A Lorra Lorra Lyrics: Music’s Shout-Outs To Liverpool Through The Decades.
Liverpudlian musicians have been responsible for 56 number ones- more than the locals of any other city in the world! Yet aside from birthing some pop megastars, Liverpool has also inspired a parade of hits.
Liverpool does music well. Fifty-six (and counting) number ones attributable to Scouse acts. Designated U.N.E.S.C.O. City of Music. Since 2001, Guinness World Records’ ‘City of Pop.’ Acts literally from A (Atomic Kitten) to Z (The Zutons) via a little band known as The Beatles. Plus, over the decades, the city has also been referenced in many a music lyric, by bands from around the world.
Here, we explore a (largely) melodic assortment of musical shout-outs to Liverpool.
- Maggie Mae. (The Beatles, 1969.)
There’s more to music and Liverpool than The Beatles… but it’s a good place to start! In 1969, they added a twanging ukulele accompaniment and some seriously Scouse vocals (that’s ‘dirty’ pronounced ‘deerty’ and ‘more’ with two syllables) to a classic sailor’s sea shanty. The result was a forty second folky explosion, Track 7 on their final studio album Let It Be. It tells of a prostitute found guilty of robbing a sailor in the ‘port of Liverpool’ and Lime Street area.
Listen to a live Cavern club recording. [You Tube: Maggie Mae.]
- Long Haired Lover From Liverpool. (Little Jimmy Osmond, 1972.)
Questionable not only for the singer’s haircut and sweater, but the lyrical content as sung with saccharine sweetness by a nine year old. (‘I’ll be your long-haired lover from Liverpool…’) Nevertheless, it earned the baby of the Osmonds the accolade of being Britain’s youngest ever chart-topper. It also spent five weeks at the top spot, including over Christmas.
See the jumper in all its glory. [You Tube: Long Haired Lover From Liverpool.] (Warning: Precocious content.)
- The Leaving of Liverpool. (The Pogues, 1984.)
Sea shanty two of two on the list, recorded by, among others, The Pogues. Expresses the singer’s regret at having to leave loved ones in Liverpool for foreign shores (specifically California). Not sure you would find any modern-day equivalent remorse among those setting off for, say, Alicante at John Lennon Airport. The tune also features in the film Titanic, as the ship departs from Ireland.
Near, far, wherever you are… listen to the Pogues’ cover here. [You Tube: The Leaving of Liverpool.]
- Rotterdam (Or Anywhere). (The Beautiful South, 1996.)
More musical wistfulness, this time courtesy of The Beautiful South. The (slightly inexplicable) concept is that, alone and lonely, Rotterdam could be Rome, Rome could be Liverpool… Really? Are the fountains in Williamson Square an answer to the Trevy? Is Goodison or Anfield the Scouse Coliseum?
Listen to the indictment of Scouse drinking habits here. [You Tube: Rotterdam (Or Anywhere).] (‘Oh the whole place is pickled, the people are pickles for sure.’)
- Let’s Dance To Joy Division. (The Wombats, 2007.)
‘I’m back in Liverpool/ And everything seems the same.’
So why not liven things up with a spot of tabletop dancing in Le Bateau? Lead singer Murphy did just that, then wrote a song about it. Then they recorded a video for it complete with jealousy-inducing floral guitar, some levitation, and (naturally) a cuddly toy wombat involved in an ode to Queen.
See the video (and maestro marsupial) here. [You Tube: Let’s Dance to Joy Division.]
- Liverpool Rain. (Racoon, 2012.)
No, not the weather forecast for tomorrow. (Although, most likely.) Single (and album) title of Dutch rock band. Like 5 on the list, it has an exceptionally odd music video. A double-decker bus picks up a whole host of oddities: a toothbrush salesperson in a flasher mac, an al fresco pole dancer… The requirements for a classic night out, right?
Prepare your mind (and eardrums) to be blown.