Thursday, 16 April 2015

My Top Ten Secretary Songs

Ten songs to help run your office...

10. Paul McCartney - Temporary Secretary

Many years ago, I remember reading an article arguing that this was the worst song Sir Thumbsaloft had ever recorded. Personally, I disagree - and not just because he's done much worse things over the last 30 years. Listening to it again now, I think he accidentally created the soundtrack to a lot of ZX Spectrum games in the 80s... and a fair bit of early 90s dance music obviously used this track as a template.

The lyrics are bollocks though.

9. The Raconteurs - Intimate Secretary

Not to be outdone by Lord Macca, here Jack White and Brendan Benson elevate bollocks lyrics to an artform. Almost.
I've got a rabbit, it likes to hop
I've got a girl and she likes to shop
The other foot looks like it won't drop
I had an uncle but he got shot
8. Betty Wright - Secretary

A rather old-fashioned warning to housewives... is your husband's secretary putting a little joy in your man's life?

7. Joy Rider & Avis Davis - Nasty Secretary

A lost punk gem from 1979 New York. Not really sure why Joy's got it in for this particular secretary, except the lady in question won't seem to put her calls through...
Get it straight, yer boss is a jerk
He pays you like a peon and he treats you like dirt
If you're good he'll send you away, down to Miami for a week with no pay...
The Hives did a pretty cool cover of this too.

Quick tip - don't google search 'Nasty Secretary' at work... or you might be looking for a new job by the end of the day. 

See also Stewart Copeland's Klark Kent - Office Girls. More secretary punk, this time from a UK Police-man.

6. Soft Cell - Facility Girls

Marc Almond's secretary may be a bright young thing with a promising career... but what is she at night?
She's got the ability
She's got the facilities...
5. Belle & Sebastian - Step Into My Office, Baby

A little gender equality: here Stuart Murdoch plays a male secretary who gets eaten alive by his new female boss. She's got an out tray full of guys...

4. Harry Chapin - Halfway to Heaven

Another classic story song from the late, great Harry C, one of the best midlife crisis records I've ever heard. A tragic tale of a middle aged man risking everything for a misguided fling with his secretary...
God damn, I'm one crazy mixed up mixture of a man...
3. Billie Jo Spears - Mr. Walker, It's All Over

Probably the best song purely about the perils of being a secretary... it should really be Number One, but I follow my own weird rules round these parts, which is why these lists are nothing more than internet detritus. Don't take them seriously...
In this building there's a crowd of guys with old familiar thoughts upon their minds
That's a lot of hands a reaching out to grab the things that I consider mine
And the president pursues me even though he's old and hair a turnin' white
Mr Walker it's all over I don't like the New York secretary's life!
2. Del Amitri - Nothing Ever Happens

Justin Currie's ode to mundane loneliness only features secretaries in its opening lines, but it remains one of the best singles of the 80s in my humble opinion... I'd feature it here every week if I could. 
Post office clerks put up signs saying 'Position Closed'
And secretaries turn off typewriters and put on their coats...
1. Dolly Parton - 9 To 5

Although the movie focused on rebellious secretaries, the song itself could be adopted by any working Jo (or Joe) who spends their life just putting money in the boss man's wallet...
They let you dream
Just a watch 'em shatter
You're just a step on the boss man's ladder
But you got dreams he'll never take away

In the same boat with a lot of your friends
Waitin' for the day your ship'll come in
And the tide's gonna turn
And it's all gonna roll you away

Which one is taking your calls?


  1. I tentatively suggest the improvised Secretary Love Song by Niall Ashdown on Whose Line Is It Anyway. Thank you, YouTube.

  2. Well I could only think of 9-5, and I can't take dictation either

  3. Bit of a cheat but: The Police "Synchronicity II" for the line 'The secretaries pout and preen like cheap tarts in a red light street'.

    1. Young Sting did have a fascination with prostitutes, didn't he?


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