“Trespasses stretch like broken fences, hope to mend them one day.”
We start off with Patti Smith’s Trespasses, a song about loss and renewal. I should explain that I wanted all the songs to be positive this week, because it’s the new year and everything, but when I heard No Pussy Blues by Grinderman I just couldn’t resist it, because the poor man’s trying so hard and yet nothing works. If I might suggest – perhaps a different woman? Or lose the moustache at least…
Car engines do spring to mind when one considers things that need fixing, and here we have the magical Stevie, in The Burning Hell’s The Road (like Cormac McCarthy’s but with less cannibalism), followed by the more ordinary, venal kind of mechanic who gets blindsided by the car owner in The Talkin’ Song Repair Blues by Alan Jackson. Anyone who’s ever taken their car to a garage will be rooting for the songwriter.
I used to think duct tape and gaffer tape were the same thing but apparently, though all gaffer tape is duct tape, not all duct is gaffer. Got that? It’s probably just as well nobody nominated any songs about parcel tape or masking tape, because I’ve picked both Duct Tape Heart by Barenaked Ladies and Even Steve McQueen by Robb Johnson and the Irregulars, which is about gaffer tape. I once owned a car which had the driver’s door held on by gaffer tape (I got in and out through the passenger door) which is why I feel friendly towards it.
Slimming is, as nominator megadom pointed out, a very New Year sort of thing as people try to solve the problems they brought upon themselves over Christmas. Everybody’s Slimmin’ by Slapp Happy and Jens Lekman’s Your Arms Around Me may not seem to have much in common but they’re both about someone losing part of themselves, and I expect Lily The Pink’s medicinal compound would be efficacious in both these cases.
But we do need to find solutions to problems far more serious than this in 2019 and beyond. Though Otis Gibbs is no longer planting the trees he talks about in No Rust On My Spade many more trees are wanted to reduce global warming – especially now there’s that bloke in Brazil saying he’ll cut down the rainforest. In the UK alone, thousands of people are homeless or living in inadequate accommodation; the squatters’ movement of the 1930s described in Saint Etienne’s Sweet Arcadia showed how unused housing and land could be colonised.
And asylum seekers. You can call me a cock-eyed optimist, but when I saw that headline about the British and French governments working together on the asylum question, I really thought it meant finding ways to help people. But it meant to prevent them coming. Um, it’s a human right to seek asylum, people. For their Sons And Daughters too.
“Hear all the bombs fade away.”
The Adhesive A-List Playlist:
1. Trespasses by Patti Smith
2. No Pussy Blues by Grinderman
3. The Road by The Burning Hell
4. The Talkin’ Song Repair Blues by Alan Jackson
5. Duct Tape Heart by Barenaked Ladies
6. Even Steve McQueen by Robb Johnson and the Irregulars
7. Everybody’s Slimmin’ by Slapp Happy
8. Your Arms Around Me by Jens Lekman
9. Lily The Pink by The Scaffold
10. No Rust On My Spade by Otis Gibbs
11. Sweet Arcadia by Saint Etienne
12. Sons and Daughters by The Decemberists
Bagpuss Mends The Broken B-List Playlist:
1. The Mending Song by Bagpuss and friends (John Faulkner and Sandra Kerr)
2. The Barrel by Mischief Brew
3. Heart-Fixing Business by Albert King
4. Trust Your Mechanic by The Dead Kennedys
5. The Umbrella Man by Flanagan and Allen
6. Puncture Repair by Elbow
7. Let Me Fix My Weave by Missy Elliott
8. Bad Connection by Yazoo
9. The Gas Man Cometh by Flanders and Swann
10. Comes Love by Joni Mitchell
11. Get It Fixed by Rosa Henderson
12. To Her Door by Paul Kelly
13. Fixing A Hole by The Beatles
Guru’s Wildcard Pick:
The Old Changing Way by Richard Thompson
We’ll fix up your kettle
Please, dear missis,
We’ll sharpen your knives
These playlists were inspired by readers' song nominations from last week's topic: Tune up for 2019: songs about fixing, repairing and solving. The next topic will launch on Thursday at 1pm UK time.
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