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This opinion article was first published on CLUAS in May 2005

CLUAS Opinion

Rocking in the Boy's Room (the top ten bloke songs)

Pile of CDs for Top ten bloke songsCormac Looney sits down with his i-Pod to compile the perfect soundtrack for an afternoon spent reading back issues of LOADED and FHM.

Here they are. The ten songs every unreconstructed male should have close to hand, preferably on a mix CD stashed in your sock drawer, to be played only prior to emergencies (baby showers, distant relatives" funerals and dinner with her friends).

Of course the essential male topics - alcohol, gambling, sex, girlfriends/wives (ex and current), sport - feature at length. Very often a combination of them crop up mashed into a single tune.

And like most things heavily drenched in testosterone, the extreme end of the stick is generally favoured. The drinking is always more Shane McGowan than Cole Porter, the sex more Led Zeppelin than Chris de Burgh, the ladies more Jenna Jameson than Kirsty Wark.

Of course the list's contents are subjective. Such is the beauty of the enterprise - new odes to table football and fresh paeans to all-day beer blowouts are emerging all the time.

The 10 ten bloke songs then (and no, of course the order doesn't matter):

Brown Sugar - Rolling Stones
It's lascivious. It's misogynistic. It f***ing rocks. Listen to it hard enough and you'll need a shower afterwards.

Bottle of Smoke - The Pogues
?Twenty f**king five to one - me gambling days are done' - Can you imagine your girlfriend/granny/mother/sister returning home from the bookies on a Saturday afternoon with such a report" neither can I.

Pawn of Porn - Jinx Lennon
Come on - what bloke can honestly say he hasn't found himself in an adult shop on Capel Street at 11 in the morning? In a two minute salvo, Louth's punk poet exposes the dichotomy at the heart of buying pornography - "I see boys and girls walking around and I feel ashamed, and I realise the sex industry makes it out to be something that it ain't?but I can't stop looking at porn" (repeat to fade).

Up the Junction - Squeeze
"The devil came and took me, from bar to street to bookie - no more nights by the telly, no more nights nappies smelling." A cautionary tale, sober in its message but sloppy drunk in its telling. Just to prove that it's not really a Lad's life.

Her Father Didn't Like Me Anyway - Shane MacGowan
Self-explanatory really. Having too many pints "to relax" prior to a family meal at hers - a mistake that's only made once.

Idiot Wind - Bob Dylan
Admittedly this could be spat out by any of the sexes. "I kissed goodbye to the howling beast, on the borderline that separated you from me," Bob sings. Man, she must have been cute.

Undertones - My Perfect Cousin
You're 10. You're obsessed with table football. You're mother's favourite nephew comes visits on a Saturday and trashes you. You never forgive the b**tard.

The Holy Ground - The Clancy Brothers
Really a case of "insert rip-roaring Irish ballad here".  The chorus to this bawdy number, which celebrates the dubious pleasures of a sailor's life, ends with the refrain (sung to the accompaniment of drunken backs being heartily thumped) - "fine girl y'are!? And to think the impressionable Greenwich Village boho babes fell for it?the perfect crime.

Honey I'm A Big Boy Now - Billy Bragg
?I can clean and dress and wash myself and sleep without the light on, Honey I'm a big boy now" Bragg sings to his old girlfriend. If only he'd done it all before they broke up.

Amhran na bhFiann - Peadar Kearney
Is there anything that makes you more proud to be a sporting Irishman than hearing this sung arse-ways at Croke Park or Lansdowne Road ahead of 70 or 90 minutes of unbridled chauvinism? And, in a neat irony, the song was written by an uncle of that legendary (once) living cliché of all things Irish male, Brendan Behan. All together now "Shinafeenafall!"

Cormac Looney

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