These are all songs that I like that are made even better because of their titles. (Come to think of it I believe the title of this post gives it all away.) I have had to leave out some songs due to their inappropriateness, since this is what you might call a family newspaper, plus pretty much every blues song has a fantastic title. These were really just the first ones that popped into my head and there are also plenty that I did not include, but I am hoping that you will have some of your own to share.
“The Last Time I Did Acid I Went Insane” by Jeffrey Lewis. The title, by my favorite antifolk singer and pretend college boyfriend, pretty much tells you all you need to know. (He also has another song called “No LSD Tonight” in which he explains that people keep coming up to him at his shows and offering him acid since no one apparently listened to the words of this song.)
“Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want” by The Smiths. I mean, please. This song kills me still all these years later. So simple and so true. (Lord knows it would be the first time.)
“Big Yellow Taxi” by Joni Mitchell. Yes, I know you’ve heard this song a million times. So have I. And it’s not even among my favorite Joni Mitchell songs. But here’s the thing. That title. When I was quite young I was struck by how it wasn’t what you’d expect the title to be. Somehow that last thought, her old man driving off in a big yellow taxi, is what it’s all about. Which I suppose makes sense.
“Autumn Is Your Last Chance” by Robyn Hitchcock. Oh man. This song is a killer. If you, say, first heard this song in college it will take you right back and make you feel exactly that same way, which means you maybe can’t listen to it too much. Cause you’re not there.
“My Wife Thinks You’re Dead” by Junior Brown. Country songs have a real knack for delivering it all in the title. And this one does not disappoint.
“You’re Pretty Good Looking (For a Girl)” by The White Stripes. There are so many great White Stripes song titles (i.e. “Girl, You Have No Faith in Medicine”) but this one makes me laugh every single time I think about it.
“Debra” by Beck. I love everything about this song, starting with the line “I met you at J.C. Penney.” But the fact that it’s about a girl named Jenny he wants to get with (“and your sister, I think her name is Debra”) and that it’s called “Debra” always pleases me.
“You Left the Water Running” (recorded) by Otis Redding. Oh man, the metaphor is just carried throughout this song. You forgot to turn off the cry!