I Can’t Help Myself

Time for some more gut reactions, songs which spring to mind whenever I hear a word, phrase or a person’s name.

As discussed at way too much length last time out, many of these seem to stem from footballer’s names, and the first one this week is no exception.

Although I can’t really take credit (if that’s the right phrase…) for this one. I believe I heard it mentioned on an old TV show hosted by Frank Skinner and David Baddiel called “Fantasy Football League”.

One of them (Frank, I think) announved that whenever he heard the surname of German midfielder Torsten Frings, he always thought of this song. And since then, I have too:


Nancy Sinatra & Dean Martin – Things…

They spent a lot of time, money and effort on that sleeve, didn’t they? I mean, they haven’t even bothered to fully crop Lee Hazlewood out of the photo of Nancy. Look:


Anyway, next up, a record that I actually bought on 7″ single back in 1986, for the sole purpose of putting it on a mix-tape to play in the sixth form common room (chucking a chart record on every now and then was my way of making sure any of the kids less cool than me (sense the ironic tone, by the way) wouldn’t complain that they didn’t know any of the songs being played. See how I suffered for my art?).

As with “Things…”, I may be misappropriating the source, but I have not actually heard the title of this next song since the day that Radio 1 (at the time) DJ Simon Mayo (I think) substituted it for the words “Womens’ Underwear”. I


Bon Jovi – Womens’ Underwear Livin’ On a Prayer

Which leads us nicely into, if not identical, then very similar territory. Last time out, I opened up the floor to any suggestions which you might have, and Charity Chic (of Charity Chic Music fame) proffered this:

“My surname is Boyd and my brother and I have been known to sing “The Boyds are Back in Town” on occasions (usually when alcohol has been consumed).”

boysrback_400x400 (2)

Thin Lizzy – The Boyds Boys Are Back In Town

I’ve got one of those too. In fact, I have two of them. These aren’t sung by my family and I, but at least once a year (on my birthday) this will spring to mind for one particular line contains a word which bears more than a passing resemblance to my surname (in fact, I’ve lost count of how many times people have thought it is my actual surname):


The Beautiful South – Let Love Speak Up Itself

Now, I’m not about to reveal my surname here, I’d like to retain some degree of anonymity (although any of you that don’t know me personally but do follow me on Twitter will already know it), but this should give you a bit more of a clue:


Fred Wedlock – Oldest Swinger in Town

Feel free to send any suggestions you might have (for songs to feature in this series, not for what my surname is) via the Comments section below.

More soon.


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17 thoughts on “I Can’t Help Myself”

  1. I will never get tired of ‘The Boys Are Back in Town.” It’s perfect. Moves right along, picturesque sung-spoken lyric, great changes, doubled guitars, unforgettable riff — it has everything. It’s always summer of 1976 when it comes on. The fact that I’ll now be singing along with ‘Boyds’ in honor of CC makes it that much better.

  2. I’m not sure this really counts, but whenever I stuck get behind a particularly slow driver… or trolley pusher in the supermarket… I find myself singing “We Have All The Time In The World”. This had led me to calling these people “Lou-ees”. (Although, apparently Louis Armstrong was a Lewis to his friends, not a Lou-ee.)

    Secondly, I have a student called Nathan Jones. The less said the better, really, but after re-enrolling in the summer he then did not attend class till November, by which time I’d removed him from the course. I actually had to sit down and tell him (with a straight face), “Nathan Jones… you’ve been gone too long.”

    Neither of those stories really fit this feature, I realise, but…

  3. Like that Nathan Jones story. My old boss was called Kenny Rogers but he wasn’t a Gambler thankfully, nor was his wife called Lucille or Ruby. As far as I know he didn’t ever have to confront the Gatlin boys either.

    I’m struggling to come up with something for this feature although I know we have them. All I can think of is that when we find something in the fridge and ask each other if we need to “use it up” the other always adds “wear it out, ain’t nothin’ left in this whole world I care about, I said one two three shake your body down, shake it on down…. (Odyssey 1980.)

    1. I know the feeling! Like I said in the first one of these, I first thought I had thousands of them. I still think that, but can I remember them? Nope.

  4. The other one is if someone says “I’m so excited” – The follow on is inevitably “and I just can’t hide it, I’m about to lose control and I think I like it”. Or is it just me?

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