Greatest songs of all time of the day (Lily Allen vs. Clarence Ashley)
Lily Allen, “Guess Who Batman” (aka “Fuck You Very Much”)
The genius behind “LDN” and “Smile” delivers the sharpest flipoff to a racist friend since, well, the Specials’ “Racist Friend.” It’s also a lot goofier, thanks in part to the piano line stolen from the Carpenters. (No video, but I used the YouTube link so my readers don’t have to suffer through MySpace, where Allen posted the song.)
Clarence Ashley, “The Coo Coo Bird”
There’s no video of his 1929 original take, preserved on the awesome Anthology of American Folk Music, I’m guessing. This version of the song, performed during Ashley’s ’60s rediscovery, raises profound questions, particularly the line about seeing Willy “fly by.” Who is Willy? Why will he fly by? Why will that have an impact on the singer?
Bouncy pop or rail-thin folk? I vote for both today.