On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenging of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post everyday (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be…
Dave Berry – Don’t Gimme No Lip Child (1964)
We’re back across the Atlantic today to the UK and very close to home for yours truly. Our featured artist was born in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, a short journey down the M1 and the closest city to the small town that I live in. Anyway, geographical considerations aside, we are focusing on the work of Dave Berry today who was a popular singer of R&B and Pop in the UK and parts of Europe but wasn’t able to crack the US market. That would be left to other artists still to come, though my mind is blank on who these artists might be! From Berry’s discography we have Don’t Gimme No Lip Child. Easy does it, Dave, I’ve only just started this post!
Don’t Gimme No Lip Child may sound like a parent giving one of their children a few choice words for being ill-disciplined but you soon realise it is anything but. Berry appears to be addressing his lover and not only referring to them as a “child” but telling them not to talk back, to calm down and to stop all their pushing and shoving. He isn’t the sort to take any nonsense from this person and warns them unless they curb their temper he’ll be finding someone else. Berry also makes reference to the relationship being played out by his rules which makes one’s sympathy, if there ever was any, dissipate very quickly.
Dave Berry’s song sounds decent, it’s well-paced and has a good rhythm to it. Delving deeper into the lyrics you may find, like me, that the subject matter is a pretty dark one and although the narrator is pulling all the shots and saying it’s my way or the highway, they come across as more of a concern than the lover who is being told to watch what they say and to calm down. You do wonder why they are with this guy to begin with. It’s a relationship on the brink of ruin and one of those heartbreak songs we have come to know on this list is just around the corner.
Favourite songs so far:
Chuck Berry – Johnny B. Goode (1958)
Ritchie Valens – La Bamba (1958)
Eddie Cochran – Summertime Blues (1958)
The Everly Brothers – All I Have to Do Is Dream (1958)
The Shirelles – Will You Love Me Tomorrow (1960)
Edith Piaf – Non, je ne regrette rien (1960)
Ben E. King – Stand By Me (1961)
Roy Orbison – In Dreams (1963)
The Ronettes – Be My Baby (1963)
Dionne Warwick – Walk On By (1964)