Chris Isaak – Wicked Game (click for youtube link)
From Chris Isaak’s spectacular recording career and his unsurpassed output of worldwide number 1 hits spanning three decades, this particular song occupies a special place in my (rotten) heart. Well actually, I think this is the only Chris Isaak song anyone has ever heard on this planet, with the exception of his ex girlfriend who spent several sleepless nights with Chris lying next to her, strumming his bloody guitar trying to come up with a second song. One early Tuesday morning in May 1997 she snapped, pulled her earplugs out, started screaming: shut up Chris; shut the fuck up, it will never happen again, it was just a fluke. And walked out.
Anyway, from what I can gather (and I’m no expert) Wicked Game describes the following sequence of events: Chris Isaak falls in love with some person. Some person turns Chris Isaak down. Chris Isaak loses faith in love and decides to never open his heart to anyone again. Is this a look that chicks dig? I can’t be sure. But Chris thinks so.
The key line of the song comes right in the end, as Chris warbles: “nobody loves no one”. I think this is possibly a bit over the top even by Chris Isaak’s miserable standards, but I don’t know, maybe Chris met Scott at some point and drew the inspiration for this lyric, so fair play to him.
Jewel – You Were Meant For Me (click for youtube link)
In this song Jewel has just gone through a messy break up. In fact, it was so messy, that she had to leave town. You might have thought she had other things going on in her life apart from some teenage ‘he loves me, he loves me not’ bullshit love affair, but who am I to judge? Nobody.
Anyway, we now find Jewel in her brand new place, making breakfast (eggs and pancakes with maple syrup no less), drinking coffee, reading newspapers, watching movies, reading books, etc. Quite frankly I don’t know what the fuck her problem is and she has to moan so much; she’s at home doing stuff anyone would enjoy, she does not mention going to work once in the whole song, I guess some people just like to complain.
Fair enough, she may not be connected to the internet yet (she has just moved in), so she can’t go on bigmuscle.com and find a rebound shag, but surely there has to be an internet café just down the road.
Robin the Frog – Halfway Down the Stairs (click for youtube link)
This is a song from the Muppet Show, as performed by a little frog called Robin, who (wikipedia tells me) posed as Kermit’s nephew in later episodes. I don’t really care for children’s shows and neither do I have an interest in talking about what I used to watch when I was six like many English boys in their late 20s like to do in a faux-ironic way trying to find things in common with new acquaintances. In fact it really irritates me.
Regardless, this is a song that stands out thanks to a combination of: a) a ridiculously heartfelt delivery that should never have come from a little amphibian puppet, b) tragic lyrics that were written with a half-empty bottle of Valium in hand and c) a heartbreaking video where Robin is carefully placed – you guessed it – halfway down the stairs.
In fact, I like this song so much that I’m willing to claim that it’s the best song ever performed by a lifeless puppet – even though I do have a soft spot for Love At First Sight by Kylie Minogue as well.
Robin tells us that “all sorts of funny thoughts run round my head”, his step “isn’t really anywhere, it’s somewhere else instead” and “I’m not at the bottom, I’m not at the top, so this is the step where I always stop”.
I don’t know what existential angst is because I’m stupid, but if I were to make a video about it, I’d use this as the soundtrack.