A King, a Queen, a Lord, a Lady. A Corporal, a Brigadier, a Chief, a Sharif. A Brother, a Reverend, a Prince and – erm – a Doctor. Sorry, the Princess wasn’t available. She’s drinking the Champagne and scoffing the caviar, I expect.
In fact, “there’s a problem in my brain” and You’re the Doctor, according to Ty Segall. Well, I’ve often wished I was. The time-travelling sort though, not the medical person I think we’re dealing with here. If you’ll forgive the medical term, that’s a blistering start (I told you not to say blistering – Ed).
And to follow, by contrast, a slow, piano-led lament to a King of Straw, now ripe for burning on the pyre. Apparently he’s going to return. A good trick if you can pull it off.
Noah, one of the Old Testament prophets revered by Rasta’s is given the title of Brother Noah in the next pick. Plus, as many have mentioned this week, the title Ras Tafari is an honorific in itself.
A Brigadier! A frigging Brigadier! Jake’s village has one and he seems to be something of a character. Takes one to know one says I. Jake Thackray on his usual deadpan form and quite rightly too.
Hail to the chief. The Big Chief, as performed by Professor Longhair. Guaranteed to knock the socks off the listener in this live version or in the separately nominated studio recording.
I struggled (briefly) with the moral dilemma of pandering to the guru-pandering but I couldn’t fail to list a lament to an ice queen, sung by some Norwegian lassies. Lady Marlene. Not a nice person by all accounts. Always winter. Probably never Christmas either.
Our second military type is your Corporal Clegg. He’s got a medal, you know. He found it in the zoo. Or was that a dream? Early-ish Pink Floyd prove that Syd didn’t have the monopoly on weirdness, lyrically or sonically.
I had often listened to the tale of Lord Franklin and noted the blatant steal perpetrated by that Bob chap. Both the tune and the dream concept. I hadn’t paid enough attention to the lyric though or its historic origin. A true tale of a sticky end and a forlorn hope of rescue dating back to the 19th century.
An Americanised version of a British form of address, relocated to Jamaica by The Techniques. Put that in your title pipe and smoke it. I wonder how our Liz would react to being called “Queen Majesty”. I’m sure she’s heard worse from Phil.
Someday My Prince Will Come. That’s what they say. We had two jazz interpretations nominated and the Bill Evans one came in just ahead in my estimation. A close call though. I was half expecting Sinead’s ethereal reading of the same song to be nommed too. My apologies if it was.
Sharif. An Arabic honorific for a person of quality. We get a King and a Sheikh and The Prophet thrown in for good measure in Rock the Casbah. I’m ticking off the titles as we speak.
The nominator of Reverend Lee was looking for the Roberta Flack version but found this one by Colleen Hewitt. No offence whatsoever to Roberta but I’m kind of glad they did. It is (dare I say it) sublime.
Appellative A-List Playlist:
Ty Segall – You’re the Doctor
Slapp Happy – King of Straw
The Shadows – Brother Noah
Jake Thackray – The Brigadier
Professor Longhair – Big Chief
Katzenjammer – Lady Marlene
Pink Floyd – Corporal Clegg
Pentangle – Lord Franklin
The Techniques – Queen Majesty
Bill Evans Trio – Someday My Prince Will Come
The Clash – Rock the Casbah
Colleen Hewitt – Reverend Lee
Bestowed Banner B-list Playlist:
Rich Kids – Ghosts of Princes in Towers
Jacques Brel – Les Remparts de Varsovie
John Lee Hooker – Queen Bee
Billie Holiday – Miss Brown to You
The Wankys – Princess Wanky
Veda Hille – Queen of the May
Paul and Linda McCartney – Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey
Gene Chandler – Duke of Earl
Gillian Welch – Look at Miss Ohio
Edith Piaf – Milord
The Fall – Dr Bucks’ Letter
The Unthanks – Queen of Hearts
Guru's Wildcard Pick
Kass Kass – Mister Oh
A slice of Congolese Soukous music from 1987. Plus a couple of other honorific songs I bunged in for good measure. Olivia Chaney singing on both of them, obviously.
These playlists were inspired by readers' song nominations from last week's topic: Doctor, doctor! Bang goes the knighthood: songs featuring honorific titles.The next topic will launch on Thursday at 1pm UK time.
New to comment? It is quick and easy. You just need to login to Disqus once. All is explained in About/FAQs ...
Fancy a turn behind the pumps at The Song Bar? Care to choose a playlist from songs nominated and write something about it? Then feel free to contact The Song Bar here, or try the usual email address.