In this regular feature we ask the Everything Indie Over 40 social media community to help us compile a top ten list of a chosen topic. Our resident curator John Hartley (@JohnyNocash) then ponders, disects and finally presents.
In this edition:-
The Indie Top Ten Single Girls Name In A Song Title
This should be easy, I thought: there will be two options open to me. At first I thought I could wax lyrical about the songs the EIO40 community nominate that can be found in my own collection of records, tapes and CDs. You know, like the classic Babybird lo-fi track ‘Valerie’, with its unforgettable lyric “Oh Valerie, you’re like a gallery, my little cart of modern art”. Or ‘Anabelle’, off the fourth album by Wolverhampton’s finest The Mighty Lemon Drops; wait, what do you mean you didn’t know they’d had a fourth album? Anyway, it turns out there are loads of songs with girls names in their title, and many of them were new to me.
But not to worry, I consoled myself: I’ll just pick out the songs with names that also appear in my little black book and tell hilarious and slightly lugubrious tales of old flames. I counted the number of different songs nominated – only seventy eight. And then I remembered I have never required the use of a little black book. At which point the EIO40 legal team put away their libel case law folders and breathed a sigh of relief.
1. The House Of Love – “Christine”
One of the advantages of such a wide field is that the opportunity is provided for some lesser-mentioned bands to take their turn in the spotlight, so all is not lost. However, it seems only fair that the most-nominated track gets a mention. The House of Love had a couple of songs put forward, with ‘Christine’, the blistering opener from their debut album, being suggested by @RiverboatCapt, @Rich_W27, @mkip_68, @muzzyjez and @caroline_binnie.
It is also a song that appears in my collection too, so hoorah for that eh! It was apparently the very first song Guy Chadwick wrote for The House of Love, and very good it is too.
‘Christine’ is also one letter longer than the surname of arguably one of the world’s greatest ever crime novellists, Agatha Christie. My English teachers always used to tell me that if I said ‘arguably’ I should then proceed to argue the case. None of them are reading this, though, so I’m not going to. ‘Agatha’ is also the title of a track by US grungesters Pond. If my English teachers were reading this they would have kittens over my use of the term ‘grungesters’ too; I grew up reading the NME though so what can they expect? The track can be found on side one of Pond’s self-titled debut album, as @womlaw will testify.
Two names in, both songs that can be found on the respective bands’ eponymous debut album. If I’d thought this through carefully I could have had a theme developing here. Never mind. Agatha Christie’s theme generally was crime, particularly murder. One of her novels was entitled ‘The Third Girl’ and thereby provides a fortunate link to the third track in this girls’ name top 10. One of Christie’s most famous creations was the old woman with a knack for spotting whodunit a mile off, Miss Marple.
Miss Marple has appeared on screen many times, portrayed by various different actresses, the most celebrated of which I reckon to be Joan Hickson. Unfortunately, no-one nominated a song called Joan, but @BillyChief suggested ‘Angela’ by Allo Darlin’ and seeing as Angela Lansbury also played Miss Marple I’m off the hook.
Miss Marple isn’t the only famous fictional female detective, either. There’s loads of them, and fortunately for @JohnnyDee_UK one of them is called Lucinda. Lucinda Pierce, to be precise, and she appears in a series of novels by Diane Fanning. Before she’s even got started on detection our Lucinda has lost an eye in the course of duty, and as you can imagine things don’t get much rosier for her thereafter. ‘Lucinda’ is also the title of the track Johnny suggested, as performed by A Certain Ratio.
A Certain Ratio hailed from Manchester, the same city as that loveable old charmer Mark E Smith. Mark E Smith has presided over 16, 327 different line-ups of The Fall, a band who have a discography containing even more spelling mistakes than the average Nocash English Literature essay (although to be fair the song titles do make a little more sense than the essays ever did). One of their tracks is entitled ‘Rose’, but that was disqualified because it is probably pronounced ‘Rose-ah’. So bad luck @pillshark73, but the points here go to @richardcuddy and @0151Omski who both suggested ‘Hilary’ instead.
Hilary is the name of an actress; Hilary Duff, to be precise. She nearly shares the same surname as the poet Carol Ann Duffy, who is a Professor at Manchester’s Metropolitan University and is the current Poet Laureat. In turn, she nearly shares the same forename as ‘Carrole-Anne’, the song written by The Orchids and nominated by @bodlingboy.
The Orchids hailed from Glasgow and spent their formative years releasing records on Sarah Records; ‘Carrole-Anne’ can be found on their debut album ‘Lyceum’.
Sarah Records was also the home – along with many other labels – of St. Christopher. The York-based band are built around Glenn Melia, the only constant member throughout a twenty-five year recording existence. One of these such recordings was the 1990 Sarah Records single ‘Antoinette’, as identified by @fi-fry. According to Wikipedia the song is “a sophisticated keyboard-driven song drenched in reverb”.
St. Christopher is the patron saint of travellers, athletes, archers and bachelors amongst other things; toothache also. St. Therese meanwhile is the patron saint of aviators, florists and illnesses. ‘Therese’ is the title of a song by Glossop’s The Bodines. Their second single, ‘Therese’ reached the heady heights of number four in the UK indie chart in 1986, and appeared on the NME’s ‘C86’ compilation cassette. It also found a home amongst the numerous nominated songs with girls’ names in their titles thanks to @myrtleleaf.
Although St. Therese might well be the patron saint of illnesses, she is arguably not the best source of hope and help for those suffering from illness. Again, I’m not going to argue the case. I studied government, not theology. No, if I were suffering from an illness I’d be more inclined to visit a medical establishment, like a surgery or even – hey! – a clinic. And luckily for the rather random thread of this entire Top 10, Clinic also happens to be the name of a band, a band who released a song with a girl’s name in the title to boot. So hats off to @DrJonesPNE for providing me with another tenuous link via their track ‘Linda’.
You see, Linda happens to be the name of one of the teaching assistants in the class next door to mine in the school in which I road-test my poor attempts at humour before inflicting them on you. Everyone calls the teacher in that class Julie, although her name is actually Julia. Perhaps she was christened by Mark E Smith. ‘Julia’ also happens to be the title of the last entry in our Top Ten, thanks to @neilc79 who suggested the Silver Sun track.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
After spending the best part of twenty five years trying to write the perfect pop song John Hartley has turned his attention to writing about those who have done a much better job at it. He tweets as @JohnyNocash and gives away his music, generally for free. He is currently raising money to support men’s mental health charity CALM (@theCALMzone) at http://brokendownrecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-broken-heed
Listen out on Twitter for further Indie Top Ten themes. We need your help.