Friday, 3 March 2017

My Top Ten Emily Songs

With the exception of Kenny Wednesdays, I haven't done a first name Top Ten in quite a while. So...

There are actually very few Emilies in my record collection. The only artists I could find were Emily Robinson from the Dixie Chicks; French singer Emily Loizeau, whose songs appear to have been recorded by everybody from Shelby Lynne to The Mountain Goats; Emily Barker & The Red Clay Halo; Emily Kinney (above), who you might recognise as Beth from The Walking Dead, but she writes some pretty cool songs too; and a not-half-bad cover of Asleep by The Smiths by Australian actress Emily Browning, from the soundtracker of Sucker Punch.

But when it came to songs about Emilies... there were LOADS!

10. Pink Floyd - See Emily Play

I feel like I'm contractually obliged to include this. Not being a true muso, I never really got The Floyd. Nothing against them, I just never really saw what all the fuss was about. I probably appreciate the Syd Barrett stuff a bit more... although I prefer the David Bowie and Martha Wainwright versions of this song, if I'm totally honest.

9. Stephen Fretwell - Emily

Something about the name Emily must attract earnest young singer songwriters, since that's what most of this week's chart is made up of...

8. Bowling For Soup - Emily

...with a couple of, ahem, obvious exceptions. Nothing earnest about this lot.

7. Adam Green - Emily

Take one Moldy Peach... add a bunch of dangerous ladies, mix, watch the sparks fly.

6. Esiotrot - Emily Scott

More from that backwards tortoise, about the daughter of a clergyman who will wash your hair when it gets dirty. Lovely brass section on this.

5. The Handsome Family - Emily Shore 1819-1839

Emily Shore was a young English woman who died of consumptiom at the age of 19 in the early 1800s. Her diaries were published over 50 years later, and a century or so after that they inspired Brett and Rennie Sparks.

4. Luke Douchet - Emily, Please

Excellent track from Luke's 2005 album, Broken (And Other Rogue States). Great live version I found on youtube in which Luke duets with his wife, Melissa Mclelland.

3. Simon & Garfunkel - For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her

Art goes solo on this one: peerless romantic nostalgia from Paul. 
I wandered empty streets
Down past the shop displays.
I heard cathedral bells
Tripping down the alley ways,
As I walked on.

And when you ran to me
Your cheeks flushed with the night.
We walked on frosted fields of juniper and lamplight,
I held your hand.
John Grant did an excellent cover of this with The Czars

2. Louis Eliot - Emily

Second best song I own about a long lost teenage girlfriend called Emily... from the former Rialto frontman.
Took off our ties straight after school
For lager and limes and shooting pool
Underhand cigarettes to compilation cassettes...
1. Art Brut - Emily Kane

I miss Eddie Argos. I don't know what he's up to these days, but we need him back.
I don't even know where she lives.
I've not seen her in 10 years, 9 months, 3 weeks, 4 days, 6 hours, 13 minutes, 5 seconds.
Other girls went and other girls came, 
I can't get over my old flame.
All my friends think I'm insane, 
I'm still in love with Emily Kane.
There's a beast in my soul that can't be tamed, 
I'm still in love with Emily Kane.

Those were my ten favourites (well, nine and one contractual obligation), but I easily had enough Emily songs for a Top Twenty-Five. Perhaps I'll do a volume 2... once I've covered every other name in my Big Book of Baby Names. Suggestions are always welcomed...


  1. The Floyd would top my Emily chart, solely because I saw them in July 1967 at Aberdeen Beach Ballroom, with Syd Barrett still fronting the band and me getting to meet the 2 lassies who were doing their (very basic but still FAB) light show. I was just one month away from my 17th birthday - and in music heaven. (I've never seen that band live since).

    1. If I'd been around back then I'd probably have wanted to check them out myself (though I suspect the light show girls might have been a bigger draw).

  2. Excellent stuff, as always. I'd have had Simon and Garfunkel at one, just because.

    Didn't know Emily Kinney had a music career as well as her zombie-avoiding day job. Will investigate.

    1. I didn't know myself still I started researching this post a few weeks back. Liked a couple of her songs on youtube, then found they were available on emusic, so...

  3. I was expecting to find Joanna Newsom on your list. Her song Emiliy from her 2006 album is beautiful, so if you don't mind I'll add that as an honorable mention.
    I'm out of my depth with your choices, haven't heard any, so will have to put that right over the weekend.

    1. Only got one Joanna Newsom record and it mustn't be the one you mention. I'll keep an ear out for it!

  4. There have been some great Emily songs, eh? The tops on my list would be A Rose For Emily from one of my favorite albums, Odyssey & Oracle by the Zombies. Even without it, a very fine list. I don't know how you do it.

    1. I don't get out much.

      I'll try to check out that Zombies track tomorrow. Thanks, Brian.


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