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It’s In The Name – Absurd Song Titles

With the return of Liverpool’s Half-Man, Half-Biscuit, a band whose song titles were often the highlight of their albums, we at ELM decided to have a look at some of the best song titles in music. Some are, of course, deliberately funny; some, of course, wandered across the line marked ‘dignity’ and passed into parody. We decided to limit the amount from Country music as that would be like shooting fish in a barrel, though special mention to the legendary ‘You’re The Reason The Kids Are So Ugly’.

Half-Man, Half-Biscuit – ‘Took Problem Chimp To Ideal Home Show’

Could have picked any one from half a dozen – and trust me, ‘Joy Division Oven Gloves’ ran it close – but for sheer absurdity mixed against the banality of the Ideal Home Show, this one had to get there.

The Bloodhound Gang – ‘You’re Pretty When I’m Drunk’

Puerile yet strangely universal male feeling sung by juvenile yet amusing US comedy rappers. Discusses in detail the concept of beer goggles and, alas, the unfortunate if unavoidable morning-after consequences.

Whitney Houston – ‘It’s Not Right, But It’s Okay’

First sign of Ms. Houston’s descent into drug casualty diva parody. Possibly apocryphal tale that title came about when producer was asked what he thought of the song. Makes as much sense as any other theory, right enough.

Samantha Fox – Hurt Me, Hurt Me (But The Pants Stay On)

Really, where do you start with this one? Former Page 3 Stunner turned celebrity lesbian Fox embarked on a solo career in the late 80’s. Britain sensibly ignored the music and continued simply to stare at her tits, but she did remarkably well in some territories off the beaten track, notably in Asia. This was, for example, absolutely massive in that well-known pop hotbed Thailand. What the fuck the lyric refers to, God only knows, but it appears to be a plea for an ex-boyfriend who has treated her badly to come back and she’ll give him another chance, but there will be no sex. Which, when you think about it, is a pretty rum offer for the boyfriend; he’s being an offered the chance to date a girl he has already dumped but won’t be getting his hole. No wonder she went off solids, the girl simply didn’t get men.

Sandi Thom – ‘I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker With Flowers In My Hair’

Palpably stupid pile of piss from  big-voiced, low-talent Scots singer. Displaying a total lack of knowledge of what either hippies or punks stood for, this cynical exploitation of two of modern musics most celebrated eras ingored the fact that if you were a punk rocker with flowers in your hair, you’d get the shit kicked out of you. She has thankfully sank without trace since this appeared, proving that there is at least some justice in the world.

Warren Zevon – ‘Roland The Headless Thompson Gunner’

Story of a mercenary who fought for hire in the 60’s. What makes it truly magnificent is that the first chorus refers to him as ‘Roland The Thompson Gunner’ because he doesn’t get his head blown off till the third verse. They didn’t call this guy’s boxset ‘Genius’ for nothing.

Bryan Adams – ‘The Only Thing That Looks Good On Me’

Strangely, the answer wasn’t a sealed up Tesco bag on his head, but, in fact, You. Yes, the only thing that looks good on Bryan Adams is, dear reader, You. Get a good mental picture of that.

AC/DC – ‘Big Balls’

It’s not big and it’s not clever, but this heartfelt tribute to the enormousness of Bon Scott’s testicles is still magnificent 30 years later. He had the biggest balls, by the way.

Morrissey – ‘You’re The One For Me, Fatty’

Before Moz completely lost his sense of humour and turned into the glum Indie Bryan Ferry he has become in the noughties, his solo stuff was full of cracking, whimsical nuggets like this. An anthem for the chubby-chasers of the world.

Britney Spears – ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’

This is a textbook for domestic abuse, surely?! Paedo-troubling video notwithstanding, Ms. Spears urges her boyfriend to slap her around a bit. Not really. Great tune, by the way.

The Prodigy – ‘Smack My Bitch Up’

Whereas this slice of pish-machismo from unfunny 90’s relics the Prodigy was as unpleasant as it’s title. Supposedly meant to be ‘ironic’, generally the last bastion of the twat. Thankfully a band of no lasting influence, their music was good for football fans to fight to and not much else. Have gone the same way as combat trousers, Sunny Delight and Select magazine as being ‘so last century’.

As I said, some deliberate, some not so much. I’ll let you decide which was which!


8 Responses

  1. Haven’t got the mitts on Half-Man’s latest yet. Have been hearing good things though!

  2. It’s brilliant, it really is. There is a song about people who park in handicap spaces called ‘Blue Badge Abuser’. I mean, come on! That’s genius!

  3. Favourite Half Man Half Biscuit tune is definitely The Referee’s Alphabet

    Wouldn’t it be fun
    If they gave the ref a gun?

  4. Haevens, that has so cheered up a dull monday at work. God Bless ELM.

  5. Thanks HW, much appreciated!

  6. Swineshead, I really wanted to get in ‘Running Order Squabble Fest’ – ‘You are going on after Krispy Ambulance!’

  7. Talking heads used to specialise in strange song titles;
    but somehow they always made it sound like art.

  8. Unfortunately Sandi Thom did release a new album recently Click here for my “review” : http://lamstock.wordpress.com/2008/05/23/in-the-crosshairs/

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