Greatest song titles ever

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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18 Comments

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18 responses to “Greatest song titles ever

  1. tism and daas – seen em both, great live acts.

    how about tism’s “anarchy means crossing when it says “don’t walk” “, or “i’m on the drug that killed river phoenix” ?

    i seem to recall “i’m interested in apathy” ? oh, and almost anything by morrissey or the flaming lips would be swell…

  2. Love TISM. You and my mate Butler would get along like a house on fire (is that strine?), but for now, and for something completely different, I appear to have fallen into a VB can.

    And I can’t swim.

  3. And the Jarvis Cocker link doesn’t work. (just an observation..)

  4. vetti: TISM have dozens of great song titles, it was hard to pick just one.

    Gruntski: You’ll hafta drink your way out mate. And thanks for the tip, they block MySpace at work (I uploaded this during my lunch hour) so I couldn’t check the link then. Fixed now.

  5. Clubbed to Death is pretty clever :)

  6. Well hell… I had to Google it.. I just had to. Mr. Angry, *THIS* song is right up your alley!

    The World’s Longest Song Title -

    Swedish group: Rednex
    (52 words and 305 characters incl. spaces)

    “The Sad But True Story of Ray Mingus, The Lumberjack of Bulk Rock City, And His Never Slacking Stribe in Exploiting The S Far Undiscovered Areas Of The Intention To Bodily Intercourse From The Oppostie Species Of His Kid, During Intake Of All The Mental Condistion That Could Be Derived From Fermentation”

    Lyrics are ROCKING!!! ;)

    It’s been a pretty long time, baby
    But now, I’m back in town
    It’s time to leave your husband
    Now you know that little clown

    Last time we were seeing
    Didn’t you beg for more
    It’s OK with me as long
    As you do it four on the floor

    This is what I’m giving you, you’ll get it all tonight
    You will be my lover, but not my tender wife
    I’ll be harder than your husband, I’ll be harder than your man
    I’ll hit you with my twenty inch until you can not stand
    I’ll be harder than your husband, I’ll be harder than your man
    I’ll hit you with my twenty inch until you can not stand

    I’ve missed the little North Pole
    On the bottom of my twister
    Here’s the one-eyed-worm
    Now you’ll never be a sister

    Well, it’s time to leave now
    You better walk her home
    Don’t forget you underwear
    You look pretty stoned

    This is what I’m giving you, you’ll get it all tonight
    You will be my lover, but not my tender wife
    I’ll be harder than your husband, I’ll be harder than your man
    I’ll hit you with my twenty inch until you can not stand

    I’ll be harder than your husband, I’ll be harder than your man
    I’ll hit you with my twenty inch until you can not stand
    I’ll be harder than your husband, I’ll be harder than your man
    I’ll be harder than your husband, I’ll be harder than your man

  7. I remember “Sensitive New Age Guy”! I LOVED that song, it was hysterical. It also inspired me to dump my boyfriend at the time because the song made me realize that what I really wanted was a boyfriend, not someone to go shoe shopping with.

  8. Dragon76

    Fiona Apple owns the longest title honour.

    When the Pawn Hits the Conflicts He Thinks like a King What He Knows Throws the Blows When He Goes to the Fight and He’ll Win the Whole Thing Fore He Enters the Ring There’s No Body to Batter When Your Mind Is Your Might So When You Go Solo, You Hold Your Own Hand and Remember That Depth Is the Greatest of Heights and If You Know Where You Stand, Then You’ll Know Where to Land and If You Fall It Won’t Matter, Cuz You Know That You’re Right. The title is a poem Apple wrote after reading the readers’ letters that appeared in Spin after an article had cast her in a negative light in an earlier issue.

    The title’s length earned it a spot in the Guinness Book of Records.

  9. MGF has a lot of fantastic titles. How about “Butter My Arse With a Pigeon”?

    http://mikeelliottsblog.wordpress.com

  10. Simonne: it’s a damn fine track too!

    cinnkitty: thanks for sharing, those guys sound funny

    QofD: hahahaha the poor guy probably thought he was doing the right thing. he should stop reading women’s magazines

    Dragon: nice bit of research :)

    Mike: they were certainly inventive. PS you should avoid putting your URL in the cmment body, you’ll end up getting caught in Akismet’s spam filter.

  11. startingtoday

    I love the “Regretting what I said…” song title. Not brief, but description. Certainly doesn’t leave you hanging trying to figure out what the song is about.

    Of course I also like the title “Shut the fuck up” by the Deadly Hume.

  12. startingtoday

    I mean descriptive. Not description.

  13. One of the funny things about “regretting what I said…” is she reads the title out at the start and it’s a really short song. Reading the title takes almost as long as singing the song.

  14. Pingback: I might be a cunt but I’m not a fucking cunt « Good Fish, Bad Fish.

  15. Miami

    I am quite a fan of the title of the Dethklok song “I Tamper With The Evidence At The Murder Site Of Odin.” Other great Dethklok titles include “Murmaider,” “Bloodrocuted,” “Briefcase Full Of Guts,” and “Laser Cannon Deth Sentence.”

  16. nikki

    Brand New has some pretty cool titles for their songs…

    1) Okay I Believe You But My Tommy Gun Don’t

    2) Good to Know That if I Ever Need Attention All I Have to do is Die

  17. Paul

    i wrote a song called “if the carebear countdown started at 100, nothing would get done except for a whole lot of backwards counting.”

  18. Andy

    *Johny Ramone was in a fucking good band but he was a cunt
    *Fuck you and your stupid band
    *U.S.Anus
    *Genitals are funny
    *My girlfriends a man
    *Fuck you you fucking fuckwit (you can’t move into my house)

    Just a few from Frenzal Rhomb.

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