This is the first verse

Nothing much here lately. Just to stop the grass growing, here’s another 25-first-lines thing: song titles and artists in comments, please. This one’s a bit different, as you’ll see. Some more obscure than others; there are a couple I’d be particularly pleased for somebody to get, and one which would probably earn you a pint (it’s from a privately-produced CD by a friend of mine). (A couple of bona fide Chart Hits, too.)

Update 4/9/06 An email from Tina bags the last easy ones, plus a couple of difficult ones. (Hi Tina!) The rest are all a bit on the obscure side, I’d say – not that I’d mind being proved wrong. Have at it.

Update 13/9/06 All remaining beans spilled.

  1. A certain kind of love, I’d say
    – Soft Machine (Rob)
  2. A long time ago, we used to be friends
    – Dandy Warhols (Tina)
  3. Bonfires in forests, lamplights in houses, all obscured
    – Graham Coxon (Tina)
  4. By a waterfall, I’m calling you
    – the Bonzo Dog Band (Rob)
  5. Colin Zeal knows the value of mass appeal
    – Blur (Tina)
  6. For years unspotted, Henri Dupont wheeled his barrow in Marseilles
    Barry Booth (lyrics by Terry Jones)
  7. Give me your love and I’ll give you the perfect lovesong
    – the Divine Comedy (John)
  8. I can see clearly now the rain has gone
    – Jimmy Ruffin (JJ)
  9. I don’t know what to do with my life, should I give it up and make a new start?
    – Buzzcocks (Jamie)
  10. I often dream of trains when I’m alone
    – Robyn Hitchcock (Tina)
  11. I stand by the building in the pouring rain
    the Mekons
  12. Inside of me, take as much as you can find of me
    David McComb
  13. It’s happened before, most likely it will happen again
    Ed Kuepper
  14. Jacqueline was seventeen, working on a desk
    – Franz Ferdinand (Biscit)
  15. Loving you is easy ’cause you’re beautiful
    – the Charlatans (Syd)
  16. Mother Mary and the morning wonder, take me home
    the Earlies
  17. Nothing you could say could tear me away from my guy
    – Mary Wells (and subsequently Aretha Franklin, among others) – Alex
  18. Put your hands on the wheel, let the Golden Age begin
    – Beck (Justin)
  19. Red rain is falling down
    – Peter Gabriel (JJ)
  20. Señor, Señor, can you tell me where we’re heading?
    – Bob Dylan (Rob)
  21. Sometimes love is friendly
    Hilary Bichovski
  22. This time we almost made the pieces fit, didn’t we girl?
    – Jimmy Webb (Brian)
  23. Waste of time – it’s all a waste
    Peter Blegvad
  24. Well, it seems like the funky days are back again
    – Cornershop (Rob)
  25. You rolled into town like an unscheduled train
  26. Nothing Painted Blue



  1. Biscit
    Posted 31 August 2006 at 15:19 | Permalink | Reply

    14 Jaqueline by Franz Ferdinand.

  2. J.J
    Posted 31 August 2006 at 20:35 | Permalink | Reply

    8 is ‘I can see clearly now’ by Jimmy Cliff and others.
    14 ‘Loving You’ by Minnie Ripperton.
    19 ‘Red Rain’ by Peter Gabriel.

    It does help when the title is in the first line but I can still only get three!

  3. Phil
    Posted 31 August 2006 at 23:08 | Permalink | Reply

    I’m going to be awkward and insist that 14 was not in fact ‘Loving You’ by Minnie Ripperton (or ‘A huge ever-growing…’ by the Orb), although it clearly could have been. There’s actually another, unrelated song which (a) begins with those words and (b) has the title in the first line. (Curious how much easier that doesn’t make it, innit?)

  4. jamie
    Posted 1 September 2006 at 01:13 | Permalink | Reply

    9 – the Buzzcocks – I don’t know whatto do with my life. From way back when…

  5. Rob
    Posted 1 September 2006 at 07:59 | Permalink | Reply

    #1 Soft Machine: “A Certain Kind”
    #4 Bonzo Dog Band “By A Waterfall”
    #24 Cornershop: “Funky Days Are Back Again”

    I recognise a couple of others but not sure of the artists.

  6. John
    Posted 1 September 2006 at 09:31 | Permalink | Reply

    #7 Divine Comedy.

  7. Justin
    Posted 1 September 2006 at 12:40 | Permalink | Reply

    18. The Golden Age – Beck

  8. Rob Jubb
    Posted 1 September 2006 at 15:08 | Permalink | Reply

    This is really embarrassing, but 14 is, I think, You’re Beautiful by James fucking Blunt. It’ll be even worse if it turns out not to be.

  9. Phil
    Posted 1 September 2006 at 18:45 | Permalink | Reply

    Rob S. – yep. The first line of the Cornershop song actually goes “…the funky days, they’re back again”, but I had to use it.

    John – you can have that, although I’ll be insisting on titles from now on. (It could have been “Perfect”, or “Give me your love”, or, er… “Love, and I’ll give you”…)

    Rob J. – certainly not. My record collection is entirely Bluntless.

  10. Alex
    Posted 3 September 2006 at 11:27 | Permalink | Reply

    Oh, for Christ’s sake. 17 is Mary Wells, “My Guy”.

  11. Paulie
    Posted 4 September 2006 at 09:58 | Permalink | Reply

    Just seen your Minnie Ripperton ruling.

    I thought it was a bit too obvious to have lasted this long.

  12. Brian Barder
    Posted 4 September 2006 at 11:45 | Permalink | Reply

    22: “Didn’t We?”
    Words & Music by Jim Webb
    Recorded by Richard Harris, 1967

    It’s a very attractive song. Worth that pint?


  13. Phil
    Posted 4 September 2006 at 12:50 | Permalink | Reply

    Brian – you get the pint (or at least a rather ethereal IOU), but not so much for obscurity-spotting as for good taste. Jimmy Webb is a genius.

    Five of the remaining ten are singer-songwriters (and one of them is the greatest s.-s. of all), four are bands and one is neither. Two of the singer-songwriters are Australian, and one is dead. Three of the bands are English. Number 6 has a connection with number 4. The vet does not live next door to the owner of the zebra.

  14. Syd Webb
    Posted 4 September 2006 at 14:03 | Permalink | Reply

    #15 ‘Loving You Is Easy’ by The Charlatans?

  15. Phil
    Posted 4 September 2006 at 18:22 | Permalink | Reply

    Syd – hurrah!

  16. Rob
    Posted 4 September 2006 at 20:38 | Permalink | Reply

    Well, with your big hint there was obviously a Dylan, so I Googled his name along with the one I thought it must be and got “Senor (Tales of Yankee Power)”. As far as I know I’ve never heard anything from Street Legal, but then I sort of lost interest between Blood On The Tracks and Time Out Of Mind.”

    Your other hints don’t help me enough to allow ethical Googling, alas.

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