Thursday, 12 July 2018

My Top Ten Dragonfly Songs

In the UK, we're currently struggling to cope with this long-forgotten concept (some of us remember it from our childhoods, but most had started to believe it a myth) of "summer". Our native insect population is certainly having a field day, with flying ants invading Wimbledon and huge butterflies and dragonflies being sighted in gardens across the country.

What better reason to dig out ten top tunes about dragonflies?

10. Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks - Dragonfly Pie

I like a good pie as much as the next Yorkshireman, but I'm not sure I could eat one made of dragonflies.

(I think this might be about drugs. Shh. Don't tell anyone.)

9. Paul Weller - Dragonfly

Also sounds like stoner-rock.

She's like a dragonfly with no fire
Diaphanous with no intent

She's like a horse with no rider
All this space
Without the chase
Or choosing

She's like a sea with no waves
All adrift
Upon a ship

Hardly Down In The Tube Station At Midnight, is it?

8. Fleetwood Mac - Dragonfly

Early Mac, after Peter Green's departure, when Danny Kirwan was briefly in charge. This is his song, though the lyrics are from a poem by W.H. Davies. Christine McVie had just joined the Mac and can be heard on backing vocals. God, this band must surely have the most convoluted history in the whole of rock!

And when the roses are half-bud soft flowers
And lovely as the king of flies has come
It was a fleeting visit, all too brief
In three short minutes, he had been and gone

He rested there upon an apple leaf
A gorgeous opal crown sat on his head
Although the garden is a lovely place
Was it worthy of so fine a guest?

7. Paul McCartney - Little Lamb Dragonfly

Sounds like an Abbey Road outtake. Which is a good thing, whatever you might think of Sir Thumbs Aloft now.

6. The Icicle Works - As The Dragonfly Flies

In another universe, U2 never made it and The Icicle Works were the biggest band of the 80s. I'd like to live in that universe.

5. Kasey Chambers - Dragonfly

And you went to the party and I was not invited
And everybody knows that the girls are one-sided
And the boys don't cry, neither do I
When you're picking off the wings of a dragonfly

Kasey Chambers - voice like an angel... with a little devil inside.

I've done everything that you could ever imagine
I've screwed all of my friends but I'm not bragging
I wish 'em well, don't kiss and tell
'Cause I don't really want nobody else

4. Red House Painters - Dragonflies

Kozelek. From before he became a grumpy old man. Still knows how to get into your head though.

I wonder in what fields today
You're chasing dragonflies at play
My little lost girl so far away

3. Devendra Banhart - Dragonflies

Very short, but very cool.

I don't owe me any money,
You don't owe me a thing.
When we drink beer,
Dragonflies appear.
Dragonflies appear.

2. Ron Sexsmith - Dragonfly On Bay Street

Ron gets funky as a dragonfly leads to a swift career change...

Used to work as a messenger
Spent my days riding elevators
In the heart of the business world
Till one day there came a sign

In the form of a
Dragonfly on Bay Street

Buzzing round from tower to tower
At the twilight of the working hour
Had he taken a wrong turn?
Was he lost without a trace?

Just like us
Dragonfly on Bay Street

1. Boo Hewerdine - Dragonflies

Mark Nicholas Hewerdine, Boo to us, one of music's great philosophers...

A lost summer's day, a lifetime away
What do you find?
Slow turning sun, with somewhere to run
On your mind

Not the flash that you saw
That was gone in the wink of an eye
As soon as we're here
We disappear like dragonflies

Their miracle blue can never tell you
How it came to be
Each different kind, accidental designed
Before you and me

And we ask the whole of our lives
Maybe there's no why
As soon as we're here
We disappear like dragonflies

Frequent Boo-collaborator Eddi Reader does a lovely version of this too.

Any dragonflies buzzing round your collection. (I'm taking bets on which one of you mentions The

1 comment:

  1. I never knew there were so many songs about dragonflies!


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