Monday, 5 November 2012

My Top Ten Bonfire Night Songs

Remember, remember, the 5th of November... with 10 songs about bonfire night.

10. My Life Story - November 5th

Jake Shillingford: should have been bigger than the Gallaghers. Was always far more interesting.

9. Ryan Adams - Firecracker

Well, everybody wants to go on forever
I just wanna burn up hard and bright

8. Jonny Cola & The A Grades - Fireworks / Gunshots

Every now and then, I find myself rejoicing in the fact that myspace still exists. Couldn't find this one on youtube... but good old myspace - it's not just there for people trapped perpetually in 2005. 

I think they’re fireworks, but they might be gunshots
They look like fireworks, but ring out like gunshots
I hope they’re fireworks, but they burn like gunshots
So bring on the fireworks
And let loose the gunshots

Download this excellent song for just fifty of your English pennies from Bandcamp. You know it makes sense.

7. Tom Robinson - Looking For A Bonfire

Nowadays he's a 6Music DJ playing great records. Back then, he just mad them.

6. Picture Centre - Fireworks October 1990

OK, so strictly speaking Bonfire Night isn't in October. But if it was, this would be the perfect theme.

I always remember as a teenager finding November 5th a tremendously lonely night. One of those nights where all the cool lads with girlfriends hugged them in the light of the bonfire... and I just stepped closer and closer to the flames to keep warm. In 1990, I would be have been 18, so this record is pretty much bang on.

5. John Mellencamp - Cherry Bomb 

 In which JCM models his haircut on JBJ. It must be 1987.

See also same title / different song by Ash or The Runaways (with Joan Jett). Both fine records, but JCM just about edges it for me.

4. Skint & Demoralised - Fireworks

How can you not love a band called Skint & Demoralised? Especially when they make records as wonderful as this. Go press play now.

3. Nick Lowe - Indoor Fireworks

Look, I would post the Elvis Costello original, but I can't find a decent (non-live) version of it on youtube. Still, Nick Lowe also does a good job of Costello songs... and vice-versa.

You were the spice of life
The gin in my vermouth
And though the sparks would fly
I thought our love was fireproof
Sometimes we'd fight in public darling
With very little cause
But different kinds of sparks would fly
When we got on our own behind closed doors

2. Embrace - Fireworks

Look, if you don't think Embrace are the very definition of the last three letters in their name, this song will prove you wrong. Why argue?

1.Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine - Born On The 5th of November

Carter write a love song - shock! And it's really quite beautiful... but that's what fireworks are for.

There was November in your eyes
There'd be no pennies for the guys
There were fireworks over London
But you weren't among them anymore...

Those are the songs I'll be hearing as the fireworks erupt over Top Ten Towers tonight... but which one is your sparkler?


  1. Song For Guy (cos Life isn't every thing)
    Bang Bang (BA Robertson's dodgy song!)
    Standards (as in 'Light up the sky with Standard Fireworks)
    Paris Match
    Wooden It Be Nice
    Light My Fire
    Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
    Funeral Pyre
    Love In The First Degree (Burns)
    Ashes To Ashes

    1. Some good ones, some tenuous ones (which I always like), but damn it, I should have considered Song For Guy!

  2. Damn...I don't know a single one of these...that's a first...

    1. Yes, but did you like any of them?

  3. XTC - Sacrificial Bonfire; one of Colin Moulding's finest.

    1. Thanks, Steve, I can always rely on you for pointing out the XTC-shaped holes in my collection. I should have known they'd have a bonfire song!


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