Thursday 18 June 2020

Guest Post Thursday #3: Top Ten Lockdown Songs

This week, JC, the Vinyl Villain, is back with another timely Top Ten. He wrote this one a few weeks back, but I still think it's relevant. Yes, they may be easing those lockdown restrictions, but most of us still feel like prisoners, maybe enjoying day release from time to time, but with the ever-present threat of going back into solitary confinement very soon. 

Anyway, it's another great list of songs from the Blogfather himself. Take it away, JC...

It really does feel that the lockdown and the various restrictions have been with us forever, but as I read on some wag's social media account the other day, we are still only around half the time that Bryan Adams had a terrible song at #1 back in 1991.

Here's ten songs whose titles kind of sum up my mood in recent weeks.

1. REM - It's The End of The World As We Know It

Surely there's nobody out there who will disagree?  The way we go about earning a living, especially for those who spend their time in offices, has been transformed beyond recognition and an increasing move to more home-working, post COVID-19, does seem likely.  The knock-on effects on the sustainability of town and city centres, which were already under threat from changing ways that we undertake retail therapy, will be significant.

2. Mogwai - Travel Is Dangerous 

Not unless you're a total prick who works in Downing Street for an even bigger prick and the journeys involve round trips of more than 500 miles.

3. The Clash - Clampdown

OK, so some of the initial restrictions are being eased, but if the scientists are right with their predictions, then we will likely have to revert to the draconian state of affairs when the second wave of the pandemic comes swooping across the UK.

4. The Specials - Ghost Town

I wasn't paying too much attention to what was going on outside of my own city of Glasgow, but it was utterly surreal to go online and look at images of totally deserted streets which would normally be thronged with workers, shoppers and folk out socialising and having a good time.  The picture that will long stick in my memory is that of a wild deer strolling care-free outside the entrance of our largest shopping centre.

So much so, that I almost dropped Ghost Town from this list and substituted There, There My Dear by Dexy's Midnight Runners.

5. Queen - I Want To Break Free

No matter how frustrating it is to be stuck indoors for much of the time, especially during such an extended period of dry and hot weather, unable to have any real social interaction with family, friends and loved ones, the advice is there for the benefit of us all and reflects that a collective effort is required to get us through the worst of times.  It does appear, for various, if understandable reasons (see #2 above) that more and more folk are breaking free.  It's probably best that everyone follows the advice in the next song title...

6. Malcolm Middleton - Stay Close, Sit Tight

Malcolm almost got two entries in this list.  'Blue Plastic Bags', written in 2008, has the chorus to end all choruses just now - 'Staying in is the new going out'.

7. David Bowie - Heroes

OK, it's a tad obvious.  Dedicated to the essential workers, and not just in the NHS and Care Homes.  If you're a hedge fund manager or an investment banker, then don't you ever dare tell me again that what you do is important and without which our economy and society would collapse.

8. Iggy Pop - I'm Bored 

I took early retirement from my job on Friday 27 March, an event that had been long in the pipeline.  All sorts of plans were in place to travel and do things I'd long dreamed of.  Everything is on hold and I've found that there are only so many books to be read or re-read, television boxsets to be devoured and old albums dusted down to be listened to before frustration and angst settles in.

9. Green Day - American Idiot

10. Sam Cooke - A Change Is Gonna Come 

No apologies for finishing off with two songs together.  The President has been an abject failure in his handling of the COVID-19 crisis which is now being exacerbated by his responses to the protests in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. Everyone is entitled to be angry, but it really is worth clinging to the words of hope in this, sadly still highly relevant, civil rights anthem from the 60s.

There've been times that I thought
I couldn't last for long
But now I'm able to carry on
It's been a long time coming
But I know
A change gonna come
Oh, yes it will

And on that day, there will be a collective rendition of Hallelujah.


Thank you, JC. I don't think anyone could argue with any of your choices there. It's an honour to have you guest again...

...but now, the doors are open to everyone else. As it stands, I don't have any more guest posts lined up (not even Lynchie's Jerry Hall story), so the future of Guest Post Thursday is in your hands. 

Do you have a Top Ten, a story to tell, a Grumpy Old Man (or Woman) Song, a Positive Song For Negative Times or even a Mid-Life Crisis tune? Email me if you do. I'll try to remember to leave my email address in the comments section, but if I don't, shout at me really loudly.   


  1. Here's hoping that a change is indeed gonna come
    Good work JC

  2. Speaking of "Hallelujah", the late, great Jeremy Hardy could be heard last week on BBC's "I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue" singing "Hallelujah" in the style of George Formby - effing classic comedy gold, if you'll pardon my language.
    Turned out nice again.

    Some nice person has posted it as a video on YouTube. Do yourself a favour and listen:

    Ps - I'll send you the Jerry Hall story ASAP.

    1. Excellent! This series will have a fourth instalment!

      If anyone else feels like contributing, email me: rolhirst AT gmail dot com.

    2. And yes, that clip is very funny.

    3. Brilliant clip - I've got beer coming out of my nose now ...

  3. About a month into UK lockdown, the Rolling Stones dropped (as I believe is the phrase) a new track - Living In A Ghost Town.
    It fit's this pattern, and (surprisingly?) it's a pretty fine thing too.


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