Thursday, 6 July 2017

My Top Ten 5am Songs

So there I was, just a few weeks back, complaining about having to get up at 6am. I should have remembered that in the summer, when the wood pigeon outside my bedroom window gets up at 5 o'clock in the morning, 6am is a lie in...

Here's ten bleary-eyed tunes to celebrate the light mornings.

10. Blur - Tracy Jacks

As with much of Parklife-era Blur, I loved Tracy Jacks at the time... but I find Damon's barking gets on my nerves these days. Still, for the good old days, it's worth pointing out that Tracy left home at 5 o'clock in the morning. And the bits where Damon sings rather than shouting are still quite nice.

From the same era (but aging slight better), I also offer Kenickie - 5 a.m.

9. The Village People - Five O'Clock In The Morning

In the early 80s, even The Village People had to accept that disco was dead. Their new wave change of direction (minus their signature costumes and camp) was greeted by derision (yeah, I know the idea of The Village People being treated with derision is hard to grasp) with one critic commenting the album was "simply an embarrassment that never should have seen the light of day." I've not heard the rest of the record, but I do like this song. Which only goes to prove that critics are... and I am... The video is brilliant.

8. Charlotte Gainsbourg - 5:55

You'd never guess that Charlotte was Serge and Jane's daughter. Not from watching this video, anyway. No siree. Maybe there was a mix-up on the maternity ward.

Sarcasm aside, you can pretty much imagine what she gets up to at 5:55. She's not doing the ironing.

Where do the French get their energy from? That's what I want to know.

7. Aphrodite's Child - Five O'Clock

Greek prog with Demis Roussos. I'll play this one for The Swede. Imagine A Whiter Shade Of Pale sung by the Go Compare man. And yet, I love it.

6. Mark Knopfler - 5.15 a.m.

Mark goes back to his Geordie roots. He will mostly be remembered as an axe-man. His lyrics deserve more attention.
The one armed bandit man Came north to fill his boots Came up from cockneyland
E-type jags and flashy suits Put your money in
Pull the levers Watch them spin Cash cows in all the pubs But he preferred the new nightclubs
5. Michelle Shocked - 5 am In Amsterdam

How does Michelle tell the time in the Netherlands? Listen to find out.

4. The Persuaders - A Thin Line Between Love & Hate

A soul classic which is also a hilarious tale of hell having no fury like a woman scorned. When he gets home at five, his lady is all sweetness and light, even offering to make him some toast. Cut to the next verse...
Here  am in the hospital
Bandaged from fee to head
In a state of shock
Just that much from being dead
Didn't think my woman would do something like this
Didn't think my girl had the nerve
Well, here I am
I guess actions speak louder than words...
Hitchcock would be happy with that twist.

3. Lily Allen - Who'd Have Known?

And this is why Lily Allen deserves to be mentioned in the same sentence as Kirsty MacColl.

My Top Ten: proud to have been irking the musos since before 2012.

2. Billy Bragg & Cara Tivey - She's Leaving Home

Apparently this was originally recorded by some obscure 60s combo: sadly I'm not enough of a muso to be familiar with their outfit and obviously their version couldn't have been as good as Billy and Cara's because it didn't even make the chart, unlike this smash hit Number One from 1988.

I'm sorry... Wet Wet Who?

1. Rialto - Monday Morning, 5.19

One of a clutch of classic Rialto singles from the Britpop era which has aged far better than Tracy Jacks. Heartbreaking too.

Which one sounds better than a 5am wood pigeon?


  1. I believed you, I listened to and watched the village people. You can fall out with people you know!

    Anyhoo "working in coal mine, going down down, working in coal mine, whoop I want to sit down, it's ......'

    1. Well, more fool you.

      Good call on the Lee Dorsey though.

  2. Out of my brain in a train
    The Who 5.15

    1. a.m.??? I thought p.m. Come back next week!

  3. Village People meet Visage - how bizarre. Don't know if Randy Jones (from the other week) was even amongst them as wouldn't recognise him without his stetson.

    Liked the girls' songs but can't think of any myself although I see there are a few out there I just don't recognise. I'm more of a Four In The Morning person and was definitely awake last night at that time last night - not good.

    As for She's Leaving Home, I couldn't bear to listen to it for years as I dreaded the day DD would leave - Now I can't wait!

  4. I like the Lily Allen too. It just occurred to me that it's not so far away from something that Saint Etienne might write - well, I could certainly imagine what their version of it would sound like.
    There's the Katy B song too, with (aptly titled) 5am, for those moments when you just want to dance to something that isn't too deep!
    But I'd be equally happy to listen to a 5am woodpigeon, I find them soothing!

    1. This one is more aggressive than soothing.

  5. Just who is the 5 o'clock hero? by The Jam... although that is probably better suited to 5pm?

    1. Will be doing 5pm songs very soon!


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