Wednesday 5 June 2013

My Top Ten DIY Songs

With a new baby on the way, there's a lot of decorating and DIY needed in our house. Sadly, I've never been particularly good with a hammer or a drill... but I can knock up a damn fine Top Ten.

10. James Taylor - Handy Man

This handyman can fix broken hearts twenty four hours a day.

9. The Beatles - Fixing A Hole

Anything to stop the rain from getting in!

8. Bernard Cribbins - Hole In The Ground / Right Said Fred

National Treasure.

Of course, you might argue that the workmen in both songs are experts rather than amateurs... but they're hardly professionals.

7. The Wonder Stuff - Change Every Light Bulb

Miles Hunt is a man after my own heart. Stick to the easy jobs, Miles. 

6. Nick Drake - Man In A Shed

Neil Young believed A Man Needs A Maid... but most blokes would be happy with a shed to hide in. Nick's shed, of course, was where he hid from the world. I doubt he had a large selection of power tools in there. 

5. Peter Gabriel - D.I.Y.

I can't believe that B&Q hasn't used this in an advertising campaign. Maybe they tried to and Pete refused permission. Good on him, if that's the case. 

4. Radiohead - Just
You do it to yourself, you do
And that's what really hurts
Is that you do it to yourself
Just you and no one else
You do it to yourself
You do it to yourself
No, Thom, that's not what I meant by DIY. 

3. Luxembourg - Sick of DIY
I've seldom been mistaken
For being good with my hands
So it's all so convenient
That you have your own wrench
And I know not to mention
Things that clearly I don't understand
David Shah wisely leaves the DIY to his other half. 

2. Bruce Springsteen - Jack Of All Trades

Bruce will mow your lawn, clean out your drain, mend your car, harvest your crops... he'll even shoot your bank manager, should you so desire it.

1. Billy Bragg - Handyman Blues

When Louise first heard me playing this track from Billy's new album, she said, "he's written that for you". Well, Billy's been writing songs for me most of my life... but this one goes out to men of a certain age everywhere... as represented in the new video by Kevin Eldon, Johnny Vegas, Stewart Lee, Phil Jupitus and various other men of a certain age who'll never be the man around the house their father was. 
Don't be expecting me to put up shelves
Or build the garden shed
But I can write a song that tells the world
How much I love you instead!

Which one makes you want to Do It Yourself?


  1. Great video, I hadn't seen that before.

    No room for "If I Had A Hammer" by, well, everyone?

    And how about a special mention for anything by The Saw Doctors?

    1. I think the video's just been released - that should be a Number One single now.

      Come back soon for my Top Ten Hammer Songs.

      Special mention for Tool also.

  2. Great no.1 choice! How about 'What's He Building?' by Tom Waits? Or 'If I Were A Carpenter' by Johnny Cash?

    1. What's He Building? is way too scary for a DIY Top Ten. I'll find a way of shoe-horning If I Were A Carpenter into a Top Ten soon.

  3. Great list...and you did it yourself...somewhere I'd throw in If I had a hammer by Peter, Paul and Mary, although I suppose technically they don't have the hammer so can't be doing DIY...

  4. Replies
    1. Wasn't one appearance by Neil Morrissey enough for you?


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