Wednesday, July 12, 2006

25 First Lines

At this very moment I'm supposed to be in London E8, watching Ed Harcourt play in the exotically-named Spice Festival, currently taking place in the exotic locale of Mare Street, Hackney.

However my shadowy contacts on the Eastern front have gone all nichts neues on me, so I find myself ensconced instead in the familiar surroundings of Quinquireme Towers, London W12, with a mug of peppermint tea at my side and a crepuscular breeze ruffling the remaining geraniums.


So while I'm here, let's play the first lines game! You know the score: I write down the first lines of the first 25 songs iTunes's Party Shuffle feature throws at me (excluding instrumentals and songs where the first line is also the title), and you name them. No cheating by looking them up!

There's a FABULOUS PRIZE to be won by the person who can name the most, which may or may not be my dog-eared spare copy of Cold Comfort Farm or my mouldy spare copy of Decline and Fall. What more incentive could you possibly need?

UPDATE: I now declare the contest closed, with the results as follows:

With HALF a point: Billy

With ONE point: Annie Rhiannon, Annie Slaminsky, Longcat, Prolix and the lovely Sara

With ONE and a HALF points: POE

With TWO points: Heather, Occasional Poster of Comments

And the winner, with a mighty FOUR points: Nibus!

This is dead handy actually, because Nibus sits next to me sometimes, so I don't even have to put the FABULOUS PRIZE in the post!

I'll be the first to admit this competition was terribly hard, so very well done to everyone who guessed anything correctly. Remaining answers now filled in below...

1. Peter said to Paul 'you know, all those words we wrote...'
Girl in the War, Josh Ritter

2. I have walked your sorry streets, and lived amongst your people
Catapillar, Lambchop

3. Everything is exactly right, when I walk around here drunk every night
St Ide's Heaven, Elliott Smith - POE and longcat (happy birthday, btw!)

4. Why, keep in touch with my crimes, cos I left it far behind
Rollercoaster, The Jesus and Mary Chain - Billy and POE

5. We was walking through the park
Was It You?, Spoon

6. She loves a soul that I have never been
Wolf Among Wolves, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - Annie Rhiannon

7. Now that your picture's in the paper being rhythmically admired
Welcome to the Working Week, Elvis Costello - Heather

8. Life could be so easy, why you gotta make it so hard
Strange Machines, Peter and the Wolf

9. I've been outside, invited in, but I couldn't abide, wouldn't miss it again
Let's Get Lost, Elliott Smith - POE

10. In those days there was a kind of fever that pushed me out the front door
Losing Haringey, The Clientele

11. In this secret time, ah
Reel by Real, XTC - Nibus

12. The rising moon faces the sickening sun
Twilight of a Champion, The The - Nibus

13. Tonight we don't have a lot to go on
Matching Weight, Trespassers William - Occasional Poster of Comments

14. I get a feeling there's gonna be a riot
Six Days, DJ Shadow

15. All the things that will be, all the places we'll see
Yr Room, The Shortwave Set

16. The light colour in this room
Mistress, Red House Painters - Nibus

17. Wake up you sleepyhead
Oh! You Pretty Things, David Bowie - Annie (honourable mention to Sara)

18. Loosen the wire, your time has expired, the only word left is 'goodbye'
The Velocity of Saul at the Time of His Conversion, Okkervil River

19. Through the woods and frosted moors
Spell, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Heather

20. You gave me hope amidst my sorrow
New Light of Tomorrow, Husky Rescue - Occasional Poster of Comments

21. The light dissolves the darkness
Love Becomes a Savage, The Lilac Time - Nibus

22. If my senses fail, stay with me till they go, cos I don't want to be alone
Greetings in Braille, The Elected

23. Everybody find they own thing, and I guess you think you've found yours
Break in the Road, Betty Harris

24. When the devil came, he was not red
Hell is Chrome, Wilco - Prolix

25. I feel I walk, my body lies, I am lying here with you in my bed
Go Check, Ms John Soda

Go to it! I'll tick them off when they've been correctly guessed...


Billy said...

4 is the jesus and mary chain... april skies?

patroclus said...

It is indeed the Mary Chain, Billy, but not April Skies...keep guessing!

prolix said...

I think 24 is Hell Is Chrome by Wilco...?

patroclus said...

Nice one, Pro! It is indeed.

Heather said...

Number 7 is Elvis Costello's Welcome To The Working Week I think.

Today seems to be a day for first line music quizzes. I've set one up on my blog too if you're interested Patroclus?

patroclus said...

Woo, well done Heather, will have a look at yours now too. I love pop quizzes, me. Too much, probably.

Heather said...

Oh is 19 Spell by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds?

patroclus said...

It is indeed - very well done!

Annie said...

17 is Oh You Pretty Things, David Bowie I think...

Bah, the Hackney Empire is just down the road from me, I would've gone with you! It was free too...

(I think if I could've written any book it would have to be Cold Comfort Farm)

occasional poster of comments said...

Damn, got here too late for the Nick Cave one. Actually, I don't think I'd have got that one. The last 2 albums aren't quite ingrained on my memory like the others.


Number 20: Husky Rescue - New Light of Tomorrow.

Heather said...

Bugger! I can't believe I didn't get the Bowie one, I'm kicking myself now, especially since I was singing along to that only yesterday.

Sara said...

Is it David Bowie "Oh You Pretty Things" ?

Sara said...

number 17.

nibus said...


11. XTC - Real by Reel
12. The The - Twilight of a Champion
16. Red House Painters - Mistress
21. The Lilac Time - Love Becomes a Savage

occasional poster of comments said...

Woo hoo! Number 13: Trespassers William - Matching Weight

Now I'm stumped.

Although 10's really bugging me...

patroclus said...

Annie - top work, yes it is. Woo! And your fellow Hackneyite and my Eastern Front correspondent Sara gets a point for that one as well.

OPC gets two for Husky Rescue and Trespassers William (blimey, I didn't think anyone would get the TW one).

The mighty Nibus, meanwhile, scores a mighty FOUR, putting him into the lead.

OPC - If anyone guesses no. 10 I'll be very impressed, as it's from an album that no one else I know seems to have.

occasional poster of comments said...

>>blimey, I didn't think anyone would get the TW one<<

Remembering a previous post of yours I figured it might be worth checking through my Trespassers William tracks :)

I'm kicking myself on that Red House Painters one. The piano version's one of my favourite tracks on the album. Then again, it's one of those soothing, late-night albums where I just put it on, close my eyes and let the songs wash gently over me before going to sleep.

I had to cheat on number 10. And it's still bugging me. Turns out I don't know the song, but it does remind me of something. Not sure what, though. I'm thinking, a line from a book, maybe.

patroclus said...

Ahh, cunning! In fact, anyone who peruses my profile will be rewarded with the names of the artists of four of the remaining songs, and another one of the artists was recommended to me quite recently in a comments thread, and anyone who gets Uncut on a regular basis is likely to have the first one...

That's enough clues now. I might start putting up some second lines to some of them, though.

No. 10 is all spoken-word, so it is quite like a book.

Billy said...

Aagh, I so know that Jesus and Mary Chain one... gah! Is the one about walking around drunk an Elliot Smith one?

patroclus said...

Yes it is, Billy.

And think late-period Mary Chain...

Annie Rhiannon said...

Number six is a Bonnie Prince Billy song, one of my brother's favourites. "Wolf among wolves" I think it's called.

patroclus said...

Woohoo, correctly guessed Annie!

Konrad said...

Do you know, why nobody ever comments on my blog? I'm sooooooo sad.

POE said...

If only this had loaded when I tried your blog last night. I was beaten to 2 easy ones!

4 - 'Rollercoaster'?

3 & 9 I think are both Elliot Smith but I don't know the track names, just noticed that Billy already said that too...

10 is something to do with Harringay/Haringey but I don't know the details!

23's irritating me as I think I recognise it but probably don't!

Hmm, as there's no answers, was it worth posting that?

patroclus said...

Sorry Hedgie, the blog went funny last night for some reason. You're spot on with everything you said! You and Billy can have one point each for 'Rollercoaster'.

cello said...

One of them has to be Calexico. Do I get a prize now?

Hannah said...

Oh. Sulk. I'm really bad at this game. I thought I was doing ok as far as slightly obscure music knowledge went. Apparently not.

patroclus said...

cello: Surprisingly there's no Calexico in there at all, but you can have a prize for entering!

Hannah: the remaining ones are pretty (almost wilfully, in the case of nos. 8, 23 and 25) obscure. I wouldnt have known very many of these myself. Although as Elliott Smith seems to have legions of fans in blogworld, I'm quite surprised no one's got 3 and 9.

Geoff said...

I knew numbers 7 and 17. Honest!

I've bought all the Elliott Smith albums this year but I guess you just don't take in the words when you reach 44. I only remember what I had for breakfast because I have the same every day.

Geoff said...

And I've got to get over this shyness.

I've just done one on my blog, too.

Betty's is forthcoming.

Are we all going mad?

longcat said...

3 - st ides heaven (by elliott smith)

8 - ex-factor (by lauryn hill)


patroclus said...

Ahh Geoff, good to see you. You should listen to the boy Elliott's lyrics - he always uses very simple words, often of no more than one syllable, but he uses them so beautifully. A very elegant, understated (and probably also under-rated) lyricist.

Still, the blogosphere loves him. Not a week goes by without at least one of the mp3 blogs putting up at least one of his songs. And amazingly, people seem to keep finding previously un-released stuff. Either he's not really dead, or it's like the Fragments of the True Cross all over again.

patroclus said...

Oo, longcat, you get a point for St Ide's Heaven (hurrah!), but 8 isn't Lauryn Hill. Although I just googled the lyrics of Ex-Factor, and they're very similar indeed.

Molly Bloom said...

Damn...I've been so busy I missed this. Great fun.