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Let’s Get Weird—All World All Time Best Song Competition: England (Pre-1980)

Yeah, we’re breaking England into 3 parts. We did Metal yesterday, will do Pre-1980 today, and Post-1980 tomorrow.

Portrait of English musician Ray Da.
If you know, you know.
Photo by Hannah Maule-Ffinch/Avalon/Getty Images

Feel free to click on the first Global Song Competition post in which we determined “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” was Australia’s best ever contribution to music to learn the rules of this game. In short, we didn’t want to talk about the aftermath of the last regular season baseball series, so I started a distraction contest to...

...determine the greatest song of all time, based on my limited knowledge of music and other countries.

First, we’ll go with the smattering of countries I can accurately point to on a globe and spell correctly—sorry, Kyrgustan (nope: it was Kyrgyzstan)—and then, we’ll go state by state in the good ol’ US of A.

*Note: Feel free to disagree with my choices violently, and suggest better songs in the comments. I will not listen to you, nor will it affect the outcome of this ridiculous distraction contest, but I want you all to feel both seen and heard, even though I don’t know what most of you look like, nor sound like, but I want you all to feel effectively placated.

Yesterday, we looked at the Metal scene. Today, it’s the she loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah crap (but obviously not that one).

The Songs

1) The Kinks “Lola.”

Full disclosure, The Kinks may well be my favorite band of all time. Certainly top 3. Those who knew me in college knew I would always use them when I would rope fellow drunken partygoers into buying me a beer if I could convince them that The Kinks were “categorically, the best band of all time,” and have them agree with me. You readers likely know my sense of humor enough to recognize that I enjoy witty wordplay from time to time. The word that would often slip by was “Categorically.” They would normally agree, and then I would set the ground rules: “I’ll choose three categories, and if you can beat me on any of the three, I’ll buy you a beer. If not, you buy.”

I’d wrangle a couple strangers and friends and have them serve as the jury, then say, “First, they have the best ever song about being with a trans woman” (“Lola”). Check.

“Second, they have the best ever song about mugging Santa” (“Father Christmas”). Check check.

By this point, they were usually laughing, and knew I got them. Some would push back and say I was being too specific, so I’d broaden it out and say, “Okay, what if I broaden the finally category to a whole species? Okay, finally, they have the best ever song about being an Apeman” (“Apeman”). Check, check, check, win, and I’d have a beer in front of me.

...and I wouldn’t even have to bring up the best song about wanting to be with someone all day and all of the night, or being a Village Green Preservation Society.

They Kinks are great.

2) Deep Purple “Hush.”

There are those who consider Deep Purple to be part of British New Wave Metal, and therefore should have been in yesterday’s distraction competition. To those people, I say “Hush.” Stop being ridiculous.

Still, they fucking rock.

3) The Beatles “Come Together.”

Here’s the thing: no matter which Beatles song I chose, it would piss off nearly all of you. The only thing that would piss you off more would be not including them altogether (which, believe me, was an option I strongly considered, because you made me research the best songs of Bahrain and Djubouti). Rolling Stone chose “A Day in the Life” atop their list of 100 Greatest Beatles Songs, which, fine. Not for me. For me, I was stuck between “Blackbird,” “Get Back,” and “Come Together.“

I sure as shit wasn’t picking any of their teen bop British Invasion horse shit. If it’s a song designed to make a pre-teen girl scream at the top of her lungs amidst a stadium packed with thousands of pre-teen girls doing the same, it’s just never going to be for me. We at Anchor of Gold are teenaged girls, and we’re over that middle school crap.

I went with the one about the guy who’s got feet below his knees. Whatever.

4) The Who “Baba O’Riley.”

Don’t lie. You can sing every fucking lyric in this song, and will do so after hearing the first three notes. Seriously. You’re doing it right now, aren’t you?

Out here in the fields

I fight for my meals

I get my back into my living

I don’t need to fight

To prove I’m right

I don’t need to be forgiven

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Oh, and if you really want to feel an endorphin kick, watch TV’s Joe Pera discover this song for the first time in his life as an adult man.

As the radio DJ in that clip said, “You write a song that good, you can give it whatever dumbass title you want.”

Yeah. It’s that good.

Vote in the Poll (click on the tweet to vote on it, you crumb bums)

Honorable Mention

First, I know you all have your pet favorite song by The Beatles, so consider all of them listed here. There. Feel placated now, you dumb babies?

Oh, and if you really want to put the “Pre” in “Pre-1980”

Now You Choose the Next Installment

Nope. Check above. Next one is England Part III (Post-1980). Why are we doing 3 for England? Well, you voted for it:

Also, we figured out the Fs yesterday. Thankfully, you guys did right by me this time, and voted for Finland, as it is quite literally the home of death metal, and they turn their musical insanity up to 11.