Category Archives: letsgetlyrical

Let’s Get Lyrical #35 – Goodbye Song

Best opening line to a song ever?  Check.

Only song ever written about that compulsive liar from primary school?  I believe so.

It’s Gareth Brown Says, by McLusky.  Thanks for listening.

All of your friends are cunts
Your mother is a ball-point pen thief
Notoriety follows you
Like beatings follow rain

Bring on the big guitars
You’ve got a prophets name

All of your tales are lies
You’ve never been to Alton towers
Michael Caine doesn’t follow you
And you’ve never been to Spain

Bring on the go-getters
You’ve got a prophet’s name

Gareth Brown says

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Let’s Get Lyrical #34 –

To wind down my lyrical posts, I thought I might have a look at snippets of lyrics from each of my top 10 most listened to tracks on These are the songs I have listened to most over the past four years.  A lot of them are ones I had on repeat during my last couple of years at university.

1. stellastarr* – My Coco (203 listens)

This is a bittersweet song of love lost, which is great to dance to. There aren’t any lyrical zingers, but I quite like the notion that the singer is upset but not angry about the enigmatic Coco vanishing without a trace.

You were gone when I came through, and I’ll remember you oh oh oh!
Well some day I’ll dance with you
When I’m dreaming, my Cococo.

2. Modest Mouse – Float On (193 listens)

Float On is good because it’s chilled.  It reminds me of indie nights at the student’s union in St Andrews.

I drove my car into a cop car, the other day.
Well he just drove off – sometimes life’s OK.

What a nice sentiment.

3. Aereogramme – I Don’t Need Your Love (149 listens)

See previous post for thoughts on this!

4. The Postal Service – Such Great Heights (146 listens)

This is just a nice love song.

I am thinking it’s a sign
That the freckles in our eyes
Are mirror images, and when we kiss
They’re perfectly aligned.


5. Aereogramme – Inkwell (144 listens)

Humble, callous one
I call you Inkwell

He isn’t the best in the world at nicknaming, clearly.

6. Hefner – The Day That Thatcher Dies (116 listens)

This is out and out brilliant, but my two favourite bits are:

It was love, but Tories don’t know what that means (IFBIT, LOL)


The playground taught her how to be cruel,
I talked politics and she called me a fool,
She wrapped her ankle chain round my left wing heart.

For some reason this puts me in mind of Adrian Mole.  Not sure why exactly.

7. Aereogramme – Barriers (115 listens)

See previous post again!

8. Idlewild – El Capitan (110 listens)

I hope you take your camera
To photograph my tears as they hit the ground

What an emo tastic notion!  A good tune though.

9. Arcade Fire – Crown of Love (108 listens)

I carved your name across my eyelids
You pray for rain, I pray for blindness

Violent, but it stays with you.

10. The Rapture – Whoo! Alright – Yeah… Uh Huh. (105 listens)

People don’t dance no more
They just stand there like this
They cross their arms and stare you down
And drink and moan and diss

It’s true.  Not like the old days when people broke out in dance at the drop of a hat.

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Let’s Get Lyrical #33 – Cancel The Astronauts

I like lyrics that make me laugh, and I’m sure you do too.

I Am The President Of Your Fan Club (And Last Night I Followed You Home) by Cancel The Astronauts is such a song. It starts out earnest and a bit sad, then dives into the realms of the tongue in cheek creepy without hesitation.

I wanted you
I hoped you wanted me too
I was strange enough
I shouldn’t ever need or deserve your love

Aww. Surely not the case?

I am the President of your fan club, and last night I followed you home.


Looked through your window, and don’t think I don’t know
That last night you weren’t alone.
Who was he?
Oh well I don’t know.
Will he be here tomorrow?
I don’t think so.

Nice. This may not be the most logical approach to winning the fair maiden, but at least it’s proactive.

I think my favourite part is:

I’m sitting here, sitting here, sitting here
In your room
Where have you gone tonight?

It’s funny because the weird stalker, who is presumably trespassing, is annoyed with the stalkee for not filling him in on her plans.  DO YOU SEE?

Other funny lyrics by Cancel The Astronauts include most of them.  You should get both EPs and download remaining tracks from

And watch their newest video as well:

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Let’s Get Lyrical #32 – Heat Magazine, and she loves Smash Hits

I can’t believe I forgot about this when I was talking about lyrics that tell a storyKid Canaveral‘s first single, Smash Hits.  It’s literally the lead singer telling an anecdote.

You met her at the 13th Note
She was there to see her brother’s band
I saw you try to chat her up
I even saw you try to take her hand
I just laughed to myself
Stood at the back and I had a drink
That’s when you staggered up,
Said “She’s fit but her music taste’s shite”
When I telt you it didn’t matter
You tell me
She likes the McFly
And you like Erase Errata


You saw her for a second time
You took her out to the UGC
You thought it would shut her up
The conversation turned musically
You’d called her an idiot
She showered you in her popcorn
She said
“Stick it up your arse, I don’t care if you think my music taste’s shite!”
when I tell you it didn’t matter
You remind me that you like John Martyn
And she hearts Neil Sedaka


I don’t really know what to tell you about this song.

– It piqued my curiosity about Erase Errata, and I own their album Other Animals as a direct result.  It’s alright.

– “Stick it up your arse, I don’t care if you think my music taste’s shite,” encapsulates the end result of countless arguments I have been involved in/witnessed over the years. 

– I actually think that a degree of overlap in musical taste is a pretty useful thing in relationships – although it seems that this girl was nothing if not eclectic in her listening choices, so she might’ve been open to John Martyn and Erase Errata.  If only the subject of the story had made her a mixtape, how different things might have been.

– Hand claps are an excellent addition to any song.

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Let’s Get Lyrical #31 – Happiness

There are a lot of songs that make me smile.  One of them is Look At Me (I’m A Winner)!! by The Aquabats.

If you listen to this and don’t feel happy, there is something wrong with you.

The best lyric is probably:

Someone once told me
You can’t lose em’ all
And that someone was you
But when I nail gunned my hand to the wall
I started to wonder if that could be true

I don’t think I really have to add anything to that, do I?

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Let’s Get Lyrical #30 – Unrequited Lurve

A lot of the lyrics I’ve written about come from songs that I don’t have a particular emotional connection to. This is probably because I’ve always found it harder to write about music I like than music I hate. I tend to worry that being effusive or sycophantic makes for dull reading, whereas pointing out the shortcomings of Paul McCartney and Wings is of course hi-larious.

But Let’s Get Lyrical is kind of meant to be about the lyrics that you love, so I think it’s time to post a few of those bad boys on here.

One of my favourite songs at university was Aereogramme’s I Dont Need Your Love, which was my companion during a period of unrequited love.  Specifically I like the part that goes:

We shouldn’t be

‘Here’ for me at the time was the awkward phase after confessing my feelings and being told they were not reciprocated, thank you very much, and don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

We shouldn’t be

We were good friends, and got on really well with one another, and I was a bit concerned I had ruined it.

We should be dancing

Not on our own, particularly, but as part of a big group of mates at the alternative music society’s bi-weekly club nights (at which we were both DJs).

We should be friends
Celebrate our victory
All over

We weren’t not friends, but it felt a little strained for a while.

Maybe time will tell
Only time will tell

It did – we’ve now been together for nearly three years.  Even though my favourite part was:

But I know
I don’t need your love
I don’t need your conscience
To base my life upon

I was very conscious at the time that I didn’t want to be one of those girls that wasted time by pining for some guy when they could be doing something constructive, like drinking gin and writing satirical news stories.  I was – and am – a strong and independent woman.  I didn’t need his love to validate me!  And anyway, I had love from all kinds of sources.

Perhaps I had a small case of ‘the lady doth protest too much’, but it’s a lovely song regardless.

I also found ‘Barriers‘ pertinent to my situation, particularly:

‘let me tell the truth/let me come alive/let me build bridges/into your life’.

Listening to these songs now makes me feel very nostalgic for my bench looking out over St Andrew’s East Sands on a starry night.  How pretentious of me.  But it made me happy.

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Let’s Get Lyrical #29 – Trololololo

Did you ever think, why write lyrics when there are so many perfectly good vowel sounds out there?

This guy did.

Apologies for the recent silence, I wrote an epic 23,722 words for 12 Books in 12 Months between Saturday and Monday, then started a new job today. Normal lyrical service will be resumed tomorrow.

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Let’s Get Lyrical #28 – Screaming Heebeegeebees

It has occurred to me that the seventies were a time of disco, a strange and terrible medium indeed. This is a song from an LP my dad used to have by The Screaming Heebeegeebees, a Bee Gees spoof band consisting of Angus Deayton, Michael Fenton Stevens and Philip Pope. Technically it was released in 1980, but it sums up the bygone era reasonably well.

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Let’s Get Lyrical #27 – Wings

Was there ever a more dreary song than Mull of Kintyre?  There are times when I hate it so much it gives me energy.  But then those feelings subside, and I’m left with a vague memory of nausea.

Muuuuuuuuuuuuuull of Kintyyyyyyyyyyyre,

It caterwauls, starting as it means to go on,

Oh, mist rolling in from the sea, my dee-saaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiirrre
is always to be here

Sweet shaving grandmothers (as I.M.Weasel used to say), I already wish I was almost anywhere else, and you’ve barely got started.

Oh, Mull of Kintyre

What is a mull, anyway?

Far have I travelled and much have I seen

When people still liked me cause I was in The Beatles writing pop music rather than dirge.

Darkest of mountains with valleys of green
Past painted deserts the sun sets on fire
As he carries me home to the Mull of Kintyre

Sorry, deserts?  In the south west of Scotland?


Sweep through the heather like deer in the glen

Way to encapsulate the essence of Scotland, Sir Paul.  Deer doing housework.

Carry me back to the days I knew then


Nights when we sang like a heavenly choir
of the life and the times of the Mull of Kintyre



Smiles in the sunshine and tears in the rain

Wow, this narrative is layered.  In the sense that there is definitely one layer.

Still take me back where my memories remain

Like the Metallica song?

Flickering embers go higher and higher

Embers don’t go high, you futtock.  You’re thinking of flames.

as they carry me back to the Mull of Kintyre

Embers pretty much don’t carry you anywhere either, on account of being HOT COALS.  Unless this is a metaphor.  Did he go to Kintyre on the Hogwarts Express, and take a nosy at the engine on the way?  Nobody knows.  OR CARES.

[Chorus x a million]

*kills self*

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Let’s Get Lyrical #26 – Ken Lee

There were some pretty epic love songs released in the seventies, but one of the best has to be Nilsson’s Without You, a track which tells of love inexplicably lost. Seriously, at no point does he even vaguely hint at what went wrong with this relationship. I’m not actually convinced the partner definitely left.

No, I can’t forget this evening,
Or your face as you were leaving.
But I guess that’s just the way the story goes,

Actually, that’s demonstrably untrue. Most people can’t remember the facial expressions of loved ones a week later, never mind holding onto an image of their pouty visage until Alzheimer’s kicks in. You will forget this evening, Nilsson, and you will forget his or her face. Unless you’ve been doing a bit of secret filming.

You always smile but in your eyes your sorrow shows.
Yes, it shows.

OR, maybe your love interest is actually fine, and you’re being paranoid.

No, I can’t forget tomorrow,

Do you know why that might be, sir? That’s right, because it hasn’t happened yet. Do you think that you are alone with this affliction? NOBODY IN THE WORLD CAN FORGET TOMORROW. Except maybe Doctor Who, but I don’t think he ever really forgets completely.

When I think of all my sorrow;

Oh, man up. You should get a load of this guy before you tell folk you’ve got it bad.

When I had you there but then I let you go.

That can only be a good thing. Holding people against their will rarely ends well, relationship-wise.

And now it’s only fair that I should let you know,
What you should know.

OK, if you think it’ll help.

I can’t live if living is without you.

You seem to be doing OK so far. You’ve written and recorded this song, for a start.

I can’t live, I can’t give any more.

But you can though. Look at you go!

I can’t live if living is without you.
I can’t give, I can’t give any more.

Alright, fine. We’ll have to agree to disagree.

Then the whole thing repeats again, but gets increasingly more drawn out and dramatic. Lyrically dubious but AMAZING to sing along to when you’ve had a couple of gins too many. Or, a way of teaching yourself English:

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