Thursday, 3 January 2013

My Top Ten Thirteen Songs

Happy New Year from Top Ten Towers!

So, it's Two Thousand Thirteen, or Twenty Thirteen, or Another Bloody Miserable Year... whatever you choose to call it. Thirteen's traditionally an unlucky number... but then again, considering the world was supposed to end in '12, we're already starting ahead of the game.

Happy New Year to you anyway - may 2013 bring you all your heart desires... or, at the very least, ten great songs with the number 13 in the title...

(Special mention to Thirteen Senses and the marvellous Thirteenth Floor Elevators.)

10. Big Audio Dynamite - V. Thirteen

The last song Mick Jones and Joe Strummer ever wrote together sounds, unsurprisingly, like The Clash playing one final concert in Sodom and Gomorrah.

 Sodom and Gomorrah? This is London, guv.

9. Ann Margret - 13 Men

When the H-bomb goes off, Ann Margret finds herself the only girl in town... with 13 blokes in hot pursuit.

Uh, there were two men every morning
A-seein' that I was well fed
And believ-a you me, one sweetened my tea
While the other one a-buttered my bread
Simon Armitage and the Scaremongers recorded a song with the same title, but that was a tribute to a local Rugby League team... and sadly, it's not online anywhere for me to play it for you.

8. The Delgados - Thirteen Gliding Principles

Look what you've left me, your bottles of camomile
funny old phrases and outdated style

Does camomile come in bottles north of the border? Down here, we get it in bags.

7. The Pixies - No. 13 Baby

In which Frank Black meets a six foot, sweaty lass with XIII tattooed on her tit.

If man is 5, the devil is 6 and God is 7... what the hell's 13?

6. Johnny Cash - Thirteen

Johnny Cash covers Glenn Danzig. Now there's something I never thought I'd hear... and yet, it works beautifully.

5. Pink - Conversations with My 13 Year Old Self

Obviously Pink remembers what it feels like to be 13 - she's hardly grown up since. If you're a 13 year old Pink fan, this will obviously offer you some comfort... good luck in growing up like your heroine though.

4. Elvis Costello - 13 Steps Lead Down

One of many classic Costello songs I fell in love with despite having zero idea what it was all about.
When nobody knows, she puts on secret clothes
And lies in her splendour for a picture opportunity
Cover up that bruise, put on patent leather shoes
Just stop playing that bad mood music
Still don't.

3. The Cure - The 13th

In which Mad Bob McMad falls asleep watching telly... and has some typically bonkers dreams.

2. Ooberman - 13

Dan Popplewell spends the majority of this song wishing he was still 13. And then he changes his mind...
Do you remember rounders on the top field? 
Playing 'three and in' in your Dunlop Green Flash? 
Getting chucked in the park lake by the thick lads on the way back from school? 
Actually when I think about it, when I was 13 I was a deeply unpopular child... 
13... Thank God I'm not 13... 
1. Big Star - Thirteen

Alex Chilton, on the other hand, recaptures the crazy, confusing, combustible feeling of being a newly-heeled teenager with one of his most simple yet heart-wrenching ballads...
Won't you let me walk you home from school?
Won't you let me meet you at the pool?
Maybe Friday I can
Get tickets for the dance
And I'll take you.

Those were my favourite 13 songs. Which one gives you triskaidekaphobia?


  1. If, as Pixies say, the Devil is 6 and God is 7, then 13 is simply Devil + God.

  2. Replies
    1. Black Flag?!?

      Who are you, and what have you done with the Killing Joke / Kate Bush loving Steve I know?

  3. Why do I have to wait until May to get my heart's desires?

    1. Sometimes you have to wait till May just to get out of my Spam folder.


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