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 $3.

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.

Louis

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*

Kat xxx

"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 and say.

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."

megan.

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.

Lucas

Chocolate Girl from the Dye Tribe offers this take on one of the less-performed new songs.

Sausage Machine

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 momus@world-net.sct.fr. The best ideas will be posted here.

For what the songs are actually about, check out the new Column.



Index