We are the tables

As the upload of Robert Wyatt’s A short break completes, I have now ripped my entire CD collection; rather smaller than my vinyl collection, but it still amounts to 2690 songs (or seven days and 20 hours, as iTunes helpfully informs me). So let’s do this properly. Hit it! (And for a bonus point, name two Talking Heads songs where David Byrne uses that un-David-Byrne-like expression.)

Step 1: Put your media-player on random play.
Step 2: Write down the first line from the first 20 songs that play.
Step 3: Let everyone guess what song the lines come from.
Step 4: Cross out the songs when someone guesses correctly.

Same rules as before: no instrumentals, no sampled spoken-word, no songs with the title in the first line and nothing I don’t recognise myself. Also no repeats from the first time I did this – in fact, nothing from the same album as anything that came up the first time round. And no two songs from the same artist. Simple, really. I don’t know why we don’t do this kind of thing more often.

Update 17th June – remaining beans spilled.

  1. “You’re the only woman I need, and baby you know it”
    – Amen Corner, “Bend me, shape me”
  2. “Ar ol llond poced o fadarch roes ti’r ty ar dan”
    – SFA, “Dim Bendith”
  3. “My eyes burn naked, my black cold numbers, my insecurities, my devious nature, make it go away”
    – Underworld, “Sola Sistim”
  4. “The last message you sent said I looked really down”
    – Franz Ferdinand, “You could have it so much better”
  5. “See me comin’ to town with my soul”
    – Beck, “E-Pro”
  6. “Did you ever hover in the distance?”
    – Robyn Hitchcock, “Oceanside”
  7. “Nobody feels any pain tonight as I stand inside the rain”
    – Bob Dylan, “Just like a woman”
  8. “I want to chill, want to sit real still, want to sleep like the dead on a bed of roses”
    – the Divine Comedy, “Bad ambassador”
  9. “Last night your shadow fell upon my lonely room”
    – the Electric Prunes, “I had too much to dream last night”
  10. “Alcohol, heroin, THC, care in the impotent community”
    – Fatima Mansions, “Chemical Cosh”
  11. “Over an ocean away, like salmon, turning back for Nayram”
    – Robert Wyatt, “Maryan”
  12. “You’ve been away so long, too long, what’s wrong with us today?”
    – Lightning Seeds, “What if”
  13. “I’m on a roll, I’m on a roll this time”
    – Radiohead, “Lucky”
  14. “I don’t want to lose her, I don’t want to hurt her, I don’t want to lose her”
    – Mull Historical Society, “Her is you”
  15. “Sitting in the classroom, thinking it’s a drag”
    – Brownsville Station (covered by REM), “Smokin’ in the boys’ room”
  16. “There’s a farm called Misery, but of that we’ll have none”
    – Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, “Jollity Farm”
  17. “Here comes Johnny Yen again”
    – Iggy Pop, “Lust for Life”
  18. “I saw two shadow men on the Vallance Road”
    – the Libertines, “Up the bracket”
  19. “Reporting damage, it is soft rock shit”
    – Cornershop, “Lessons learned from Rocky I to Rocky III”
  20. “Damn that television!”
    – Talking Heads, “Found a job”
  21. “When the last frost of Winter has thawed”
    – Nothing Painted Blue, “Career Day”
  22. “Hi, we’re your weather girls, and have we got news for you!”
    – the Weather Girls, “Why don’t you eat carrots?”

Definitely more representative of my collection than the previous take; I think it might be easier, too. Over to you.

Update 2nd June: I realised when I got to the end of this list that I’d missed one out. So now there are 21.

Another update, 5th June: Paul (comments) has me bang to rights – there were actually two that got missed out. Oh well, make it 22.


  1. John
    Posted 31 May 2006 at 20:08 | Permalink | Reply

    12. What if – The Lightning Seeds
    17. Lust for Life – Iggy Pop

  2. Ian
    Posted 1 June 2006 at 01:58 | Permalink | Reply

    16 Jollity Farm – Bonzo Dog Band

  3. Justin
    Posted 2 June 2006 at 13:47 | Permalink | Reply

    8. Bad Ambassador – Divine Comedy

  4. Phil
    Posted 2 June 2006 at 15:37 | Permalink | Reply

    Ian – I think at that stage they still had the Doo-Dah. I’m not sure whether or not they put it back in for the reunion gig (BBC4 tonight!); I don’t suppose it matters.

    Just – yep. There are 9 or 10 on that list that I’ll be particularly pleased to see somebody get, and that’s one of them. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to abseil down my ivory tower and buy myself a Jaguar…

  5. Rob Jubb
    Posted 3 June 2006 at 16:15 | Permalink | Reply

    10 is probably Alabama 3, but I don’t know anything of there’s beyond the song used for the Sopranos credits, so…

    I know I know 4, but I can’t think what it is.

    10, though, 10 is Lucky by Radiohead, from OK Computer.

  6. Phil
    Posted 3 June 2006 at 17:01 | Permalink | Reply

    Rob – it does, but it isn’t; I’ve only got two A3 songs, and they’ve both got the title in the first line.

    You’ve got 13, of course. I love that song, although I haven’t got OK Computer (it’s on Help).

  7. Phil
    Posted 3 June 2006 at 17:02 | Permalink | Reply

    it does, but it isn’t

    Oops – it does sound like Alabama 3, I mean.

  8. Rob Jubb
    Posted 3 June 2006 at 17:47 | Permalink | Reply

    And I meant 13, and can’t spell their. :)

  9. Brooklynite
    Posted 5 June 2006 at 03:47 | Permalink | Reply

    7. Bob Dylan, “Just Like A Woman.”
    20. Talking Heads, “Found a Job.”

  10. Rochenko
    Posted 5 June 2006 at 12:14 | Permalink | Reply

    #1 Amen Corner – Bend Me Shape Me
    #9 Electric Prunes – I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night

  11. Paulie
    Posted 5 June 2006 at 12:19 | Permalink | Reply

    I detect a bit of sanitisation going on here Phil. Where is the Cindi Lauper-type stuff gone? It can’t have all been swamped when you ripped your entire collection.

    I did the same exercise as you,and no matter how often I did it, I always got one or two complete turkeys.

    Own up


  12. John
    Posted 5 June 2006 at 22:59 | Permalink | Reply

    “Hi, we’re your weather girls, and have we got news for you!”

    A long shot, but is that “It’s raining men”?

  13. Jim Bliss
    Posted 8 June 2006 at 10:19 | Permalink | Reply

    5. E-Pro (Beck, from an underrated album)
    10. Chemical Cosh (Fatima Mansions, probably the only song of theirs that I know to be honest)

    I’d also have gotten 7, 9, 13 & 20 if others hadn’t beaten me to them.

    Incidentally I demand to know the two Talking Heads songs that include the lyric “Hit it!” I’m damn near a walking encyclopedia of David Byrne’s work and my head’s going to explode trying to work that out. Possibly the opening syllables of “Blind” are “Hit it!”, though they’re somewhat indistinct. Aside from that though, I’m mystified.

  14. Phil
    Posted 9 June 2006 at 19:46 | Permalink | Reply

    Jim – the other one’s a live version, if that helps.

  15. Paulie
    Posted 12 June 2006 at 19:46 | Permalink | Reply

    Is no3 a Kate Bush song?

    I’ve been trying to hum it all day and not quite getting it (my record collection is in crates at the moment).

  16. Phil
    Posted 12 June 2006 at 20:14 | Permalink | Reply

    Paulie – ‘fraid not. That’s actually quite a tough one. I thought of you when 6 came up, incidentally.

  17. Rob
    Posted 22 June 2006 at 02:26 | Permalink | Reply

    Hi Phil – we met at Clare’s Manchester blogmeet, and I’ve just shamelessly tagged myself with your splendid meme. Drop in here if you fancy a shot.

  18. Rob
    Posted 23 June 2006 at 20:39 | Permalink | Reply

    Plus, I’ve just identified one of your remaining songs on the original meme (though I’m not sure whose version you might have).

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