Thursday, 27 September 2018

My Top Ten < 30 Second Songs

The Swede recently ran a post about a 24 minute song and asked "Do we have time to listen to it?" Not at the moment, I'm afraid... work is still sucking all the joy out of my life.

So here's ten songs that all clock in at under 30 seconds. Easy enough to compile, I just got my music player to put my library in order by duration.

The only rule I had was it had to be a complete song - no excerpts, reprises, intros, fillers, talky bits or skits. Once I'd sifted all those out, here's what I was left with...

10. The Waterboys - I Am Not Here

Basically Mike Scott's 22 second answering machine message song, as included on the reissue of This Is The Sea.

9. Grand Funk Railroad - Big Buns

No, this isn't about blueberry muffins.

8. World Party - And God Said

Shortest opera ever. And very funny.

7. Flight of the Conchords - Au Revoir

Does everything it needs to and leaves you with a smile.

6. James Taylor - Mescalito

Shortest peyote trip ever.

5. Wire - Field Day For The Sundays

I want to be a field day for the Sundays so they can
Fuck up my life
Embarrass my wife
And leave a bad taste
Striped toothpaste can't remove on Monday mornings
I want to be a target for the dailies so they can show
Pictures of me with a nude on page three
So lacking in taste
Touched up near the waist, looking as limp as Monday morning
Touched up near the waist, looking as limp as Monday morning

Not bad for 28 seconds.

4. The Pernice Brothers - Amazing Glimmer

Fades away to nothing and leaves you wondering what might have been.

3. They Might Be Giants - Theme From Flood

Short song specialists - this track is both an advertisement and taster for the rest of the record, which is one of their best.

2. The Beatles - Her Majesty

You could argue that the second side of Abbey Road is all one long track, but it's probably my favourite Beatles album and this is a fine coda.

1. Slaves - Girl Fight

Very loud, very funny - particularly the end... and I'm making it Number One because, despite being only 15 seconds long... they still made a video for it!

Any short songs you'd recommend? They have to be under 30 seconds... I may well do a follow-up post on songs under a minute.


  1. One of my favourite LPs of this year has been 'Fake Lake' by The Coke Dares'. Eleven of the album's 35 tracks last less than sixty seconds and only four pass the two minute mark, though only one, 'Jammin with J​-​Mo' clocks in at less than thirty seconds.
    Or of course there's always 'You Suffer' by Nalpalm Death, an old favourite of Peel. You could play that one ten times and still sneak in under the wire.

  2. Replies
    1. Oh and you gotta love this one too, Brief Tommy by Down By Law

  3. The aptly named "I Like Short Songs" by The Dead Kennedys which opens with the immortal line "Rick Wakeman, eat your heart out." and clocks in at 28 seconds.

    From my Peel Show listening days, I seem to recall a band with a very rude name (the 1st one was Anal) which specialised in short songs.

  4. Stormtroopers of Death - "Ballad of Jimi Hendrix" - 7 seconds long and the lyrics comprise 2 words.

  5. I thought of doing something like this a while back and although no (sensible) 30 second songs in my library, most of the 1:30 to 1:45 ones were by Frank Sinatra. Very short and snappy in those days.

    1. Sorry to hear that work is tough at the moment - Last year, as you know, I thought I'd found a solution to my work travails, but of course that just brings a whole load of other problems so wouldn't recommend. Hope things get easier as the term progresses. Those who survive in the workplace nowadays are those who seem to be able to detach themselves to a certain extent, not take it too seriously and see it for what it is (a paycheck at the end of the month). Not something I was ever able to do and I suspect you are the same. Chin up 'an all that.

  6. Half Man Half Biscuit - Vatican Broadside, 30 secs on the button (although there is about 8 seconds of silence on the youtube clip)


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