The Top 10: Songs With a Month in the Title | The Independent

Diana J. Smith


Ben Ross suggested this one six years ago, after we did Songs Named After Days of the Week. “All things come to those who wait” is an untrue saying, but sometimes they do. Obviously, as Emmabella Murray said, this has to be a Top 12. I should have warned you, though, that they were going to be selected according to my musical taste.

1. “January Hymn”, The Decemberists, one of my favourite bands.

2. “February Stars”, Foo Fighters. The lyrics rhyme “February Stars” with “floating in the dark” and “temporary scars”. No idea what it is about.

3. “Late March, Death March”, Frightened Rabbit. Nominated by Ben Ross.

4. “April Skies”, The Jesus and Mary Chain. Thanks to Emmabella Murray.

5. “Maggie May”, Rod Stewart. Ben Ross tried to nominate “End of May”, by Michael Buble, but there were street protests.

6. “June Hymn”, The Decemberists, again.

7. “July”, Noah Cyrus. Youngest sister of.

8. “August Sings”, Pieter de Graaf. Post-neoclassical piano.

9. “September” from Strauss’s Four Last Songs. Thanks to Stuart Valentine Dodgson and Jeremy Benson. No, you can’t have Earth, Wind & Fire.

10. “October Song”, Amy Winehouse. “She’s reborn like Sarah Vaughan”.

11. “November Rain”, Guns N’ Roses. From Ian Peacock and Emmabella Murray. Henry Peacock added that a video clip of it “has just ticked over one billion YouTube views, the first time a rock song has achieved this feat”.

12. “A Long December”, Counting Crows. Thanks to Araminta.

A lot of entries for this one, including sets of 12 from Emmabella Murray, Graham Fildes, Henry Peacock and Steven Fogel. Steven even compiled a list of the earliest versions of a song for each month from the pre-pop (but post-classical) era.

The most impressive came from the publicist for Clive Gregson, whose new album, One Year, contains 12 songs, each with a month in the title. It’s not bad.

Simon and Garfunkel’s “April Come She Will” from the Sounds of Silence album of 1965 deserves a mention for having a successive month in each verse – from April to September, at least. Nominated by David Lister and many others. “It’s also in the soundtrack to The Graduate, used to convey the evolution of Benjamin’s relationship with Mrs Robinson,” said Mick O’Hare. All of which is interesting, but it’s not my kind of thing.

The same applies to “January, February”, by Barbara Dickson. There were also several nominations for “December, 1963 (Oh What A Night!)” by Franki Valli and the Four Seasons, but it featured in the Top 10 Songs with a Year in the Title.

Finally, in the “there’s always one” category, Alan Pack nominated “Six Months in a Leaky Boat” by Split Endz.

Next week: Words that began as mistakes, such as syllabus: a misreading of Latin sittybas, from Greek sittuba, title slip, label.

Coming soon: Moments when campaigns were supposedly lost but weren’t (because they were already lost), such as Neil Kinnock’s “We’re all right!” at the Sheffield rally in 1992 and Kevin Keegan’s “I will love it!” rant in 1996.

Your suggestions please, and ideas for future Top 10s, to me on Twitter, or by email to [email protected]

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