I never had a paper round when I was a kid. I did, however, have a special fascination with the newsagents where I bought my weekly Spider-Man comics... I even went and interviewed the owner, Mr. Hudson, about his job, for a school project.
Here are ten songs about getting your papers delivered... which, I guess, not many people do these days. Bloody internet.
Special mention to Eli 'Paperboy' Reed, someone who's definitely worthy of further investigation, if Name Calling is anything to go by.
10. Jilted John - The Paperboy Song
Graham Fellows never fails to make me laugh. I love his description of getting his papers from the newsagents...
I walk into the paper shop9. The Marvelettes - Paper Boy
And say good morning, Keith
"Good morning, Keith!"
"Good afternoon!" Keith would shout.
Keith marked the papers out
A boy called Gary helped him
But he just pissed about.
Not content with pestering the postman, The Marvelettes also went after the paper boy...
8. Soft Cell - Kitchen Sink Drama
A lonely housewife who imagines herself as Elizabeth Taylor has an eye on the paper boy while her husband's out at work. Does exactly what it says on the tin.
7. The Courteeners - Take Over The World
He's only a paper boy from the north west, but he scrubs up pretty fine in his Sunday best.
Liam Fray may be a bit of an egomaniac, but he does know how to write a good song.
6. July Talk - Paper Girl
OK, here's my discovery of the week. While researching this post, even though I had loads of songs to go at from my own collection, I couldn't think of any that featured Paper Girls. So I did a little search and came up with this Canadian alt-rock band who are pretty amazing. In fact, I just bought their first album. Can't afford their second one (from last year) just yet, but it'll be on my wishlist if the tracks I've heard so far are anything to go by. Love the mix of vocals by Leah Fay and Peter Dreimanis, who sounds not unlike this next gentleman...
5. Tom Waits - Saving All My Love For You
Not the Whitney Houston song... but wouldn't it be cool if Tom covered that?
Anyway, here he gets up so early that everyone's sleeping but the paper boys... poor kids are gonna be scared out of their wits if they bump into Tom on their round.
4. Guillemots - Made Up Love Song #43
My favourite Guillemots song. I love its theme of finding magic in the everyday, even if it can't help but remind me of the end of American Beauty.
You got me off the paper round3. Morrissey - I Have Forgiven Jesus
Just sprang out of the air
The best things come from nowhere
I love you, I don't think you care
Much has been made lately of the fact that Morrissey is actually a bit of a dick. Even my (local) poetry hero Simon Armitage, on his recent 6Music show, after saying how Morrissey and Dylan were the two songwriters he felt were closest to being actual poets... then went on to remark, "Morrissey, who I had the great pleasure of meeting earlier this year... hmm." Never meet your heroes, Simon!
Anyway, despite all this, Moz will always be the second most important songwriter in my record collection, and I'll always love him for songs like this... which at the time of its release spoke to me more than just about any other song I'd ever heard.
I was a good kid,Don't worry, Moz. I'll always forgive you.
I wouldn't do you no harm,
I was a nice kid,
With a nice paper round
Forgive me any pain,
I may have brung to you,
With God's help I know,
I'll always be near to you...
2. Don McLean - American Pie
There are whole websites devoted to the lyrics of American Pie. I'm not sure why, its meaning seems pretty straightforward to me: the British Invasion stealing away the American monopoly on rock 'n' roll soon after Buddy Holly's death. It all begins though with a very young Don delivering the fateful headlines that mark "the day the music died". No wonder February made him shiver.
1. David Bowie - Modern Love
Of course, we should never take Bowie's lyrics literally. However, the intro to Modern Love always puts a very specific image in my head of the Dame chasing after his paper boy, presumably for chucking his copy of the Observer into the rose bushes outside Bowie Towers one time too many. He knows when to stay in; he knows when to go out... he definitely knows how to catch a paper boy.
If your paper round went past David Bowie's house, you'd have probably wished he would chase after you. That'd be the equivalent of having Prince turn up on your doorstep on a Sunday morning with a copy of Watchtower.
Which one gets ink on your fingers?