There are songs we like, there are songs we love and then there’s songs we really wish we’d been responsible for. Param Singh talks us through a few songs he wishes he could go back in time and pen himself.
Arctic Monkeys – 505
Allegedly, ‘505’ refers to the hotel room the incredibly lucky and then-girlfriend of Alex Turner was left waiting for him in back in 2007. Penned on a lonely late-night train journey to meet her there, the boys and long-time friend, Miles Kane, build up to one gigantic climax. New emotional depths were hit on this one and sexual imagery that seems to be everywhere in their more recent work creeps through – “In my imagination you’re waiting lying on your side, with your hands between your thighs.” I guess the reason I wish I wrote this one most is for the girl… and the hotel.
Pearl Jam – Alive
When I say I wish I wrote this one, I really mean, I wish I did it all. I wish I recorded the monstrous riff that tears all the way through the track, I wish it was my dirty guitar-strings the stunning solo was being played through and I wish it was my hoarse-voice floating over the top of it all. I can only wish I wrote this one because I’m yet to discover that my real dad is in fact my step-dad in the same way frontman Eddie Vedder does on the number and years of slaving away in my room have still rendered me useless when it comes to playing the riff.
Pixies – Cactus
When Bowie covers something you’ve written, you know you’ve put together something special. Quite possibly some of their darkest work to date and without a doubt one of my favourite Pixies songs, Cactus is a revelation of what it really means to miss someone you love. The track focuses around a jailed man pining for a sign of life from his lover while still in his cell. Black Francis crooning “bloody your hands on a cactus tree, wipe it on your dress and send it to me” is enough to send shivers down the sternest of backs.
Heems – Soup Boys
Everything from Coca Cola to hearty Punjabi dishes are referenced on this joint. Perhaps the reason I wish I wrote this one is because I probably could have – if I could rhyme at least. Heems, one part of the now dismembered rap-duo Das Racist, lets the politically charged side of him tackle drones, ethnicity, drugs and racism – “I’m stoned, I’m stoned at my parent’s house, White boys throwing stones at my parent’s house.” The New York MCs best bit of solo work speaks to me in ways other rap fails to do.