Thursday, May 19th, 2011

169 Song Titles with Parentheticals (In Order of Parenthetical Charm)

169. He Hit Me (It Felt Like A Kiss)

168. Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)

167. This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)

166. Hemorrhage (In My Hands)

165. Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)

164. Truckdrivin’ Neighbors Downstairs (Yellow Sweat)

163. Money (That's What I Want)

162. (Flesh & Blood) Sacrifice

161. (Just Like) Starting Over

160. (Keep Feeling) Fascination

159. (Everything I Do) I Do It For You

158. Rockin' Around (With You)

157. (I've Been) Searchin' So Long

156. The Woman in Me (Needs the Man in You)

155. (I Just) Died In Your Arms

154. Don't You (Forget About Me)

153. Only Girl (In the World)

152. I Believe (When I Fall in Love it Will Be Forever)

151. (You Drive Me) Crazy

150. I’ll Be Loving You (Forever)

149. (There’s Gotta Be) More to Life

148. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)

147. I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)

146. It's Only Rock 'n' Roll (But I Like It)

145. (It) Feels So Good

144. (I Got That) Boom Boom

143. (Today I Met) The Boy I’m Gonna Marry

142. Break on Through (To the Other Side)

141. (I've Had) The Time of My LIfe

140. I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)

139. Don't Know What You Got (Till It's Gone)

138. I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)

137. Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)

136. Earth Angel (Will You Be Mine)

135. (I Don’t Want to Go to) Chelsea

134. Auctioneer (Another Engine)

133. (Drop Dead) Beautiful

132. Major Tom (Coming Home)

131. Everything (Between Us)

130. Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)

129. (Last Night) I Didn’t Get To Sleep At All

128. The Shoop Shoop Song (It's in His Kiss)

127. (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear

126. 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)

125. Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)

124. Mama Told Me (Not to Come)

123. Morning Train (Nine to Five)

122. Same Ol' Situation (S.O.S.)

121. So. Central Rain (I'm Sorry)

120. I'm Holdin' On to Love (To Save My Life)

119. (I'm Just a) Red Neck in a Rock and Roll Bar

118. 10,000 Years (Peace Is Now)

117. Rock! Rock! (Till You Drop)

116. Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)

115. (Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You've Been Gone

114. Lily (My One and Only)

113. (Can’t Live Without Your) Love and Affection

112. Don’t Forget Me (When I’m Gone)

111. (Your Love Has Lifted Me) Higher and Higher

110. Come On Over (All I Want Is You)

109. I Got You (I Feel Good)

108. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

107. Until You Come Back to Me (That's What I'm Gonna Do)

106. (Don’t Go Back To) Rockville

105. Da Doo Ron Ron (When He Walked Me Home)

104. December 1963 (Oh, What A Night)

103. I Ran (So Far Away)

102. I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)

101. (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay

100. You Got It (The Right Stuff)

99. Sex (I'm A…)

98. Pay No Mind (Snoozer)

97. Rollout (My Business)

96. Remember (Walking in the Sand)

95. (Don't Fear) The Reaper

94. Rocket Man (I Think It's Going To Be A Long Long Time)

93. Pride (In The Name Of Love)

92. The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)

91. Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)

90. Lady (You Bring Me Up)

89. Doo Wop (That Thing)

88. Turn! Turn! Turn! (to Everything There Is a Season)

87. Dreamboat Annie (Fantasy Child)

86. Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)

85. Caffeine, Nicotine, Benzedrine (And Wish Me Luck)

84. Try (Just a Little Bit Harder)

83. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)

82. Everybody's Free (To Feel Good)

81. Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)

80. Many Men (Wish Death)

79. (If You're Not in It for Love) I'm Outta Here!

78. Space (I Believe In)

77. Fooled Again (I Don't Like It)

76. Exit Music (For a Film)

75. T.nT. (Terror 'n Tinseltown)

74. Damn Sam (I Love a Woman That Rains)

73. It’s The End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

72. Istanbul (Not Constantinople)

71. Fuckin’ With My Head (Mountain Dew Rock)

70. You're in My Heart (The Final Acclaim)

69. Operation Spirit (The Tyranny of Tradition)

68. P.Y.T (Pretty Young Thing)

67. (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman

66. You're Pretty Good Looking (For a Girl)

65. Get Naked (I Got a Plan)

64. Sad Songs (Say So Much)

63. All Night Long (All Night)

62. (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!)

61. Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

60. That’s Too Bad (Byron Jam)

59. Wham Rap! (Enjoy What You Do)

58. Jump (For My Love)

57. That's the Way (I Like It)

56. Everybody (Backstreet's Back)

55. Falling in Love (Is Hard on the Knees)

54. No-One but You (Only the Good Die Young)

53. Theme from The Dukes of Hazzard (Good Ol' Boys)

52. Home Ain't Where His Heart Is (Anymore)

51. Fuck It (I Don't Want You Back)

50. (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding

49. Puddin N’ Tain (Ask Me Again, I’ll Tell You the Same)

48. Ultra Anxiety (Teenage Style)

47. (Don't Worry) If There's A Hell Below, We're All Going To Go

46. Tonight's the Night (Gonna Be Alright)

45. Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)

44. Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)

43. St. Elmo’s Fire (Man in Motion)

42. Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)

41. (Who Was the Man Who Put) The Line in Gasoline

40. (I’m Always Touched By Your) Presence Dear

39. There's A Moon in the Sky (Called the Moon)

38. High 5 (Rock the Catskills)

37. To Be Young (Is to Be Sad, Is to Be High)

36. (The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes

35. Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)

34. Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)

33. Instant Karma (We All Shine On)

32. It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)

31. Forever Afternoon (Tuesday?)

30. I'd Lie for You (And That's the Truth)

29. Jesus (Don't Touch My Baby)

28. I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)

27. Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)

26. Bang A Gong (Get It On)

25. Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)

24. (White Man) In Hammersmith Palais

23. Don't Be Stupid (You Know I Love You)

22. I Want Your (Hands on Me)

21. (Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty

20. The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)

19. Exhale (Shoop Shoop)

18. Dude (Looks Like a Lady)

17. I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)

16. Pulling Mussels (From The Shell)

15. Second-Hand Satin Lady (And a Bargain Basement Boy)

14. I Don’t Care (So There)

13. Platypus (I Hate You)

12. Brass in Pocket (I’m Special)

11. Escape (The Piña Colada Song)

10. Sometimes (Lester Piggot)

9. Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)

8. Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)

7. (I’m) The End of the Family Line

6. Molly (16 Candles Down the Drain)

5. Bloodletting (The Vampire Song)

4. Rock Me Again and Again and Again and Again and Again and Again (Six Times)

3. She Got the Goldmine (I Got the Shaft)

2. Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)

1. (Argument with David Rawlings Concerning Morrissey)

Jolie Kerr is certain that this is the most pointless thing she’s ever done (and also really should think about medicating more heavily).

63 Comments / Post A Comment

Multiphasic (#411)

How did "She Kissed Me (It Felt Like a Hit)" not get in as the bookend?

KarenUhOh (#19)

"Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine" and "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" (although you may prefer "Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)") and if they're there, well, I've said (a hell of a lot of plenty more) dumb things lately.

SidAndFinancy (#4,328)

@KarenUhOh "Voodoo Chile" and "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" are, of course, distinct pieces of music.

boyofdestiny (#1,243)


Brad Nelson (#2,115)

Sigur Ros: "( )"

@Brad Nelson OOH GOOD ONE, YES.

brianvan (#149)

This is important cultural work, Jolie.

jolie (#16)

@brianvan Seriously the dumbest fucking thing ever. I'm so mad at myself.

gumplr (#66)

@jolie No need to feel "Uptight (Everything's Alright.)"

gumplr (#66)

@gumplr I spent maybe 10 minutes deciding where to put that period.

Matt (#26)

I am surprised and delighted to see post-Doolittle Pixies fare so well.

#25 = my life philosophy

(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone

(same disclaimer as KUO)
(This LWC Rocks)

s. (#775)

Can't argue with #1, but given the author I'm surprised that #11 didn't place higher.

jolie (#16)

@s. It was originally my #1. But, you know, it's not always about me. (It's always about me.)

jfruh (#713)

Does anyone actually know what the history of this weird orthographic convention is? It seems like it was originally used for when a single might have two different titles by which people might recognize it (i.e., "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)") but then it just turned into some weird joke/tic where you would put parentheses around part of an otherwise coherent phrase for no good reason (i.e., "Mama Told Me (Not to Come)").

MollyculeTheory (#4,519)

@jfruh Probably to avoid confusion with other popular songs, such as "Mama Told Me (To Make My Bed Every Morning)", and "I'd Do Anything For Love (Seriously, You Can Put It In My Butt)"

Shawn@twitter (#12,729)

"Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)" is at number 91 and also number 137.

jolie (#16)

@Shawn@twitter Arrrrg!! I meant to remove that first one but I was so batshit insane by the time I finished this that I totally missed the dupe. Sorry good catch!!

laurel (#4,035)

@jolie How did you do this I don't even?

jolie (#16)

@spiralbetty I drank heavily and grunted a lot. It was really unpretty. (Choire had to stop me, for my own good, when I got into the one-sixtys.)

deepomega (#1,720)

#8 should really be #0.

I applaud your hard work. Parenthetical titles are my favorite.

NinetyNine (#98)

Dear Clean Person: how do I get rid of dumb blog posts on my Internet?

jolie (#16)

@NinetyNine Place a bottle of bleach on a chair, sit, and spin.

Art Yucko (#1,321)

the room is spinning. i just fell out of my chair.

ogradybt (#3,914)

# 1 is more of a skit than a song, which highlights the way that Ryan Adams straddles that cool/sucks chasm.

jolie (#16)

@ogradybt Right but it's Ryan Adams on about Morrissey and this is The Awl, so.

laurel (#4,035)

Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)
In Heaven (Lady In The Radiator Song)
I Can See It (But I Can't Feel It)

If you'd asked me to name a song whose appearance on the Awl I would've least expected, I might have gone with #55.

Also for consideration:

#47.5. I Want You (She's So Heavy)
#71.5. (Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman
#88.5. Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels)
#118.5. El Condor Pasa (If I Could)
#124.5. Rapid Roy (The Stock Car Boy)
#137.5. Doin' It All (For My Baby)
#137.6. Living Loving Maid (She's Just a Woman)

Art Yucko (#1,321)

So Stark (You're a Skyscraper)

ComradePsmith (#4,477)

2007, The Year Punk Broke (My Heart)

Dave Bry (#422)

And here is where Spinal Tap really loses for not putting the second "tonight" in "Tonight I'm Gonna Rock You Tonight" in parenthesis like it belongs. I like that joke, actually. But then they don't get to be included in this terrific and VERY MUCH WORTH IT listicle.

roboloki (#1,724)

dark & stormies count as medication. right?

Bittersweet (#765)

@roboloki: They'd better.

Jacobia (#12,744)

Shania Twain deserves way more than 2 spots on this list if only for the fact that at least 50% of her back catalog is titled parenthetically.

witzed (#12,749)

Van Morrison: "I Wanna Roo You (Scottish Derivative)"

LondonLee (#922)

"You Can Make Me Dance, Sing Or Anything (Even Take The Dog For A Walk, Mend A Fuse, Fold Away The Ironing Board, Or Any Other Domestic Short Comings) – Rod Stewart & The Faces

I win.

John Ore (#7,170)

#62 Should have been on my Listicle as well. Except for, you know…

keisertroll (#1,117)

I was going to chide you on your omission of "She Got The Goldmine (I Got The Shaft)" but it's number three. Good choice!

rorty (#12,751)

No "Life is a Rock (But the Radio Rolled Me)"?

keisertroll (#1,117)

@rorty That's a good one too.

Mr. B (#10,093)

By my count, four (4) readers have registered as commenters (so far!) just to put in their two cents on this listicle. Somebody get this gal a cigar!

rj77 (#210)

How "Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)" missed the #1 slot in this otherwise brilliant list, I just don't know….

rjlarimer (#264)

No arguments with number 1 but surely there's a place somewhere for Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love).

@rjlarimer Luckenbach, Texas (and Snellville, Georgia): "Where Everybody's Somebody!"

cruiskeen lawn (#1,794)

"Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)" — belongs in any Parenthetical Hall of Fame

zombiepanda (#11,367)

what about High Water (for Charlie Patton) – especialy timely as it's about flooding in the Delta. also, Platypus (I hate You) is truly inspired.

scratch (#9,949)

@jfruh I don't know the origin, but it's turned into a weird and hilarious joke in the novel Crossing California, by Adam Langer. There's a character named Larry Rovner, a conservative Jewish teenager who fronts a band called Rovner! His songs almost all have titles like "(My Love Ain't Always) Orthodox" and "(Your Gelt Makes Me) Guilty."

TheJerseyDevil (#12,807)

Leaving "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" off the list the day before the Rapture?

For shame.

jolie (#16)

@TheJerseyDevil Take a gander at #73

TheJerseyDevil (#12,807)

@jolie D'oh.

reed315 (#12,809)


katiebakes (#32)

@reed315 sup

J. Son (#12,822)

Wow! Sponge in the top ten! They had another good one on the second album: "Wax Ecstatic (To Sell Angelina)".

A few missing favorites from the "A" artists in my iTunes library:

"Physical (You're So)" – Adam and the Ants
"Off on Your Own (Girl)" – Al B. Sure!
"(I Feel Like) Breaking Up Somebody's Home" – Ann Peebles

And above all,

"Motorcycle (Significance of the Pickle) Song" – Arlo Guthrie, pulling off the rare middle parenthetical (with flying colors!)

Lovely list. I would add: (Forever) Live and Die. {How to Be A) Millionaire. Guess my 80s synthpop roots are showing.

One-Off (#12,864)

Going to embarrass myself. Badly. But…169 songs and no Fall Out Boy???!?!! They use parentheticals ALL THE TIME in their ridiculously overthought and overwrought song titles: The (After) Life of the Party, Get Busy Living or Get Busy Dying (Do Your Part to Save the Scene and Stop Going to Shows), even (Coffee's for Closers) where the whole title is a parenthetical. I actually came to this list to shame myself by seeing how many of them were FOB ones I knew.

I'm disappointed that this list doesn't include Joe Tex's classic "Ain't Gonna Bump No More (With No Big Fat Woman)."

I absolutely wasn't going to add anything, but no "54-46 (That's My Number)"? This makes me sad.

Sarah B.@twitter (#14,605)

what about (Can't get my)Head Around You ?

Rick Paulas (#1,565)


Is there a logistical or grammatical reason why parentheses are used in song titles?

In the case where the non-parenthetical title is a random word and what's in the parentheses is a chorus, is that the record company getting all editorial in order to guarantee that people find the song they're looking for?

Can someone in a band that has used a parenthetical answer why they did so?

Post a Comment