Thursday, July 31, 2008

G-G-G-G-G-Granville! (#2): Stammering Songs

I was off work sick yesterday, but rather than feel sorry for myself I had a lot of fun creating this. Well I‘m sure everyone’s got their own favourites, but here’s my list of the Top-Ten Stammering Songs:

10: P-p-pick up a Penguin... Penguin chocolate biscuit advert. More a jingle than an song, and I always thought the old bloke Rex-Harrisoning the vocals sounded a bit dodgy; but it’s An Eternal Truth that you can make anything more lovable if you add penguins. Even stammering - so, thanks.

9: Ba-ba-ba-ba-Barbara Ann... Barbara Ann by The Beach Boys. Not a convincing stammer on account of its musicality, but all stammerers are surfers at heart – out there riding the waves they can enjoy the admiration of onlookers but run no danger of being engaged by them in conversation.

8: Fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa-fa... David Watts by The Kinks. This falls down for the same reasons as Barbara Ann, and also because the “F” is not the first consonant of the succeeding word. Interesting. But the boy in the story - who longs to be like the eponymous playground hero - would stammer in reality, and this oblique reference is appreciated.

7: Blah blah....{pause}....blah blah... King George VI by King George V and Queen Mary. More a newsreel than a song, but George VI stammered for his country. Unfortunately, they gave him therapy and rewrote his speeches avoiding the difficult sounds. But listen to his long pauses: stammerers know what's going on there; and, like great comedy, great stammering is as much about the pauses.

6: S-s-s-single bed... S-S-S-Single Bed by Fox. With the stammer actually in the song title – fantastic!! Plus, stammering women are sexy, and this song proves it.

5: C-c-could I stay just one more night... One More Night by Yellow Dog. A one-hit-wonder by a band that apparently included many members from Fox (see above). So maybe somebody there does have a genuine speech impediment. I’d like to think so.

4: ugh ugh ugh ugh... Lucky Number by Lene Lovich. Not stammering as we understand it, but Lovich clearly exhibits the vocal gymnastics of a woman who has overcome a speech impediment in the past, and this great song proves to what artistic heights that can lead.

3: B-B-B-Baby, you ain't seen n-n-n-nothin’ yet... You Ain't Seen Nothin’ Yet by Bachman-Turner Overdrive. Yep, Smashy & Nicey’s favourite. Why? There’s the simple reason right there: top stammering on more than one consonant.

2: ...{all of it}... Stutter Rap by Morris Minor & Majors. In all seriousness, this “novelty single” points out many of the genuine issues facing stammerers. For this it was awarded the 1988 Golden Gargoyle by the British S-S-S-Stammerers Association (BSSSSA).

1: Why don’t you all just f-f-f-fade away... My Generation by The Who. The one that finally made heroes of us all. Roger Daltrey didn’t have to put the stammer on, but he just knew it was right. And they're all there: plosives, fricatives, approximants, you name it. Number One for every reason.


Mrs Pouncer said...

Gadjo! You work????? What on earth do you do?
Your list is irresistible, and thank you for using your time so wisely. Can I add Hey Ya! by OutKast, Spanish Stroll by Mink deVille and most things by James Brown?

No Good Boyo said...


I would suggest "Psycho Killer" by Talking Heads:

"Psycho Killer, qu'est-ce que c'est?

Ripped off the Kinks again.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Greetings, and I'm very pleased that you like it! Yes, I do work, Mrs Pouncer - vulgar, I know. More on that later, I feel. Ah yes, Psycho Killer would have been excellent - straight in at number 4 - but perhaps I should save exploring the dark side of stammering for another post. (I can't decide whether I've found a seam of blogging gold here, or just a very large pile of my own dirty washing. Hmmm.) I shall endeavour to listen to your choices, Mrs Pouncer - I regret that I'm not familiar with them; although James Brown, yes of course, 90% of what we said seemed gibberish so there should be some good stammering in there somewhere.

Mrs Pouncer said...

Whaddya mean "90% of what we said"? We talk perfect sense, don't we?
Blogging gold it is, Gadjo, and I will be with you every step of the way. I shall be most useful to you when you reach the Musical Theatre listings, as the works of Lord Lloyd-Webber have caused many a gnashing of teeth in this house (he spreads a word across several notes like a cold poultice). xxxx (I have decided to kiss everyone on Fridays - apart from Mrs Boyo)

Gadjo Dilo said...

Sorry, Mrs P., it should have been 90% of what he (i.e. James Brown) said seemed gibberish. I treasure our conversations, Mrs Pouncer, and in fact was quite overcome with emotion when you left your first comment on my post as I thought maybe I'd wasted an entire day on my silly little blog thing.

This Lord Webber person is entirely below my horizon and I acknowledge him not.

Do you know Mrs Boyo??

Mrs Pouncer said...

Wasted your time? Gee-whiz Gadjo, if only you knew! I come careening down the stairs, even though notionally on holiday, just to see what you've said over breakfast. Mr Pouncer yawns extravagantly and says "your imaginary friends again, I take it?" I drink in every word, far more than the anodyne flimflam that passes for conversation at these ludicrous dinners I'm dragged to. (I just wrote "dimmers" there).
Safe journeyings tomorrow, mon brave.

Mrs Pouncer said...

Gadjo! Do you want to kiss Mrs Boyo?

Kevin Musgrove said...

Most stammering songs don't seem to catch that "train of conversation has hit a sandbank" moment.

I have a 78 with a scratch on it that comes close. (Spike Jones' "Chloë" if you must know).

I suspect Mrs. P. is building up to presenting a commemorative photograph of the Marine Commando Club, Paddington.

Gadjo Dilo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gadjo Dilo said...

You're so right, Kevin. They don't catch the "train of conversation coming off the rails and getting stuck in a ditch" moments either. These people are generally pasticheurs of the lowest order. Spike Jones, eh? I seem to have some vague memory of him.

Here in Romania we kiss anybody, Mrs Pouncer! The stubbly old blokes are the best: stronger forearms and lip muscles. Also, they know instinctively the correct nanosecond to disembrace; if any of them is "Gordon from the Marine Commando Club" they certainly hide the fact! I'd be honoured just to drink in the aura left behind by Mrs Boyo after she had departed a room.

Your comments are very kind, Mrs Pouncer, and I am touched. No, really, I am touched: whether by genius or madness is not for me to judge.

Kevin Musgrove said...

The scratch is more important than the singer.

Much more importantly, good luck tomorrow.

No Good Boyo said...

There are standing stones throughout Mitteleuropa that once were people who kissed Mrs Boyo.

No Good Boyo said...

PS Virgina Plain by Roxy Music:

We´ve been around a long time
just try try try tryin´ to
Make the big time

M C Ward said...

I never knew One More Night was by Yellow Dog. I distinctly remember my father getting home from work during TOTP, glancing at the TV and opining, "He's mental you know!", in reference to the lead singer. He wasn't a great one for "monkey music". Thanks for digging that one up!

Gadjo Dilo said...

I'm glad to oblige, M C. Coincidentally, my father gave me similar grief when Pan's People appeared on TOTP and he happened to be in the room. His mock outrage at their gyrating, barely clothed bodies was clearly aversion therapy designed to stop me turning into a heterosexual; but my love for Babs, Cherry, Ruthie, Dee Dee & Joey (?) was stronger than even he could understand.

No Good Boyo said...

Another one:

Wash It All Off by You've Got Foetus on Your Breath:

"Why kill time when you can k-k-kill yourself!"

Gadjo Dilo said...

Thanks for the Roxy Music / Chairman Mao connection, Boyo! (Is that Kevin Eldon playing the Great Leaper Forward?) One would like to think that political dictators would be more cuddly if they sang pop songs, but of course North Korea's Kim Jong-il proves us wrong:

I couldn't find Wash It All Off by You've Got Foetus on Your Breath but maybe I try again later (I feel a little delicate in the mornings).

No Good Boyo said...

It is indeed the Mighty Eldon. He ought to release an album of his greatest hits, including the Krafwerk Hokey-Cokey with Bill Bailey and, of course, Machadeynu.

As for Foetus, try:


PS did you know Paul Raymond was a major stammerer? He let a stammering society use the Windmill Theatre gratis for a benefit. (Source: Sunday Times 17 Aug 08)

Gadjo Dilo said...

Bizarre stuff, Boyo; interesting, though. I didn't know that about Paul Raymond - it shows how far a man with a stammer and a terrible haircut can go in the world.

Evelyn said...

I think with respect if you had a real stammering problem you wouldn't be so ready to spend time finding stammering songs. I have a real , not manufactured, stammer, and although I'm not offended by your little website, I could be. Sorry to be a killjoy - I just think you could find something better to do with your time.