Recently in Song of the Day Category
It's great to see that Lily Allen is making music again because (a) she is very good at it and (b) the other things she does tend to be quite irritating.
After an awful TV chat show and countless pointless media spats, Allen appears to have found time to record a second album that is, like her first, full of effortlessly great pop songs.
The Fear is the first single from It's Not Me, It's You, but - unlike most pop albums - any one of about eight songs could have been chosen.
(Last week, I had Lily Allen down as the spiritual heir to Squeeze, but the more I think about it she could be more the new Betty Boo, which I mean very much as a compliment...)
I don't know if you can have a hymn to agnosticism, but if you can, there won't be any that are better than Let the Mystery Be by country singer Iris Dement.
Hundreds of years of theology are summed up in the chorus: "Everybody's wonderin' what and where they they all came from/Everybody's worryin' 'bout where they're gonna go when the whole thing's done/But no one knows for certain and so it's all the same to me/I think I'll just let the mystery be."
It's perky, funny and life affirming (though, puzzlingly, Dement later released an album of religious songs, which rather suggests she had a change of heart).
Consider if you will, the chorus of the new song by girlband du jour The Saturdays: "Me and my heart we got issues/Don't know if I should hate you or miss you/Damn, I wish that I could resist you/Can't decide if I should leave you or kiss you."
Now compare that to Where Are You Baby by Betty Boo, from 1990: "Boy, I really miss you/And all I wanna do is kiss you/I've used up all my tissues/'Cause there's more serious of issues."
This bothers me in two ways: (1) the Saturdays shouldn't be ripping off the divine Ms Boo and (2) I can't believe Where Are You Baby is nearly 20 years old. Christ, where has my life gone?
After writing about Loudon and Martha, it would seem wrong not to include at least something by Rufus Wainwright.
In a Graveyard is from his second album Poses and is rather lovely, I think.
(This marks the end of Wainwright season on GP's Song of the Day, by the way...)
...this is Martha singing about her father, Loudon.
Warning: this song contains some VERY rude words at the end. Don't go beyond 2:20 if you're easily offended!
There's a lot of talk at presenet about Martha and Rufus Wainwright, but probably a better songwriter than both is their father, Loudon Wainwright III.
Here's White Winos, a wonderful song about drinking, parents and love.
It is one of the many songs he has written about his family, which didn't always please them (see tomorrow's Song of the Day)...
I don't know why it's taken me so long to pick Elvis Costello as my song of the day as I could could have been any of about 50 of his glorious songs.
I ended up going for I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down because of the story told on his Channel 4 chatshow when he was interviewing Smokey Robinson last week: how he sent the Attractions to a choreographer to prepare for the video but thought that it was his job, like Smokey, to pretty much stand still at the front. The results are hilariously awful.
It's also notable that apart from Oliver's Army, Costello's only Top Ten hits were cover versions (this and Good Year For The Roses) which is odd given that he is generally considered one the best songwriters of the last 20 years.
If your home does not contain at least a greatest hits by Squeeze, then I would suggest that you are no fan of pop music.
A classic English band in the tradition of the Kinks, Squeeze have a back catalogue stretching over nearly 20 years that contains countless pop classics.
Cool For Cats, Pulling Mussels From A Shell, Tempted and Labelled With Love are all wonderful, but my favourite is Up The Junction, which combines Chris Difford's wry wordsmithery with Glenn Tilbrook's Beatlesque tunes.
Apologies for the lack of Song of the Day for the last couple of days (and apologies too for saying that Bruce Springsteen was the first person to have two entries when that was actually the Pet Shop Boys).
Anyhoo, I'm coming back with a cracker today - In the City, by The Jam.
Clocking in at less than two-and-a-half minutes and one of the best debut singles ever, In The City - and in particular its opening line "In the city there's a thousand things I want to say to you" - must have seemed ludicrously exciting when it emerged in 1977.
It was remiss of me to not say last week that Bruce Springsteen was the first artist to get two entries GP's Song of the Day.
Anyway, here's number three: The Wrestler, theme tune to the Mickey Rourke and my current favourite from Bruce's new album Working On A Dream.