Thursday, 19 February 2015

My Top Ten Tongue Songs

Mind if I slip you the tongue... or ten?

10. The Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Black Tongue

 Karen O believes in gender equality when it comes to insults...
Boy, you just a stupid bitch,
And girl, you just a no good dick
Not to be confused with Black Tongue by Mastodon which makes Karen's lyrics sound like a Hallmark card... or Silver Tongue by Zulu Winter, who (like many bands) steal their best video ideas from David Lynch and the Coens.

9. Civil Wars - Tip Of My Tongue

Just delicious. Wish they hadn't split up.

8. Mary Gauthier - Slip of the Tongue

Mary regrets getting caught up in the moment and saying something she didn't quite mean...
When I said, "I love you"
It was a slip of the tongue
Love is more than a feeling
It's a way of living everyday
It's the hardest thing I ever gave away
7. PJ Harvey - This Wicked Tongue

So my favourite PJ Harvey album is now 15 years old. Where does the time go?

6. Frank Turner - Hold Your Tongue

Tender acoustic heartache from the rock-punk rebel, with a bitter aftertaste...
Hold your goddamn tongue
You forget yourself.
How could I be the one
If you're wrapped round someone else?
5. REM - Tongue

Don't remember this being released as a single - but Monster had so many great tracks. The rule with Michael Stipe lyrics is that I don't even try to tell you what they're about. Just go with the organtastic groove.

4. Jack White - Trash Tongue Talker

In which Jack White auditions for a guest spot on Jerry Springer. He can talk that trash with the best of them (and Karen O).
Oh well, your mama was a bastard
Had your plastered face all over the scene
You got hassled by your daddy
Always pushing, trying to make you come clean
Apparently the video was directed by Gary Oldman... but as it's a live performance, I guess he didn't have to do much more than show up and tell Jack to get on with it.

3. My Life Story - Sunday Tongue

One of the great lost bands of Britpop, and this was only a b-side, so I was extra pleased to find it on youtube. I wish Britpop was remembered more for bands in the literate/glam Pulp/Suede vein, like MLS, rather than the poshboy pretenders and northern neanderthals...    

2. Talking Heads - Sugar on My Tongue

David Byrne cops off with his neighbour and she performs various acts of a metaphorically culinary nature that get him so excited he asks his friends round to watch.

See also Speaking In Tongues by The Arcade Fire... also with David Byrne (though he doesn't get all that much to do.)

1. Jenny Lewis - Acid Tongue

The divine Ms. Lewis finds herself faced with a sleazy chat-up line as this song begins - from a shoe repairman at that!
I went to a cobbler
To fix a hole in my shoe
He took one look at my face and said
"I can fix that hole in you."
Luckily, she's more than capable of dealing with this creepy cordwainer and goes on to deliver another classic story song about dropping acid in Dixie and meeting a man with soft hands (unlike, presumably, the cobbler) to soothe her pain.
To be lonely is a habit
Like smoking or taking drugs
And I've quit them both
But man, was it rough

So... which one makes you stick your tongue out like Gene Simmons?


  1. I admit it, I Googled this but it was worth it - Ray Stevens "Get Your Tongue Outta My Mouth 'Cause I'm Kissing You Goodbye".

    1. Dammit - I remember that too. Don't have it in my collection, sadly, but I'll have to track it down now. From the man who brought us the all-time classic "The Streak!" ("Don't look, Ethel!")

  2. I thought I had this licked, but not a single tongue song do I have in my entire collection...

  3. Out of interest, I checked out the possibility of a Top Ten Licking Songs... I can manage about eight, but none of them are very good.


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