100 Days Project

Michael: Saving the languishing lyrical gems of modern pop

My aim is to trawl through my memory, my "record collection" and quotation references to unearth great pop poetry, drop it in, shine it up, make a comment or two as to its origin and personal impact. Enlighten? Hmm. Entertain, amuse, I hope. 100 times.

Day 2:

Songs Worshipped Out of Necessity

"If I'm troubled by every folding of your skirt/am I guilty of every male inflicted hurt?"

Paddy McAloon, the propelling pen behind Prefab Sprout, found them fame with the rather eccentric phrase, "Hot dog, jumping frog, Albuquerque," from "The King of Rock 'n' Roll", a smasheroonie back in 1988. But that delicious line above comes from 1984's "Swoon" where his lyrical genius is already blindingly evident. I could fill 100 days just with Paddy Prefab, frankly, but that would be indulgent.

The above, comes from "Cruel", a song that is littered with longing in a similar vein: frusration, inarticulation (ironic, that), societal constraints even. On from the above, he bemoans that

"I don't know how to describe the Modern Rose/when I can't refer to her shape against her clothes/with the fever of purple prose."

Hard done by, yearning for a more romantic age, mebbe? One where people quoted Keats in the streets? Yet he's not pretentious, just accurate, sublime, clever-clever and, as all good lyricists should be, imbued with a talent that makes it all seem so effortless. Or, in his words:

"I'm a liberal guy, too cool for the macho ache/with a secret tooth, for the cherry on the cake.."

Haven't we all, Paddy, haven't we all...

As you were