Talk Talk Talk - 20 songs with spoken words
Updated: May 30, 2021
If you want to show everyone how serious your song is, speak a few words - that'll show 'em. Really show how mean and moody you are...Here are twenty songs with brilliant spoken word parts.
1. Terence Trent D’Arby – If You Let Me Stay
“Sweetheart listen I know the last few pages Haven't been good for the both of us
And I've caused you a lot of grief
But put those bags down Okay? Before you make a decision like that
Please just listen to me 'cos I don't want to leave
I definitely don't want you to leave, just hear me out”
A cracking debut single and a great way to announce yourself to the world.
2. The Human League – Human
“The tears I cry aren't tears of pain They're all to hide my guilt and shame I forgive you, now I ask the same of you While we were apart, I was human too”
Given Phil dated both Joanne and Susanne, who said what to who? Fleetwood-mac-tastic...
3. Pet Shop Boys – Love Comes Quickly
“Sooner or later, this happens to everyone. To everyone”
Neil gets his mean and moody groove on and insists everyone joins him.
4. Blur – Parklife
“John's got brewer's droop, he gets intimidated by the dirty pigeons, they love a bit of it”
This did me no favours when I was trying to chat up women during the BritPop years...
5. ABC – Poison Arrow
“I thought you loved me, but it seems you don't care" "I care enough to know I can never love you”
Karen Clayton dumps Martin Fry. mid-song. Burn.
6. Haircut 100 – Fantastic Day
“I know I've lost myself again True love has past me by I tried to shave myself Be a happier guy”
Losing out in love is no excuse for not shaving - wise words Nick.
7. Pulp – Babies
“Oh well, I guess It couldn't last too long I came home one day And all her things were gone”
Well, if you will hide in wardrobes spying on her sister...
8. Elvis Presley – Are You Lonesome Tonight?
“I wonder if you are lonesome tonight You know someone said that the world's a stage And each must play a part Fate had me playing in love with you as my sweetheart Act one was where we met I loved you at first glance You read your line so cleverly and never missed a cue Then came act two You seemed to changed, you acted strange And why I've never know
Honey, you lied when you said you loved me And I had no cause to doubt you But I'd rather go on hearing your lies Than to go on living without you Now the stage is bare and I'm standing there With emptiness all around And if you won't come back to me Then they can bring the curtain down”
Bring the curtain down, or eat another peanut butter and bacon sandwich...even Elvis couldn't always deliver this with a straight face...
9. U2 - Bullet In Blue Sky
“Suit and tie comes up to me His face red like a rose on a thorn bush Like all the colours of a royal flush And he's peelin' off those dollar bills (Slappin' 'em down) One hundred, two hundred And I can see those fighter planes And I can see those fighter planes Across the mud huts as children sleep Through the alleys of a quiet city street And take the staircase to the first floor Turn the key and slowly unlock the door As a man breathes into his saxophone And through the walls you hear the city groan Outside, it's America Outside, it's America America”
I'm fairly sure Bono only sees private jets these days...
10. David Bowie – China Girl
“Oh baby, just you shut your mouth”
Yes, I know it's Iggy's song, but Bowie does mean and moody speaking better...
11. The Kinks – Come Dancing
“Out of my window I can see them in the moonlight Two silhouettes saying goodnight by the garden gate”
Naughty Ray, spying on his sister...
12. Prince & The Revolution – Let’s Go Crazy “Dearly beloved We are gathered here today To get through this thing called "life" Electric word, life It means forever and that's a mighty long time But I'm here to tell you there's something else The afterworld A world of never ending happiness You can always see the sun, day or night So when you call up that shrink in Beverly Hills You know the one, Dr. Everything'll-Be-Alright Instead of asking him how much of your time is left Ask him how much of your mind, babe 'Cause in this life Things are much harder than in the afterworld In this life You're on your own And if de-elevator tries to bring you down Go crazy (Punch a higher floor) Whoo”
If I get to Heaven and God turns out to be Prince, I'll take that and be very pleased...
13. Tom Jones – Green Green Grass Of Home
“Then I awake and look around me At the four grey walls that surround me And I realize, yes, I was only dreaming For there's a guard and there's a sad old padre - Arm in arm we'll walk at daybreak Again I touch the green, green grass of home”
The way he's going, I can't see Tom walking round the green, green grass of the pensioners' home any time soon....
14. Arlo Parks – Hope
“I've often felt like I was born under a bad sign Wearing suffering like a silk garment or a spot of blue ink Looking for light and finding a hole where there shouldn't be one I cannot communicate the depth of the feeling Truth is I'm still learning to be open about this But know that I know and you're not alone Yeah, know that I know and you're not alone”
This could have been cloying, but Arlo pulls it off.
15. Charlene – I’ve Never Been To Me
“Hey, you know what paradise is? It's a lie A fantasy we created about people and places As we'd like them to be, but you know what truth is? It's that little baby you're holding And it's that man you fought with this morning The same one you're going to make love with tonight That's truth, that's love”
Wise words from a woman who'd been with kings and seen some things that a woman just ain't mean to see...I'd really like to know what these things were?
16. Pat Benetar – Love Is A Battlefield
“(We are young) we are young (Heartache to heartache) heartache to heartache (We stand) we stand (No promises) no promises (No demands) no demands (Love is a battlefield) love is a battlefield”
The rare speak and sing the same words at the same time - Patsy was VERY serious...
17. David Bowie – Modern Love
“I know when to go out
I know when to stay in
Get things done”
Bowie predicted lockdown rules and time to catch up on his chores...
18. The Beatles – Rocky Racoon
“Now somewhere in the black mining hills of Dakota There lived a young boy named Rocky Raccoon And one day his woman ran off with another guy Hit young Rocky in the eye Rocky didn't like that He said, "I'm gonna get that boy" So one day he walked into town Booked himself a room in the local saloon”
Don't nick a Racoon's woman...
19. ABBA – Take A Chance On Me
“That's all I ask of you honey”
Alan Partridge owns this line on his medley of Abba tunes...
20. New Order (with Iggy Pop) – Stray Dog
‘’The secret of our happiness is unconditional love I just wanted to make her smile And make it last for a while Do all the things you can do at home Maybe once in a while get away somewhere special Create a memory that would last forever In those days we spent together They say the secret of our happiness is unconditional love And brotherhood and trying to be good and trying not to drink But I can't stop drinking, it's in my blood In and out of trouble, while keeping yourself alive Not giving cold down in the wastes of the grim and mire In the dark and the sun of the mire Not getting wasted, not being a cheat, a killer or a liar Not getting pulled down in the wastes of the mire In the darkness of the mire, in the darkness of the mire I'd rather be a lover than a liar I'd rather be a lover than a supplier If the secret of happiness is unconditional love Why don't you miss me? Well, sometimes I do, like when you're away And I feel a need for you I feel it like the day we met all those years ago Those times were hard to hold on to But nothing stays the same We are forever moving, like the dancing of the flame Life is so unstable, always changing, it never stays the same Like the atom and that bomb that causes so much pain So I came in from the cold with nowhere left to go And I gave away my freedom and the calling of the wild So that I could be with you, I chose to be with you So I came in from the cold and I chose to be with you I chose to be (growls) with you”
Ok, sort of a cheat as the whole thing is spoken, but it's spectacular and Iggy is just a brilliant partner for New Order.