Staff Top 10
Top Ten Songs That Are Most Definitely NOT About Love

beetlebum” – Blur

Allegedly the ‘she’ referred to in the song’s key refrain isn’t, in fact, Justine Frischmann, or even the mother of Damon’s daughter Missy. No, far from it; supposedly “Beetlebum” is a paean to that old mistress, Mother Superior, heroin, who Damon allegedly dabbled with in the third quarter of the 90s during his “mid 20s breakdown” period (i.e. the Great Escape era immediately following the Parklife fallout).

“Three Is A Magic Number” – Bob Dorough
In every sense, this song is about maths. Although you could argue with a certain amount of justification that it’s actually about some insidious, back-to-basics, family values, greed-is-good neo-Christian trinity, but I’d suggest that this insidious, back-to-basics, family values, greed-is-good neo-Christian trinity is merely used as an illustrator for the song’s over-riding “maths is good” theme. Which is possibly even more insidious, because, as we all know, maths is actually evil.

“Roll Over Beethoven” – Chuck Berry
Chuck wrote four songs. One was about dancing. One was about fucking. One was about the goddamn honky cracker bastards stealing his genius. But this one was about defeating the myth of the dead white romantic artist with the power of rhythm & blues.

“Wired For Sound” – Cliff Richard
On an almost too literal level this song is about Cliff’s Sony Walkman. I’d prefer it if it was about Cliff’s desire to be transformed into a subhuman musical cyborg, perhaps with some kind of vocal range downloaded into his mechanical larynx so that every song he ever presented to the unsuspecting public wasn’t moaned in the exact same flat monotone as this, but it isn’t. The video featured the infamously virginal Cliff roller-skating and wearing something that David Icke rejected for being “too fucking mad looking”. Quite what Cliff would make of the iPod is anyone’s guess, but you can bet your bottom dollar he’d still prefer Jesus to fucking.

“Life On Mars” – David Bowie
This song is about life. On Mars. And some sailors. Fighting. The rest of Hunky Dory is composed of songs about David’s mates, and Nietzsche. As you do.

“Tread Water” – De La Soul
This song is about going for a walk and having lots of animals talk to you while en route to wherever it is you’re going. Which is, quite possibly, La-La-Land. Talking animals? Especially ones which say things such as “like a daisy I need water / I need chestnuts to consume”? It’s not right. Drugs are bad, kids. Definitely not about love.

“The Rock” – Delakota
Gram Parsons and Keef Richards used to get very high and then drive out into the desert with a ghetto blaster to watch for aliens; “The Rock” is about that. Don’t believe me? Listen – “I sat on the rock / For most of the night / With a mirror and a flashlight / But nothing came / It’s alright…”

“Mmmbop” – Hanson
You might expect a song written by a 13-year-old boygirl to be about some unrequited crush, perhaps on a maths teacher (watch your back, Bob Dorough), but NO! “Mmmbop” by Hanson is about the death of the future! About the inalienable denial of access to the past! About the nature of the moment! About the realisation of the nature of the existential self as it exists right now! About the horror of death! About the intransigence of the human spirit! About taking life by the scruff of the neck and shaking it until it lets you live in the freedom of the land without history! About old people dying! About carpe diem! Of course you don’t believe me, and you can’t get past the spectacle of three teenager siblings of indeterminate sex (except the older one, who’s sex is ‘ugly’) yelping the phrase “mmmbop!” loudly and repeatedly while being all cherubic and Aryan and healthy and virginal and alluring and and and and and… “In an mmmbop it’s gone / In an mmmbop it’s not there” – feel the existential pain of the delivery of those lyrics! Feel the truth about the nature of human existence! Feel the *gasp* denial of God! Coming from the mouths of babes! Of God-fearing Christian babes too! You think I’m lying, don’t you? I’m not.

“Been Caught Stealing” – Jane’s Addiction
This song is about theft. From shops. Which is illegal. I can’t condone it. Fucking good riff though.

“Caught Out There” – Kelis
This is not about love. Ph no. This is about hate, which is much better and more exciting, and facilitates better sex too.

By: Nick Southall
Published on: 2004-02-18
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