Sometimes you can be a bit too clever for your own good.
One of my favourite songs is called ‘Dumb Punk Song’ and it isn’t a dumb punk song at all. It was a charming indie-pop single released in 2002 by a Limerick band called Woodstar. Don’t bother checking your local Enormodome’s concert listings for their next sell-out gig, because they didn’t make it big then or now. Now, how many people may have decided to give that single a miss because they didn’t fancy a dumb punk song?
The title comes from its excellent chorus lyric: “I feel like/I’m the last sad verse/Of a dumb punk song”. The rest of the words are just as good — whip-smart imagery shot through with wistful feeling.
The music has the same mix of moods. Jimmy Webb himself, master of the music of long-distance longing, would be proud of those shimmering piano chords and the aching sigh of guitar that leads into the chorus. And that chorus just catches in your brain and in whatever you think of as your ‘soul’.
Perhaps even if Woodstar had called it ‘Buy This Single (In Multiple Formats)!’ it still wouldn’t have done much trade. But maybe it’s a greater victory to know that, 15 years later, somebody somewhere still loves your song:
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