Momus's own speculations about what songs titles like these would produce (and, since he's the author, actually have produced) are in his new column, On The Job.
But here are the contributions of some of the Momus website regulars. Thanks to everyone who contributed, and please don't set your lawyers on Momus if he ends up sticking some of these splendid ideas into his last minute rewrites!
Louis, who's from the land of AOL, entitles his mail 'The Beast With $3' and asks:
Any parody songs planned for the forthcoming album? Might I suggest The
Beast with Three Bucks, a song about a down and out demon who was kicked out
of the lower regions of hades for roasting the will to resist out of his
victims. As punishment, the demon is sent to Tuscon, Arizona, where,
stripped of all powers, he must find someone willing to sell their soul for
Or it could be about a physically puny sex addict, incapable of rape since
every woman is stronger than him, and who tries to find a prostitute who will
'show him a good time' for $3.
Or it could be about the bankruptcy of Microsoft, with the Bill Gates empire
reduced to the $3 its homeless founder has in his pocket?
Or.....well you get the idea.
And from the Philippines RJ writes:
I read about your upcoming album in the News section of the Momus site.
One of the song titles is really intriguing : The Philippino.
Being from the Philippines myself, I was wondering if you could
give me an idea of what the song is about. Knowing how much you
like to tweak that 'little grain of sand that scratches and irritates
your inner oyster', I'm assuming the song's subject matter isn't
about a tourist on holiday. Instead, I would guess that the song might be
about any of the following:
1. A left-wing party leader who seeks political asylum in Europe
during the Marcos regime. His countrymen believe he is making the
ultimate sacrifice and his name is upheld with respect and admiration.
However, he is spotted flying first class clad in a beautiful wool
suit and Gucci shoes. Disenchantment ensues. (A somewhat true story.)
2. A domestic helper (read: maid) who works for a banker's family in
London. A college graduate of the country's oldest university (Santo
Tomas University), she abandoned a career in clinical psychology in favor
of earning a better salary abroad. (This really does happen to some of
the country's college graduates. They work as maids, nannies and shop
assistants in other countries simply because the wages are better.)
3. A young boy, 10 years old perhaps, 'sold' by his parents to a Swiss
pedophile (Brit, German, Australian...any Caucasian race actually).
The family receive a monthly retainer and some gifts (usually a bag of
groceries and maybe some liquor for dad). They get to see the boy on
holidays and such and on the surface, it all seems like some kind
of normal, acceptable arrangement. I can only imagine what this does to
the boy's psyche!
Are these guesses too cynical? Don't blame me! This is what I've come to
expect from a Momus song!
One more thing...we spell it 'Filipino', but 'Philippino' is more
evocative and romantic.
RJ from Manila
E. Kel Smith sends 'undaunted and opinionated thoughts from an avid Momus fan':
How to Get - And Stay - Famous could be a transcription of the
conversation between Momus and St. Etienne's lead singer in the 'Man
of Letters' video, put to a shufflebeat with doo-wop singers.
Pale Young Men might be a follow-up to 'It's Important to be
Trendy', but takes it a step further by predicting a cosmetic trend in
tan reduction. Rather than tanning salons, young people will go to
reduction centers to have their skin bleached white, almost like an
albino. Real albinos, of course, will become more socially attractive;
what this will do to international race relations I have no idea. It
will called 'clorox' in slang, as in 'Hey, did you hear that Momus is
getting a clorox done this week?'
I Want You, But I don't Need You sounds like a two-minute punk song
in the finest Wire/Gang of 4 tradition. Momus, not wanting to be
obvious, performs it with a string section and glockenspeil.
Sausage Machine. Ah, I'll skip this one. Actually, I'm thinking of
the Coyote story where his penis won't stop talking.
My Pervert Doppelganger, my favorite title, brings to mind Dylan
Thomas' irreverent wisdom. 'Like a devil, too, I wave my pincers at
the stars,' Thomas wrote in a letter to Trevor Hughes. Perhaps Momus
speaks to his doppleganger the way Thomas writes in his letter: 'Are
you playing Freud to me as I tell you that I bore holes in the floor
to piss through, or cut a pigeon's throat as I copulate? I don't know
why or what, but last night we, who had no feelings, spoke
passionately, waving our arms in the air, stroking our buttocks,
saying Hunger is vanity . . . .'
Kat, 15 year old Manchester chemistry student (Dickon tells me) writes:
Oooh, embarassing speculatory rant time. Fun fun fun.
Atomic Monday: Either a Blondie/New Order love child gone awry, or the tale
of the [chemical] attraction between nuclear scientists resulting inevitably
and tragically in the neglect of an overheating fission generator, and
therefore the biggest nuclear explosion the world has ever known; nearby
fields are showered with toxic debris, causing mutations and producing a
race of supersheep bred and sold for the sexual gratification of the
returning residents as a Government peace offering. I don't know. You tell me...
My Kindly Friend The Censor: People who take their work home with them? No,
I won't even *start*...
Junk Jewellery: You've obviously been stalking me and my little circle of
degenerate trashglam poseurs for this one...
Pale Young Men: The streets are overrun with vampires. Or a tribute
to/parody of all those lovely romo specimens...I do hope these pale young
men are wearing sufficient amounts of eyeliner. There should be a law
forcing them to...
Aaargh. I give up. Back to Chemistry revision........... *sigh*
"Eighty percent of everything our parents taught us is wrong.
The other twenty percent is immoral."
Megan has been free associating too:
The Ritual Suicide of Mr. M. Mouse: undoubtedly my favorite title on the
list. I see it as perhaps being about the darkside, the flipside to the
supposed wholesomeness of yesterday that people are striving for so much
recently. Of course, it never existed. On the other hand, perhaps it could
be an account of the only honorable action that could be taken after what
Disney has done to classic stories (and what they will do to Aida.)
Sausage Machine: I suspect you're getting a bit of mail on this one. The
first thing it made me think of, however, was of the recent cloning in
Sweden, and a joke made by a female doctor about how this would eliminate the
need for men. However, if there was a need for sexual fulfilment...well, I
think you see where I'm going with this one. I have an absurd picture in my
head, but I can't quite describe it.
My Pervert Doppelganger: My roommate at college recently read The Strange
Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, so this title brought that to mind for me.
I was taking a course in literature and the formation of homosexual
identity, and she and I discussed how this novel could have a homosexual
subtext to it. There are virtually no women, and Stevenson's correspondence
with John Addington Symonds made me believe that he must have had some
intentional implication in mind, at least for one audience.
I Want You, But I Don't Need You: I thought of my ex-lover with this
title-- I broke up with him after I realized that I started dating him
because I needed him, and when the need passed, I was unfortunately unable to
simply want him. It strikes me as, frankly, a very sensible thing to feel
Fatboy, the War Photographer: I think that this could be about the bombing
of Hiroshima-- a combination of Fat Man and Little Boy, the two bombs. I
believe I read in J.G. Ballard's Empire of the Sun the comment that it could
be seen from China in a great white flash, "like God taking a picture."
Brent, who claims that Louis just cut and pasted his original mishearing of 'The Beast With 3 Bucks' says:
The first time I heard Elastica's "Stutter" was when I bought the 12
inch single. Forgetting to change the speed from '33 to '45, I spent
the afternoon listening to it at the wrong speed. When I discovered
the error, I found that I prefered my 'mistake' to my 'correction.'
Although I haven't heard Shoestyle of the Angel yet, I've tried to
imagine what it might sound like played at a speed different than what
you intended. The result is "Cuff links of the Buddha," a song about
a Bhuddist able to renounce everything in the world but a pair of
golden cuff links. Perhaps it could be a b-side?
Lucas weighs in.
A new Momus album.
Oh my my.
Only one title jumps out at me: Ping-Pong Champion is, undoubtedly,
an update of 'Love On Ice' for the austere Nineties, with overweight
ping-pong players replacing the svelte figure-skaters:
one perfect couple
and one perfect ball
we volley it round in the old ping-pong hall
we accept sponsorship
but we'd just like to quip
as we mop the sweat from our brows and our lips
I'm only doing it for Simon
and you're only doing it for Pam
... etc. Am I close?
I look forward to hearing it, and I think you should stick with
Ping-Pong with Hong Kong King Kong (A Sing Song). The Americans would
just gobble it up.
Chocolate Girl from the Dye Tribe offers this take on one of the less-performed new songs.
With over 200 known songs to your inventory it's a cheeky title. If the skin
fits, wear it. So many of your songs remind me of Alexei Sayle - a big
sausage in a small skin. The stories and philosophies bursting over delicate
melody. The typical Momus song, very palletable quick to swallow score
married to chewy and challenging rhetoric. Sausage Machine will draw from
How To Write A Momus Song and White Town will happen in every town with you
dear boy to blame. High wire lo-fi........its happening now on my Lotus Ami Pro.
You can send your thoughts on what these songs might be about to Momus at firstname.lastname@example.org. The best ideas will be posted here.
For what the songs are actually about, check out the new Column.