Monday, 18 August 2014

My Top Ten Biscuit Songs

Last year, I shared My Top Ten Chocolate Bar Songs and I was sure I'd follow it up with some biscuits. It's taken a while, but eventually I came up with a cool baker's dozen.

Then I scoffed three of them on the way to the blog.

For the benefit of completeness, I'm going to pretend the word 'biscuit' means 'biscuit' the world over and means roughly the same as 'cookie', although here in the UK, a cookie is just one distinct type of biscuit.

Speaking of which, special mentions must go out to The Cookies, Biscuit Boy (another of Paul Heaton's shortlived aliases), Wiskey (sic) Biscuit, and - of course - the mighty, mighty Half Man Half Biscuit.

10. The Maccabees - Happy Faces

While I'm happy to see the Maccabees enjoying the success they've had in recent years, it does make me feel rather old and out of touch. There's something I don't quite get about this band, although they do produce some catchy little ditties. They'll do until the proper indie revival hits.

9. Lou Reed - Wagon Wheel

Considering the whole Mick Jagger / Mars Bar thing, I was a little nervous about googling Lou Reed's Wagon Wheel. (And when I did, I found some rather disturbing definitions of the term that cast... euurggh... new light on the lyrics.) To keep my family audience, I'm going to pretend this is a song about eating a whole Wagon Wheel in one mouthful... something which is much easier these days than it used to be given that Wagon Wheels are now about a quarter of the size they were when I were a lad.

8. Kelis - Biscuits 'n' Gravy

This is a tasty treat from Kelis's latest album, Food, in which she comes on all celebrity chef. Originally trained as a Cordon Bleu saucier (and could there be a saucier saucier? etc. etc.), Kelis has been promoting this record out of a food truck. Well, considering how popular her milkshake was, I reckon I'd try one of her biscuits... I'd probably pass on the gravy though.

7. Steely Dan - Pretzel Logic

No, I wouldn't have thought of a pretzel as a biscuit either. The internet (well, some of the internet) begs to differ. Actually, there appears to be much debate over what a pretzel actually is...

...but for the purposes of this blog I decided to go with the biscuit definition as long as it allowed me to squeeze some classic Steely Dan into this post. A great song overrides all other rules: that's my logic.

(Hear this track again in my forthcoming Top Ten Chip Songs, Top Ten Bread Songs, Top Ten Pastry Songs... etc. etc.)

6. The White Stripes - Ball and Biscuit

Jack White claims to be a seventh son, imbuing himself with a kinds of bluesy super powers. He certainly plays a mean guitar. Not sure where the biscuits come in though.

5. The Stranglers - Nice In Nice

Jean Jacques Burnel enjoys a rather plain, rectangular, sugar sprinkled biscuit in the south of France.

Bonus: the video shows the Stranglers performing this song on Cheggers Plays Pop. That just wouldn't happen nowadays, would it?

4. Luscious Jackson - Lady Fingers

In a post-apocalyptic wasteland, a a lone survivor will unearth the video of Lady Fingers and come to believe that this is what the 90s really looked like. Lots of happy young people in brightly coloured clothing dancing on buses.

Confession: I used to find this song inexplicably arousing.

3. The Killers - Leave The Bourbon On The Shelf

I was never a fan of Bourbon biscuits, they'd always be left to go soft in the tin while everything else - even the Nice biscuits! - got gobbled. So it gave me a warm feeling when I discovered Brandon Flowers couldn't abide a Bourbon either.

What are you talking about? Jack Daniels? Jim Beam? Don't be silly. This song is about biscuits: I won't hear anything else.

2. The Beach Boys - Breakaway

A chocolate biscuit, not a chocolate bar (see above for those). And while I could probably have found songs called Taxi, Trio, Club, Bandit and Penguin... none of them were by the Beach Boys.


1. Pulp - Mis-shapes

The ultimate underdog anthem, this reinforces why Pulp were the greatest Britpop band. While Oasis were the lager lout Loaded lads and Blur the poncey art-school posers, Jarvis was a man of the little people, a geek-made-good. "Raised on a diet of broken biscuits," indeed... I bet Damon didn't even know what a mis-shape was.

Mis-shapes was a triumphant rallying call for all those of us who believed we never really fit in. You ask me, there are two types of people in this world: those who think they've got it sussed... and those who know we never will. In the video, Jarvis plays both these roles - and even has a fight in a disco with his spiv self - although we all know who'll win in the end.

And brothers, sisters, can't you see?
The future's owned by you and me.
There won't be fighting in the street.
They think that they've got us beat, but revenge is gonna be so sweet.
We're making a move.
We're making it now.
We're coming out of the sidelines.
Just put your hands up - it's a raid, yeah.
We want your homes,
we want your lives,
we want the things you won't allow us.
We won't use guns,
we won't use bombs,
we'll use the one thing we've got more of - that's our minds, yeah.
That's our minds. Yeah.
And if that wasn't enough, the video also guest stars Melissa Wilks who played Zammo's girlfriend Jackie Wright in Grange Hill and who I had a massive crush on about ten years earlier. Sigh. Another schoolyard crush I had no hope with...

Those were my favourites from the tin... but which one takes the biscuit for you?


  1. Replies
    1. I think I'll stick with the Beach Boys, thanks.

  2. Marie, Marie - To be honest I've never liked Maries, rather cardboardy and always left even after the Rich tea have been reluctantly eaten.

    But to be quite frank I am staggered you haven't included this:

    1. I can honestly say I've never eaten a Marie biscuit and, having googled them, I don't think they'll ever be my latest flame.

      Being an English teacher, I take issue with the Cookie Monster's use of grammar.

  3. Wham - 'Club' Tropicana. Geddit?

    1. I'll save it for my Top Ten Fruit Juice Songs.

  4. Your comment on my blog is so right. Ball and Biscuit The White Stripes.....

    1. Well done. #6 with a chocolate-coated bullet.

  5. 'One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer' by John Lee Hooker (or George Thorogood and the Destroyers).

    1. One bourbon is one bourbon too many. I'll leave it on the shelf.


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