I like list songs.
Mary Lou Lord performs one stand-out, ‘His Indie World’, a nicely twee tribute to boys who love a particular type of band. In it she reels off the names of a number of lo-fi types, even rhyming ‘Sebadoh’, ‘Sentridoh’ and ‘I don’t know’ in one verse. This takes a particularly rare kind of talent indeed.
Then there’s ‘I’ve been Everywhere’, most famously performed by Johnny Cash, but far more satisfying in its original Australian guise, if only because you don’t get to hear the names ‘Woolloomooloo’ and ‘Woodenbong’ mentioned in song too often.
My favourite, however, is ’88 Lines About 44 Women’ by The Nails, which is almost certainly unique amongst list songs in that you know exactly what you’re getting before it starts. There’s no messing around, no ambiguity: in all likelihood the single came shrink-wrapped with a warning declaring ATTENTION: THIS IS A LIST SONG. GOT THAT?
It’s also a completely pointless record. It doesn’t really have a beginning, a middle or an end. There’s no proper verses and definitely no chorus, unless you count the tuneless humming. It’s literally a list of ladies and their likes, read out in increasingly hysterical fashion over an electronic backing that sounds as if it came free with a breakfast cereal.
It’s a triumph.
Update: It’s like waiting for buses. I haven’t written about music in an age, then three entries come along at once. The third is over at the Greencine blog, where I rattle on at length about some music films you might not have seen.