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The Friday 5 – Like snorting candyfloss; 5 cloying songs

Dildo (Obvious joke, no apologies)Sentimentality is a blessing and a curse. In truth, it helps separate us from the animals, but in the grand scheme of things, the ability weep at the Care Bears movie has probably blunted our ability to rip heads off animals with our bare hands and eat their flesh raw. Were Vikings sentimental? I doubt it. I can hardly see Olaf and the boys setting sail with visions of their own route to Valhalla whilst tucking an etching of their cat down their bearskin pants. Wouldn’t really get you in the mood for all the action would it? (Interestingly, the one place spared from such atrocities was Aberdeen, after the initial scout party came back and said ‘take my word for it boys, stick to pillage here.’)

Music is not exempt from this modern emotion. Frankly, there is nothing the British public like more than somebody tugging at their heartstrings. From Deadwife on X Factor to Jade Goody to singing children, we love a bit of faux emotion. The British a cold-hearted, diffident bunch? Went out with the Sweeney, mate, and all the poorer for it we are. Let’s look at five songs which are utterly repellent in their idiot-pandering;

Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight

Beloved at weddings by halfwits, this dreary song is about Clapton and his missus going for a night out and having a nice time. Revolutionary. Apart from lyrics which defile the language of Shakespeare, Clapton’s unlovely, reedy voice – think the noise a dying robin would make as a group of ASBO holders stomped it to death – ratchets the overwhelming sense of emptiness to terrifying levels. This is a song guaranteed to make a certain type of woman cry, but then again, so is a boot in the fanny and that’s illegal. Just nudged ahead of ‘Tears in Heaven’. Sorry about the kid and all, but….Jebus.

Cat Stevens – Father & Son

If cannabis doesn’t affect your brain, then why was Cat Stevens so popular? With his strumalong simplicity and tunes so obvious he could have been a songwriter for the Wombles, he strode the world like a weedy colossus, boring a generation so much they had to start sticking safety pins in their ears and spitting just to try and feel anything through the ensuing ennui. This is a genuine candidate for the worst song ever, and I do not say that lightly in a world where Razorlight are still active, Stevens whines away, in that peculiarly solipsistic 70’s milieu, before the song collapses under the weight of its own piousness. Just a dreadful waste of energy all round.

Elton John – Candle in the Fucking Wind ‘97

You probably didn’t hear at the time, but Princess Diana was killed in a car crash in 1997. This – not famine, war, injustice or ITV cancelling Gladiators – caused Britain to go into meltdown. Elton John, who was like a sort of gay Grim Reaper at this point, had been friends with the Princess and amended his actually-not-bad 70’s hit for a modern audience to weep about a woman they’d never met and whom they’d spent years on phone-ins calling a whore. ‘Goodbye England’s Rose’, he sang, while everyone north of Hadrian’s Wall silently accepted the trade-off of guaranteed heart disease for meaning we didn’t have to be part of this. It’s not difficult to find things to hate about Elton, so I’m not even going to try. Loathsome little arse.

Snow Patrol – Chasing Cars

Gary Lightbody could well be the only human made up of 100% water, so wet is his songwriting. Bafflingly popular, it’s like a bath full of amniotic fluid, designed to lull you into sensory deprivation. For people who find Alan Carr daring, really.

Dido – Thank You

The Queen of Empty Nothingness, this is the aural equivalent of a coffee table. Dido’s singular lack of personality seeps into her music, rendering it a grey, amorphous pile of formless goo. This, in turn, is bought by people who like Mondeos. You really can imagine that her record sits proudly next to Level 42 in most of her fans CD racks. And that voice! Good God, it’s like someone had taken a chisel to Dusty Springfield’s throat. Dido remains a valid argument for the legalisation of dullard genocide.

So songs best avoided, but that’s not always a possibility. Should you be exposed to one of these, run immediately to the nearest available source of serious rock – that’s rock spelled RAWK, mind – and get a transfusion.

Have a good one….

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2 Responses

  1. elton john ? the gay grim reaper…is that second “g ” silent ?

    mustve been hard not to fit ” the lady in red ” into that list.

  2. It was. And even that is not as bad as ‘Missing You’ by the poison dwarf.

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