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Best First Line in Popular Music

John Simkin

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Guest Gary Loughran

Manics - Motorcycle Emptiness

Culture sucks down words, itemise loathing and feed yourself smiles

Organise your safe tribal war, hurt maim kill and enslave the ghetto

The Smiths - Hand in Glove

Hand in glove, the sun shines out of our behinds

Happy Mondays - Kinky Afro

Son, I'm 30, I only went with your mother 'cause she's dirty

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Wasted and wounded, it ain't what the moon did, I've got what I paid for now

See you tomorrow, hey Frank, can I borrow a couple of bucks from you

To go waltzing Mathilda, waltzing Mathilda,

You'll go waltzing Mathilda with me

Tom Traubert's Blues/Tom Waits

hey Charley I'm pregnant

and living on 9-th street

right above a dirty bookstore

off cuclid avenue

Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis/Tom Waits

Inside a broken clock

Splashing the wine

With all the Rain Dogs

Rain Dogs/Tom Waits

It seems so long ago,

Nancy was alone,

looking at the Late Late show

through a semi-precious stone.

Seems So Long Ago, Nancy/Leonard Cohen

Ah his fingernails, I see they're broken,

his ships they're all on fire.

The moneylender's lovely little daughter

ah, she's eaten, she's eaten with desire.

Sing Another Song, Boys/Leonard Cohen

They sentenced me to twenty years of boredom

For trying to change the system from within

I'm coming now, I'm coming to reward them

First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

First We Take Manhattan/Leonard Cohen

Tom Waits on the stereo

Jim Beam in my hand

Cricket on the TV

Trouble in the stands

Marking Time/Joe Darcy

You were bigger and better

Then T Rex or King Kong

And you were made in Japan

And not Taiwan

Ode to Godzilla/Joe Darcy

I came from the shallow end of the gene pool;

You came from some far off place, so cool

Wine & Some Bread/Joe Darcy

After a while we took in the clothes,

Nobody said very much.

Clothes Line Saga/Bob Dylan

Happy birthday, Elvis;

You're not really dead.

It's a lie, it's just a crock,

Something some people said.

I heard a cassette of you speaking

On a telephone;

From a bunker beneath Graceland,

The king sits on his throne.

Happy Birthday Elvis/Loudon Wainwright III

Dere's an ol' man called de Mississippi

Dat's de ol' man dat I'd like to be!

What does he care if de world's got troubles?

What does he care if de land ain't free?

Ol' Man River/Paul Robeson

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"Goodbye (She Quietly Says)"

Bob Guadio and Jake Holmes

sung by Frank Sinatra on Watertown

There is no great big ending,

No sunset in the sky,

There is no string ensemble

And she doesn't even cry,

And just as I begin to say

That we should make another try,

She reaches out across the table,

looks at me

and quietly says good-bye

There is no big explosion,

No tempest in the tea,

The world does not stop turning 'round,

There's no big tragedy,

Sitting in a coffee shop

With cheesecake and some apple pie,

She reaches out across the table,

looks at me

and quietly says good-bye

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  • 1 year later...
Guest John Gillespie
When the truth is found to be lies

and all the joy within you dies

don't you want somebody to love

don't you need somebody to love.

Somebody To Love-Jefferson Airplane.


From the late Matt Dennis composition, with Tom Adair lyrics ("Everything Happens To Me"):

I make a date for golf

And you can bet your life it rains

Edited by John Gillespie
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  • 1 year later...

Gloria (In excelcis) – Patti Smith:

"Jesus died for somebody’s sins but mine.” (opening and closing)

Heroin – Velvet Underground (Lou Reed)

“I don't know just where I'm going

But I'm gonna try for the kingdom, if I can

'Cause it makes me feel like I'm a man

When I put a spike into my vein”

The End — The Doors (Jim Morrison):

“This is the end, Beautiful friend”

Anarchy in the UK — The Sex Pistols (Rotten/Matlock):

“I am an antichrist / I am an anarchist!”

Somebody to Love — Jefferson Airplane (Darby Slick):

“When the truth is found to be lies / And all the joy within you dies”

Sympathy for the Devil — The Rolling Stones (jagger/Richards):

“Please allow me to introduce myself / I’m a man of wealth and taste”

You’re Gonna Miss Me – 13th Floor Elevators (Roky Erickson)

“You're gonna wake up one morning as the sun greets the dawn.

You're gonna look around in your mind, girl, you're gonna find that

I'm gone.”

“Looking For A Kiss” – New York Dolls:

“I always seen you, just before the dawn When all the other kids, where just draggin along”

Do You Love Me - The Contours:

You broke my heart

'Cause I couldn't dance

You didn't even want me around

And now I'm back, to let you know

I can really shake 'em down

Damn Love Song - Amy Lavere

Right now, I’ll do it right now, here’s your damn love song and don’t it say, don’t it say it all?

Hurt - Nine Inch Nails [later Johnny Cash] (Trent Razor) :

I hurt myself today To see if I still feel

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