So, inspired by last night's Glee
, I decided to look up some of my favorite neglected songs. And that inspired me to make this list for fun, and to spread the awesomeness of these songs to people who may never have heard them. These are songs by artists that I think most people have at least heard of, with maybe one or two exceptions, but these songs, for whatever reason, are just not very well known. I'm going in order of my absolute favorites here, but you're free to make your own judgements. If you guys have heard any of the songs on this list before, I love you forever. If you've heard ALL of them, we may have to get married.
Since I didn't feel like linking to YouTube videos for this (and honestly some of them didn't have videos or just had really shitty ones), I made a playlist on Grooveshark.
10. "Lily the Pink" by The Irish Rovers
-- A fun little Irish drinking song, "Lily the Pink" is peppy and guaranteed to put a smile on your face. It's a cheerful little song that I always put on when I'm in a lousy mood. It just perks me up right away. Actually, most of The Irish Rovers' repertoire has that effect on me, but I chose this one as a representative because it's funny and bouncy and a good choice to start off the list. Yeah, you'll find that all the songs on this list are generally pretty happy and fun in their own ways. I'm in one of those moods today. 8D
9. "Love Shines" by Doug and the Slugs
-- A band that I sadly don't see around much anymore due to lead singer existence failure, these guys are a hell of a lot of fun. Like all the bands on this list, if you haven't heard of them, definitely check them out. "Love Shines" is my favorite of their songs, for it's catchy melody, odd lyrics ("In another life, maybe you were Genghis Khan"
? Whaaa?), and the late Doug Bennet's distinctive voice. Again, another song that's tons of fun.
8. "Rock and Roll Heaven" by The Righteous Brothers
-- I pray to God everyone knows who The Righteous Brothers are, but to give a refresher, they are the amazing men who gave us "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin" and "(You're My) Soul and Inspiration". You may have heard them on...every single God damn classic rock station in the universe. And of course, Bill Medley gave us the glorious "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" so that The Black Eyed Peas could rape it up the ass. ...But I'm getting off topic. Long story short, The Righteous Brothers kick ass. But I find that "Rock and Roll Heaven" isn't as well known as some of their earlier work, which is unfortunate since it's a wonderful song. It's a tribute to some amazing artists who had died far too soon, such as Jimi Hendrix, Bobby Darin, and Jim Croce. They rereleased the song again years later with updated lyrics honouring other artists who had died in the interim like John Lennon and Mama Cass. Put simply, this is a very pretty song and really should get more recognition than it does.
7. "Afternoons and Coffeespoons" by Crash Test Dummies
-- A band hailing from my hometown of Winnipeg, Crash Test Dummies had two big hits in their career: "Superman's Song" and "Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm". (Only in Canada could you get away with writing a hit song whose chorus consists entirely of humming.) Compared to those two songs, both slow and somber ballads, "Afternoons and Coffeespoons" is an upbeat little ditty and a good breather in between their slower stuff. Which is kind of funny considering the song is about growing old and dealing with all the medical and physical issues that come with aging. The lyrics and melody combined with Brad Robert's baritone voice make for a catchy song, and I'm sad it never really got airplay. I considered putting "God Shuffled His Feet" on here since that's another song that gets neglected, but I decided on "Afternoons and Coffeespoons" because it's peppier, and as I said, I'm in that kind of mood.
6. "Sean" by The Proclaimers
-- If you've ever seen the film Benny and Joon
, you know who The Proclaimers are. Their hit "500 Miles" is one of those songs that gets stuck in your head forever, mainly because you never want it to leave. The only other time I can think of one of their songs being big was when "I'm On My Way" was featured in Shrek
. Honestly though, check out ALL their songs. This is one of those bands I can just never get sick of. It took me forever to decide which song to put on this list (also considered: "Sunshine on Leith", "Jean", "My Old Friend the Blues", and "Cap in Hand". LISTEN TO ALL OF THESE. I COMMAND IT.), but I finally settled on "Sean" because it's a pretty song that showcases what these guys are best at. The lyrics are a tad incomprehensible at first, but you pick them up as you go along. Also, just because I figured this out before my Dad did and I feel like bragging about it, the opening line "Sean I'd say the best one came from Tupelo, Mississippi"
is a reference to Elvis. ...I am full of useless facts, no?
5. "30,000 Pounds of Bananas" by Harry Chapin
-- Ok, I'm kind of cheating with this one because it IS well known and is pretty much a staple of any Harry Chapin compilation. But I swear to God, I have yet to meet anyone under the age of 30 who recognizes this freaking song, and that's enough to make me include it. Well...that and it's one of my favorite songs of all time. Telling the apparently true story of a young truck driver who lost control of his banana truck on a hill outside Scranton, Pennsylvania and ended up crashing, killing himself and spilling the banana cargo everywhere. The story is both tragic and epically hilarious at the same time, and it makes for a hell of a funny song. The version I've put in the playlist is actually a live perfomance of the song, which is probably more well known than the original single, as Harry Chapin performs three different endings, gets the audience to participate, and quips about how difficult it is to write like this. It makes me giggle everytime and I really hope you guys enjoy this one in particular of all the ones on the list.
4. "Frankie" by Sister Sledge
-- Sister Sledge is inarguably best known for the disco hit "We Are Family", but when I was a kid, it was ALL about "Frankie". A sweet little ode to childhood love, "Frankie" is another one of those songs I sing to cheer myself up. I don't really know what else I can say about it other than it's one of the best songs that people just don't seem to know and I really want to see it become bigger.
3. "Take 54" by Harry Nilsson
-- Oh God, I'm giggling just thinking about this song. xD I remember my Dad pitching the BIGGEST squee fit when he found Son of Schmilsson
, Nilsson's very experimental eighth album, of which this song is the first track. Nilsson is far more well known for "Everybody's Talkin" from Midnight Cowboy
, but that song doesn't adequately show off his great sense of humour. I don't want to give away too much; I really encourage you to listen to it all the way to the end, because the last few moments of the song usually have my brother and I on the floor giggling like idiots. If you can find it, the whole album is fantastic, especially "Spaceman", which I had thought about putting on the list until I couldn't freaking find it on Grooveshark. >B[
2. "I Hate Winnipeg" by The Weakerthans
-- A lovely little acoustic guitar ode(?) to my hometown, I consider this song to be Winnipeg's unofficial anthem. Every line in this song rings true to every person who has lived in Winnipeg long enough to discover all that there is to hate in this city. About the only line I don't agree with is "The Guess Who suck"
, but that's because The Guess Who are freaking Gods. So yes, ladies and gentlemen, Winnipeg sucks. Take it from the people who live here. But keep something in mind: no matter how much we hate it, we love it just as much at the same time. Winnipegers are weird like that. We're like the Canadian New York.
1. "Queen of the Silver Dollar" by Dr. Hook and The Medicine Show
-- DEAR. GOD. I think I heard this song the first time when I was six and I have loved it ever since. In fact, if I made a top ten of my favorite songs of all time, I'd probably have to put this at number two. (Meat Loaf's "I Would Do Anything For Love" has been my number one forever and that will not change.
) An ode to a prostitute who frequents a bar known as the Silver Dollar, this song just plain kicks ASS and I love it to death. The trumpets, the chorus, just...everything about this song makes me ridiculously happy. Not much more I can say other than THIS SONG FUCKING ROCKS. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to listen to it a million times in a row. Heeeeeee.
So enjoy guys, and let me know what you think!