Sat in Your Lap: It’s hard to imagine that anything like this could get into the top twenty now but this song got to number 11 back in 1981, and is a great lyric about the pursuit of knowledge. I had the album this song came from – The Dreaming – and as a teenager I’d study the lyric sheet, hoping that some of the genius within would rub off on me.
Subterranean Homesick Blues: Even when Dylan wrote nonsense verse he said more politically in three minutes than any of the political bands in the 1980s managed to do between them over a whole decade.
The Killing of Georgie: You can say what you like about Rod but he can tell a good story, and The Killing of Georgie – like Maggie May – is an excellent lyric and ahead of its time.
Mark E Smith
“Hey! Luciani: This is the first single I bought by The Fall, in 1986. It’s epic, ambitious but still utterly bonkers – and it’s clear, listening to Mark E Smith’s lyrics and delivery, where Shaun Ryder (another great original) was getting a lot of his inspiration from.
Entertain Me: This is my favourite Soft Cell song, and Marc Almond’s excellent, clever, spot-on lyric perfectly sums up, with amazing prescience, all that is wrong with the likes of X-Factor and Britain’s Got Talent.
Thomas McColl lives in London, and has had poems published in magazines such as Envoi, Iota, Prole, London Grip, The High Window and Ink, Sweat & Tears. His first full collection of poetry, Being With Me Will Help You Learn, was published in 2016 by Listen Softly London Press, and he’s one of four poets showcased in Co-Incidental 4, a pamphlet published by The Black Light Engine Room Press.