The Chain #15

Blimey, loads of suggestions to get through this week. More first-time contributors, some returning friends, and above all, some bloody great tunes, 80% of which I’d never even heard before, let alone owned copies of. So it’s been a fun old week, trying to track down the bloody things, with varying degrees of success.

First up this week is George. George would like us to know two things. Firstly, he was first, and second his record is the best thing that will be suggested this week:

“It’s a bit unfair to be the first to post because I have a link to one of the 5 best songs ever made. Sorry to the others, your choices can’t touch this. Dirty Old Town was written by Ewan MacColl, whose father was called William (MacColl), and William just happens to be the first name of the bloke who wrote Jungle Rock. William M. Mizell is better known as Hank Mizell.”

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Hank Mizell – Jungle Rock

Next up, and straight to the point, here’s Charity Chic:

“Ewan’s father may have been William but his daughter was Kirsty. So In These Shoes? please” (See that? “Please”. I mean, there was always going to be a tune by Kirsty in this post, but a little manners go a long way.”)

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15. Kirsty MacColl – In These Shoes?

It’s a big Chain “Welcome Back!” to What’s It All About, Alfie? who writes:

“Dirty Old Town was by The Pogues fronted by Shane MacGowan and Shane has just got himself a brand new set of fine gnashers – The DJ/Actor Goldie also has a fine set of golden gnashers and appeared in the Bond movie The World Is Not Enough which was also the name of the title track by Garbage (fronted by another Scottish “lady” Shirley Manson) – one of my favourite Bond themes ever.”

You’re definitely getting the hang of this.

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Garbage – The World Is Not Enough

And now, it’s a big Chain “Welcome!” to S-WC, who co-writes the fecking wondrous When You Can’t Remember Anything and who was also partly responsible for one of the most entertaining series of posts I’ve read this year over at JC’s the Vinyl Villain: The £20 Challenge. Anyway, here are his suggestions. Yes, that’s right. Suggestions. As in plural.

“I’m currently in the Medway Towns, one of which is Chatham, which is a (very) dirty old town. Chatham is the birthplace, home and stomping ground of one Wild Billy Childish. So how about ‘Troubled Mind’ from his band The Buff Medways.”

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 The Buff Medways – Troubled Mind

“Or Chatham is a dirty old town, that is part of Medway, The Buff Medways are also a type of chicken, Chickens lay eggs which leads us to Tom Waits’ ‘Eggs and a Sausage’…”

The phrase “like a duck to water” springs to mind.

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Tom Waits – Eggs And Sausage (In A Cadillac With Susan Michelson)

Next, another big Chain “Welcome!” to Dirk who writes the also wonderful sexyloser blog, who contributes this (pay attention now – Dirk has kindly presented his suggestion in bullet-point format):

“This, of course, is an easy task and the answer should be clear to anyone:

– as we all know the dirtiest town in the world is Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku. Have a look at an according Forbes list if you don’t believe me

– as we all know as well Baku’s probably most famous son is Garry Kasparov. Have a look at Wikipedia if you still disbelieve me

– again, as we all know, ole’ Garry was rather a fine chessplayer, so fine in fact that he was World Champion back in 1986. Again, Wikipedia will be able to confirm this to you

– almost finally, you’d be relieved to hear – 1986 is the very same year that Eton Crop released their groundbreaking ‘Yes Please, Bob’ mini album on Megadisc in the Netherlands

– and track # 5 was, and still is, I would think, called “Chessplayers Are Good Blokes”

So, there can only be one conclusion for the correct tune to follow The Pogues’ Dirty Old Town’: Eton Crop’s ‘Chessplayers Are Good Blokes’, I’m sure you’ll agree, don’t you?”

Well, no actually. There’s no “one” correct tune, Dirk, as these are all perfectly great suggestions (and still more to come). I think we can all agree that your inaugural suggestion wins this weeks “Comment Showboating” Award though:

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 Eton Crop – Chessplayers Are Good Blokes

But, brace yourself folks, we’re about to get all cultured on yo’asses.

Here’s The Swede:

“The song ‘Dirty Old Town’ was originally written by Ewan MacColl for use in his 1951 play ‘Landscape With Chimneys’. MacColl wrote (or co-wrote) a total of 18 dramatic works for the stage, including, in the early 1940’s, an adaptation of Molière’s ‘Flying Doctor’. In 1978 Hawkwind, working under the guise of Hawklords, released ’25 Years On’, a very good punk/new wave influenced LP, which included a track called ‘Flying Doctor’.

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 Hawklords – Flying Doctor

Next it’s another big Chain “Welcome Back!” to Marie, who has a new, interesting approach to submitting a link, which is to pick up on something one of you has suggested, and take it a step in a different direction:

“The Swede’s entry immediately brought to mind Judy Collins’ version of Bob Dylan’s ‘Time Passes Slowly’. It had been written for “Scratch”, a play by Archibald MacLeish, loosely based on a short story called “The Devil and Daniel Webster” by Stephen Vincent Benét.”

Cultured, see.

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Judy Collins – Time Passes Slowly

And yet another big Chain “Welcome Back!”to Kay, who has picked up on the fact that a couple of weeks ago Swiss Adam sneaked a second choice through by picking a song by a band I love (Half Man Half Biscuit, on that occasion), and has guaranteed my posting her suggestion by selecting one by a band I love even more:

“I must admit I hadn’t heard dirty old town before, so listened to it and then found out it was written about Salford. So my link is The Smiths – “Bigmouth Strikes Again”, due to the photo of The Smiths outside Salford Lads Club on The Queen is Dead album (inside sleeve I think) [inner gatefold of the original vinyl – Pedantic Ed] and Salford is a bit of a dirty old town (well it was when I lived there).”

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The Smiths – Bigmouth Strikes Again

And finally, here’s The Great Gog:

“As a Mancunian, I was aware of the Salford connection and immediately thought of the highly irritating Salford Jets and Who You Looking At?”

I was intrigued. It’s not often you get someone suggest I post a song by a band they describe as “highly irritating”.

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Salford Jets – Who You Looking At?

I take your point, GG.

Also that one was a right bugger to find a decent copy of.

My turn! And a link which I’m surprised none of you came up with.

“Dirty Old Town” was on The Pogues second album, “Rum Sodomy & The Lash”, which was produced by one Declan MacManus, who is better known as Elvis Costello. In 2008, Costello appeared on Fall Out Boy’s album “Folie à Deux”, providing vocals on the track “What a Catch, Donnie”.

Here’s the one song by Fall Out Boy that I own and quite like:

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Fall Out Boy – Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down

But, what was the official song that linked to “Dirty Old Town”? Well, we’ve already had it. Yup, look up there, at the Kirsty MacColl track that Charity Chic suggested and you’ll see a little “15” in the link. So – bonus points to CC!

So, you know what to do now. Have a wee think. Or a wee and a think. Then, when you’ve finished (and washed your hands) send your suggestions via the Comments section at the bottom, for songs which link to Kirsty MacColl’s “In These Shoes?”

More soon.

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