Serious Mum
Another Australian band (filthy-mouthed bastard, aren't we?) TISM wore masks for their whole career to protect their anonymity (another reason I like them). I think they were sick of not being really famous when they recorded this number - it seems a premeditated grab for notoriety. They did actually earn the ire of the arch-conservative Bruce Ruxton who was then head of the Returned Services League (RSL). The fact that he wrote a letter of complaint marks perhaps the only time in history the word "cunt" has appeared under RSL letterhead.

"I want to spill the blood of a hippy" - Doug Anthony All Stars
Don't we all feel like this some days? Besides writing funny songs, DAAS were also very good live performers. Check out a YouTube video example here.

"I like your old stuff better than your new stuff" - Regurgitator
I like this one because it was the first track on their second album, thus neatly heading off the usual bullshit bands get as their career progresses. They also released a rock version as a single titled "I like your old remix better than your new remix". Regurgitator changed style regularly but they always remained masters of irony with lines like "They’re fucked now and they’re sure not what they used to be".

"My spine is the bassline" - Shriekback
The perfect song title for a band who were all about the bass and the funk.

"A plane scraped its belly on a sooty yellow moon" - Roni Size and Sould Coughing (from the Spawn soundtrack)
Remember that fad in the 90s of teaming up dance/pop acts with metal/hardcore acts to make movie soundtracks? This was from one of those ventures. The track is OK but I just like the nonsensical title.

"Clubbed to death" - Rob Dougan
A simple and clever title. This club instrumental was made famous when it was included on the soundtrack for "The Matrix". I just love the elegance of the pun in the title.

"Shut the fuck up" - The Deadly Hume
A fringe band from the 80s. They were based in Sydney and were named after a notoriously dangerous highway. And they summed up my life philosophy with that song. Soon to appear on a Mr Angry t-shirt.

Speaking of which, I'd better finalise that competition. Damn. Another day.

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