Friday 2 February 2007

how could we let it slip away?

Earworms of the Week

I don't know whether you would call this the short straw or not, but I decided it was time that we took a break from our run of Guest Editors in this slot to let me have a go for a change.

I don't think I can really count as a guest on my own blog, can I?

Ready? Let's go!

10. Bill Conti – Gonna Fly Now (theme from Rocky)

How could I leave this out? I’ve been earworming this now pretty solidly for at least 2 weeks. The highlight this week was when I went out for a run with C. at my mum and dad’s house on Saturday morning. I don’t usually run with C, and she doesn’t usually run as far as the route I take when I’m at home, but when we are staying down there, she’s taken to coming out with me. The route winds through the village, up over the M1 and on into Salcey Forest before looping back around, over the motorway again a little further down and then back home again. It’s about 5 miles in all. As we were approaching the second motorway bridge and crested the little hump, I began to sing this out loud. C. is not a Rocky fan, but she knew immediately what was required: she started shadow boxing as she ran and when she reached the middle of the bridge, she jumped up and down with both her arms up in the air.

We must have looked like right mentalists to anyone driving along the motorway, mind.

9. Rage Against The Machine – Killing In The Name Of

Another song that popped up when I was out running this week, coinciding with the word that the band are about to reform. There’s nothing quite like a bit of politically motivated, shouty rock music featuring some gloriously effective swearing in it to encourage you to pick your knees up when you’re feeling a bit tired.

8. The View – Same Jeans

I know Mark hates this, but earworm qualification has nothing to do with how great a record is. It’s certainly very catchy, and that’ll do me. I like the way that the accent of the singer and the general jauntiness of the song reminds me vaguely of The Sensational Alex Harvey Band.

7. Jamie T – Sheila

Jamie T’s album (“Panic Prevention”) finally came out on Monday, and I’ve been listening to it in my car as I drive backwards and forwards to the office. He’s one of those artists who is quite hard to categorise – he’s often compared with The Streets, but I think that’s a lazy description based upon the fact that they both speak / sing about the seamier side of English life. Actually, Jamie T is an altogether different kettle of fish, and I think a far better comparison is with Ian Dury.

Anyway. It’s early days for the album, but I do think that this is just a fantastic record. I’ve been pleased to note that the version on the album is both longer and swearier than the single.

Sheila’s mate Stella, incidentally and if you happen to be listening to this on the podcast, is the beer Stella Artois. I mention this as I believe it caused some shuffleathon confusion in the summer....

6. The Clash - London Calling

This was called to mind both by listening Paul Simonon’s unmistakeable bass playing on the Good, the Bad & The Queen album and because they played it in the pub on Tuesday night during the quiz.

It hardly needs me to point out what a brilliant band this lot were, but this is absolutely my favourite of their records. It just stalks along menacingly and I love it.

5. Panic! At The Disco – I Write Sins, Not Tragedies

Yes, it’s still in my head. I gave up and bought the album in the end. Nothing else on there quite lives up to this though.

I’m so Emo.

This ain’t a scene it’s an arms race.

4. Ben Folds – Rockin’ The Suburbs

Call me a messed up bundle of inconsistencies and contradictions, but I think this beautifully sarcastic attack to be a work of genius (if not the work of a genius)

Sue me.

"Y'all don't know what it's like
Being male, middle-class and white"

3. Simon & Garfunkel – I Am A Rock

I rate Paul Simon (“just step out the back, Jack”) as one of the great lyricists in music (“make a new plan, Stan”), and this song is ample evidence of that (“no need to be coy, Roy”). This is also one of those songs that works really well when you are in the car, because you can bellow along to it.

I think this is the first Simon & Garfunkel track that I ever heard, actually.

2. Nelly Furtado (feat. Chris Martin) – All Good Things (Come To An End).

I adore this song. Lord B, Hen and I spent a number of hours in the car together last weekend. To pass the time, we played the iPod shuffle game: we took it in turns to plug our iPods into the car stereo on random play and tried to guess the songs as they came up. We discovered along the way that out of the 9,000 odd songs on mine, I apparently don’t have a single happy song on there. Hen in particular wanted to kill herself after listening to this one. I love it; it’s just beautifully wistful.

The song was actually written by Chris Martin, and although he doesn’t appear on the official release, you are able to get hold of various versions of him performing the song with Nelly. It’s a great song anyway, but I think that Chris Martin really adds something to it, and the harmonies on the chorus are really nice.

“Dogs were whistling a new tune
Barking at the new moon
Hoping it would come soon so that they could die”

Give me a sick beat man, a sick beat.

Gorgeous song.

1. Chicago – If You Leave Me Now

This originally crept into my head a couple of weeks ago when I was trying to infect Hen’s earworm list. This struck me as just about the most infectious song ever written. Sure enough, it didn’t make Hen’s list, but has sat in my brain ever since. Serves me right really.

My shuffleathon CD from Jenni also arrived this week (more on that in a week or so)… and guess what song was lying in wait for me at track 7?

Oh yes.

“Oooooh oooooh oooh oooh ooooh oooo oooh ooooh ooo ooo
No baby please don’t go”

In fact, it’s been in my head for so long and so insistently now that it’s not so much a guilty pleasure as a way of life….


You've enjoyed the list..... now DOWNLOAD THE PODCAST!

Next Time: Pynchon (16/2)
Forthcoming Attractions: Mike fromTroubled Diva (ooooh!), I, Brummie


And on that bombshell.... I'm going skiing here next week. Look after yourselves, and I'll be back here next weekend.

Missing you already....


  1. Take care on those slopes. My friend C is currently languishing in a French hospital with two pins in her leg after taking a tumble on her first day.

  2. >the band are about to reform.


    Michael said EXACTLY what I was thinking so I will just throw my cap in the air and do a rock salute!

  3. Could be my favourite Simon & Garfunkel song. It was all about me at one point in my life.

    And I just love the Chicago track...

  4. Have a great time on the slopes! Hope y'all have nice weather.

    And, hey, how does one go about requesting a guest spot for earworming here?

  5. Have a great time on the slopes, and I love the podcast, maybe a little comentary on it as well.

  6. Fun track list — I love Ben Folds, and as a counterpart to Rockin' the Suburbs, I must suggest "Army." In some ways, it's even better.

    Also, to be completely self-promotional, I'm asking readers of my blog,, to help me program my iPod with interesting songs that you really like. So, if anyone wants to visit, I'd love your suggestions! Thank you.

  7. I read the latest Earworm post half an hour ago. I have had to come back as I now have "If You Leave Me Now" circling around in my head.