Top 10 Songs About Lists

ListsIt's the first day in November as I write this, which means the season is officially here. You know what I'm talking about: the clocks go back, the weather gets colder, speculation begins about who's been good or bad, everyone gets over-excited about who's getting what from whom, always way before time; earlier every year in fact. I'm speaking, of course, about list season. Ho ho ho!

With two months of the year still to pass, editors are already sweeping everything else off their desk like they're about to dramatically make love on it, ready to decide how the year in question will be narrated. Artists will be deified, guitar music will be declared both dead and reinvigorated, and whichever Bat For Lashes album came out in April will be number 8 in each and every daily broadsheet.

But you know what? I love it. Lists are the only reason I get anything done. Lists remind us of what we consider to be important. So let's skip the bellyaching this year and just enjoy it, yeah? These aren't all technically about lists; some of them are just people reeling things off in a list-like fashion. Because if there's one thing I love making more than lists, it's awkwardly executed meta-jokes.:

10// Manic Street Preachers - Boxes and Lists

It's not hard to imagine Nicky Wire, rock's foremost hoovering aficionado, love a good list. Regardless, the Manics have always been a great b-sideband (apart from the Everything Must Go era, fuck that) - and this was probably Wire's best "everyone must know how boring my life is" lyric since "The Ballad of the Bangkok Novotel".:

9// The Notorious B.I.G. - Ten Crack Commandments

"Number one: probably have a bit less crack." 

8// Miley Cyrus - 7 Things

Before she started hanging out with The Flaming Lips and being too cool for this sort of thing, Miley Cyrus made faux-rebellious brat pop like this. The 7 things are, incidentally, things she hates about you. Bit harsh.:

:7// Elvis Costello - Everyday I Write The Book

"But you were up to your old tricks in chapters 4, 5, and 6..." Elvis Costello reels off the chapters of his sordid love life. Wonderful.:

6// Paul Simon - 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover

Hop on the bus, Gus!:

5// The Divine Comedy - The Booklovers

In which Neil Hannon reads out a long list of famous authors, followed by a brief impression of each. I love this song so much.:

4// Julie Andrews - My Favorite Things

Because nobody likes whiskers off kittens.:

3// Los Campesinos! - My Year in Lists

The original line-up - perhaps not the tightest, or the most musically expansive, but certainly the one that Steven Wells hated the most.:

2// Billy Joel - We Didn't Start The Fire

If I had a penny for every time I'd got drunk and tried to do the harmonies on "The Longest Time", I'd... well, I'd probably have enough for another beer. But this is the Billy Joel that is remembered today - knocking out a litany of names, places, and events that encapsulated the twentieth century. Also, the house is on fire because, like, capitalism?hey:

1// My Life Story - 17 Reasons Why I Love Her

Don't let anyone fob you off with the single version, which cuts the reasons why to a paltry 12. I don't like talking about 'Marmite bands' (great on crumpets but otherwise just fine), but if you're familiar with My Life Story at all, it'll likely be as either the most underrated Britpop-era band since Gene, or the most overrated Britpop-era band since Shed Seven (fight me).

But make no mistake, this was their finest hour, and - I formally declare, with the powers vested in me - the greatest ever list song.:

What did we miss? Let us know in the comments - in list form if you like.


One Response to “Top 10 Songs About Lists”


    1. Top 10 Songs About Lists – Live List - 01/11/2017

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