Friday, 18 August 2017

My Top Ten Bowling Songs

Fuck it, dude... let's go bowling.

(Special mention to Bowling For Soup, the only band to ever read one of my blog posts and tweet a reply about it. Pity they never wrote a bowling song.)

10. The Blue Nile - High

Bowling alleys as a metaphor for the modern malaise? Yes please, Paul.

In the bowling alleys
In the easy living
Something good got lost along the way

9. The White Stripes - Red Bowling Ball Ruth

What a racket. In a good way, of course.

8. Donald Fagen - Miss Marlene

Now we know where Donald Fagen spends his Saturday nights...

Whether straight or hammered
She was the best in town
When she released a red ball
All the pins fall down

Can't you hear the balls rumble?
Can't you hear the balls rumble?
Miss Marlene
Were still bowling
Every Saturday night
Saturday night

7. The Auteurs - Showgirl

Luke Haines knows how to show a girl a good time...

I took a show girl for my bride
Thought my life would be right
Took her bowling, got her high
Got myself a showgirl bride

6. The Handsome Family - Bowling Alley Bar

When Brett and Renee are on fire, they can't be beaten...

Dented cars make me think of you
Sitting on a red leather stool
Drinking with your sunglasses on
In the bowling alley bar

And the sound of crashing pins
Behind us when we kissed
The night I wrecked my father's car
Behind the bowling alley bar

5. John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John - Summer Nights

Can't listen to this without remembering that time Adam Buxton interviewed Paul Weller...

Took her bowling
In the arcade
We went strolling
Drank lemonade
Do you think
This rhymes with laid?

4. Camera Obscura - Let's Go Bowling

More Glaswegian heartbreak from Tracyanne and the gang...

Anyway, I got myself some bowling shoes
An' they are all that I can see
With all my might I scored a strike
My friend you wouldn't believe
My teenage years were wasted all on me

Yeah, I can relate to that last line.

3. Lambchop - Let's Go Bowling

Musically, this wouldn't be out of place on The Big Lebowski soundtrack.

Lyrically: it is devastating.

Put that camera away
Take no pictures of the ruins of our life
That died without a fight and oh
We're doing everything just right
Except for touching and for holding and consoling
Let's go bowling

2. Elvis Presley - Down In The Alley

Originally recorded by The Clovers in 1957, Elvis brought a desperate energy to it that lifts it above much of the soundtrack fodder he was recording at the time. I love the anoraky detail you can find on iffypedia about old Elvis songs: "Presley recorded it between 4 and 7 AM in the early morning of May 26, 1966 at the May 25—28 studio sessions for RCA at the RCA Studio B in Nashville, Tennessee". Did this guy ever sleep?

Janie, Janie, Janie, Janie, Jane Jane
Down in the alley, just you and me
We're going bowlin' till half past three
Just rockin' and reelin', we'll get that feelin'
Down in the alley, oh baby gee

1. Camper Van Beethoven - Take The Skinheads Bowling

Of course, there could only be one Number One on this chart. The Manics do a pretty faithful cover too. From the album Telephone Free Landslide Victory. Mark E. Smith would be proud.

Maybe it's a metaphor for racism, maybe it's just nonsense. Either way, it scores 300.

Which one is right up your alley?


  1. I was scrolling down and getting increasingly anxious but fortunately the number one did not disappoint

  2. The Kinks - Come Dancing

    They put a parking lot on a piece of land
    When the supermarket used to stand
    Before that they put up a bowling alley
    On the site that used to be the local pally

    1. Yeah, it came close. But it doesn't seem all that long since I included it in My Top Ten Supermarket Songs (Vol. 2) for the very same reason...

  3. No doubting the Number 1 spot

    only other one I can offer is Bowling Barmy by The Toy Dolls

    1. I'm too scared to give that a listen.

  4. If CVB hadn't been at No.1 I'd have eaten my hat. Didn't Teenage Fanclub have a bash at it too?

  5. Probably.

    Your hat looks pretty tasty though...

  6. There could be no other No.1.

  7. Can't believe you haven't included ELO's Showdown, the *ultimate* bowling song - just watch Kingpin if you don't believe me.
    And don't forget the Wanktones - 'Live from the Fontana Bowlerama'. Ten rockabilly tunes recorded 'live' to the backdrop of beer and skittles. I'll send you a link if you're struggling to find it.

    1. Thanks, John. Link's not working, but I'll try to track 'em down. How could I resist The Wanktones?

  8. Hi Rol, again, don't seem to be able to regularly commit to checking out yours and other blogs that I try to follow - so I I haven't been a regular reader of late.

    I have always loved a particular line in Crowded House's anti America track - Chocolate Cake.

    "I saw Elvis Presley walk out of a Seven Eleven
    And a woman gave birth to a baby and then bowled 257"

    1. Don't worry, Deano, there are no penalties for not reading this blog. It's probably beneficial to your health.

      Good suggestion, and one of my favourites from CH.

  9. Yaaaaaaay!!!!!!!



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