Earworms of the Week
Ein Bier Bitte / “Colonel Bogey March”
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not particularly up to speed with the Germanic charts, but I have to admit that I found the music that I heard blasting out of the cafes and bars in Austria a little bit of a mystery. I’m familiar – sadly – with DJ Otzi, but hadn’t quite appreciated how so much Euro Pop appears to have the exact same moronic beat hammering away in the background, apparently irrespective of the song playing over the top. They seem to like it, but I can’t help but think of it as music for mouth-breathers. We stopped for lunch one sunny day in Saalbach, and was bemused by one particular number that appeared to feature this default euro-beat with some sort of bier keller shouting that suddenly broke into the refrain from “Hitler has only got one ball” (with different words). Now, I’m not daft enough to think that the WWII classic is an original, and it may well have had it’s melodic origins in German beer halls… but even so, it was a little incongruous to say the least. Things made a little more sense when the “singers” suddenly burst into a sustained, repeated chorus of “bier bitte, bier bitte, bier bitte…”. That, at least, we can all relate to.
“Manhattan Skyline” – A-ha
A bit of a perennial this one. I have many, many songs by A-ha on my iPod and most are excellent. This, however, appears to be the only song by A-ha that ever plays inside my head.
“Long Sleeves for the Summer” – Gene
Funny that this song should pop up on shuffle whilst I’m running through the snow along an icy cold canal towpath, wrapped up from head to foot in thermal layers…. But pop up it did, and it’s always welcome. Gene at their wistful best. Not an obvious running song, perhaps, but it works for me.
“Loughborough Suicide” – Young Knives
East Midlands appropriate, at least. Love the Young Knives. No other band sounds (or dresses) quite like them. I like the desert boots/tweed look, and have been known to model it myself from time to time. In fact, with a bit more facial hair, I’d say that they could work the Urban Lumberjack look.
“Mason on the Boundary” - The Duckworth Lewis Method
It’s funny that the musicians to best capture the spirit of cricket should be a pair of Irishmen. I absolutely love the album this song comes from, with its wistful, appreciative jaunts through the quirky, whimsical, colonial delights of the game. Those of us who have loved cricket for many years know better than to get to upset or excited that our vaunted, no1 in the world, team have just been beaten 3-0 by Pakistan. Well-played Pakistan, I say.
“Magic Carpet Ride” – Steppenwolf
I love the Team America: World Police OST. This isn’t actually on the album, but it features prominently in a memorable scene in the film and it’s also a magnificent piece of period rock. Dig that groovy riff, man.
“Devil Woman” – Cliff Richard
Second song on my list when people ask me what Cliff Richard has ever contributed musically to the world. Wired for Sound is first, of course, boosted as it is by the timeless video of his cliffness roller-skating through a deserted Milton Keynes shopping centre near the side entrance to John Lewis. This song is a pretty close second though…. Partly because it’s so unlikely to think of anyone bothering to try and seduce Cliff, but also because it reminds me of being driven to school by my mum with her Cliff cassette on the stereo. This was always my favourite.
“Fire” – Jimi Hendrix
Loose-limbed guitar genius. I quite like the speeded-up RHCP version, but this is vastly superior. Move over Rover….
“Like Dylan in the Movies” – Belle & Sebastian
A band I hated without hearing and the song that changed my mind. Turns out that those awful, pretentious, fey indie wastrels were EXACTLY up my street after all. Damn them.
“Four Seasons in One Day” – Crowded House
I wouldn’t say that Crowded House were one of my favourite bands, but whenever I sit down to listen to them, I realise all over again what a brilliant songwriter Neil Finn is. “Weather With You” has been played to death, obviously, but there are plenty of beautiful classics to enjoy. This one might be talking about relationships or some shizzle like that, but he could easily be talking about the New Zealand climate too. That the genius of it, you see. You see?
That’s it. I’m done. Long week over. Have a great weekend y’all and see you on the other side.