Songs without choruses

August 29, 2004

OK, let’s play: great songs without choruses (this is in opposition to songs that are all chorus). I’ll start us off:

  • Elastica, “All-nighter”
  • Elvis Costello, “New Lace Sleeves”
  • Elvis Costello, “Shipbuilding”
  • Ice-T, “Straight Up Nigga”
  • Iggy Pop, “China Girl”
  • New Order, “Blue Monday”
  • Public Enemy, “Burn Hollywood Burn”

Trackback or comment with your additions!

47 Responses to “Songs without choruses”

  1. Gen Says:

    Was not was: Earth to Doris
    Was not was: Dad, I’m in Jail
    U2: Elvis Presley and America
    U2: MLK
    Sugarcubes: Birthday

  2. Troutgirl Says:

    Oooh, nice Gen!

    I have one I’m not sure about: Bush, “Glycerine”. Can a single word function as a short but adequate chorus?

  3. Timboy Says:

    I’m not sure about “New Lace Sleeves” — doesn’t the bit that starts with “The teacher never told you anything but … white lies” sound a bit more chorusy than the rest (although admittedly also a whole lot like the rest)?

    Also: Elvis Costello, Beyond Belief.

    Beatles, Norweigian Wood — there’s a verse, and also a “middle eight”, but…

    Common Sense, I Used To Love H.E.R.

  4. Gen Says:

    ElvisC is just trying to make amends for the outrageously poppy chorus in Veronica. He’s so haughty. He’s so schooled, he’s so, um, Mr. Musicality.

  5. #40 and #41 by the Dave Matthews Band.

  6. Darren Says:

    The Tragically Hip – “Nautical Disaster”

    They’re huge in Canada, and virtually unknown everywhere else on the planet. Regardless, it’s an excellent song about, you guessed it, a sinking ship.

    Also, speaking of nautical disasters, how about “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” by Gordon Lightfoot. It’s a Canadian classic.

  7. joyce: send me an email. i didn’t get your friendster message, i think they nuked it.

  8. Jim Says:

    I think Shipbuilding has a chorus? Still, a cool list to think about.

    They’re hiring engineers at Ask Jeeves across the Bay, just spotted that on Craigslist.

  9. juepucta Says:

    Shipbuilding has that “it’s just a rumour that’s been spreading ’round town” part. Although what comes afterwards changes each time, it could be considered a chorus.


  10. Sol Liou Says:

    Hi, I saw that your employment with friendster has ended. Are you interested in working for a blogging/networking site? We would love to speak with you. Please let us know if you are interested.

  11. Noelle Says:

    OK, this doesn’t have anything to do with this entry, but about the one you posted yesterday. How about a friendster boycott? at my blog My web surfboard! I’ve posted a few alternatives, so why don’t we all cancil our friendster accounts, and signup for something else!!! Plus, it’s a chance to try something new!!

  12. Noelle Says:

    How about a friendster boycott? I’ve linked some alternatives at, so let’s dump friendster, and signup for something else!! Not sure why this one got posted twice once under the wrong name.

  13. impulse626 Says:

    I canceled my Friendster account. In the “other” section for cancelation reason I simply put: “You fired Trout Girl. You BASTARDS!!!!!” Screw it, I don’t really need it anyway. I got everyone’s cell and IM so I won’t miss out on anything.

    More power to you!!!!

  14. Rich Says:

    White Stripes–fell in love w/a girl

  15. Anonymous Says:

    I guess we won’t be trying friendster now that they have shown this lack of understanding of the web community by firing trout girl.

  16. Brian Says:

    All Elastica songs rock! Even those with choruses

  17. JMe Says:

    I read the article about you being fired, logged in and cancelled my account, put your name in ‘other’ for my reason.

  18. Shel Holtz Says:

    “Me and My Uncle,” by John Phillips, which wound up being one of the songs played more than any other by the Grateful Dead.

    Sympathies aplenty, by the way, over your ill treatment. Of all the companies to not get it…

  19. “Burn Hollywood Burn!” had a chorus

    “Burn, Hollywood

    Burn, Hollywood

    Burn, Hollywood

    Burn, Hollywood”

  20. FMS Says:

    I think this qualifies, but it is half in French Canadien so I’m not sure.

    The Collection of Marie Claire by Daniel Lanois

  21. Andi Says:

    i am SO sorry you got fired from Friendster…i think that is the most unfair, petty, contrived..f*cked up thing i have heard about in a long time…aside from quitting Friendster and making you a mix CD…i wish i knew how to make Troutgirl feel any better about it…i totally love your blog.. *snif*

  22. random Says:

    “In Dreams” by Roy Orbison
    great song

    Congrats on your breakup, the world is your oyster

  23. Kevin Says:

    Just read about you being fired. How crappy. Read your comments and have to say that is the worst reason for firing I have ever seen.

    To think the day before you spent your weekend working on a project for the company.

    Well I will never recommend friendster to anyone, just for their draconian and elitist ways.

    Good luck in your endeavors. I’m now tracking your blog and enjoying reading it.

  24. Few people seem to know about Scott Sassa’s appearance on the TV dating show “Blind Date” a few years ago. This was no mere cameo: Sassa participated for a whole episode. Unlike the usual non-professional colorful types, eg fitness trainer by day and…

  25. One would think that, for a person who the company values in the slightest, a simple “please stop” might have been sufficient, given the fact that you haven’t blogged about anything confidential.

    One would also think that this would have an adverse effect on the remaining staff, who now don’t know what might get them fired.

  26. Matt Says:

    Seasick, Yet Still Docked – Morrissey

  27. Jon Moore Says:


    I just read about your firing from that Friendster place. You got shitcanned for one reason: youwerestupidanddisrespectfulandunprofessional.


    I don’t know you from the next fem-geek, and I don’t care who you are. I read your posts about your employer and, being an entrepreneur myself who employs SMART people, I felt your words were careless and offensive.

    Personally, I wouldn’t have shitcanned you. I would’ve shown you how destructive are those simple words, which are arguably floating around the internet. I would’ve put you in my shoes and explained to you the importance of saying nothing unpleasant to the world about this company, even if it’s completely fucked up. I would’ve allowed you a few minutes in the president’s office, fielding phone calls from investors and prospective investors who’re pissed at the idiot who would write such a thing about a company that pays her bills and gives her a home away from home for 1/3 of her life each week.

    And then I would’ve explained to you that if you are so stupid that you must do it again, I’d say thanks for working here, you’re fired, and best of success starting your own company, you stupid bitch.


  28. Jerry Says:

    I tihnk that “Stairway to Heaven”, the Led Zeppelin classic would apply as a great song with no chorus.

    I also want to second the selections of #40 and #41 by the DMB.

  29. madsax Says:

    You have comments turned off on your termination entry, so I’m posting here.
    Getting fired for blogging, especially the messages you point to, is such complete crap. Isn’t this a free-speech issue? I hope you’ve contacted the EFF and ACLU. I’m very disappointed in friendster… They’re definitely not a “friend” any more.

  30. Rick Smith Says:

    hey there. sorry to read about your dismissal.

    Friendster is filled with a bunch of fascists!

    I am boycotting.

  31. Friendster Says:

    Maybe speaking ill of your employer in a public forum is not such a good idea…

  32. neighbor Says:

    Friendster don’t deserve you

  33. peter Says:

    the entire album “who will cut our hair when we’re gone?” from the unicorns

  34. Mike Says:

    Wow, that is their loss however. I will never use the them. You should have been mined for your wit and blogging knack.
    The administration must be some typical overrated codgers.
    Good luck.

  35. Lydia Says:

    I believe, in discussing songs withouth choruses, you’re referring to what’s known to songwriters (like myself) as “AAA” format, where basically, all verses have the same melody, but nothing is repeated? I have an example of this on my site, with an MP3 to listen to: Family

    Re: Friendster… you’re getting to be very well known among bloggers for your having been fired. I don’t know if you’d consider this a good thing or a bad thing… just mentioning it as a statement of fact. I read about your dilemma in two random, completely unrelated blogs in the past couple of days, and expect to see it referred to again. (I mentioned it in mine, too, as a word of warning to those who are less than cautious)

    And in reading your article… I wonder if my blog is what’s keeping me from getting a job? Ah… the heck with it. If I can’t get a job that will only force me to focus on my music and the web, right?
    ; )

  36. i happened to stumble upon you today and saw you got fired. I did too, back in april when I was pregnant.

    I’m really sorry, I know EXACTLY how you feel and I hope you can get a better job.

    About the ACLU and lawyers…sorry, but I tried that route and most likely it won’t work.

    Feel free to email me for the “been there done that” advice. there’s more of us out there than should be.

  37. Thom Says:

    Best songs without choruses ever:

    — Gerry Rafferty, “Baker Street”

    — Gary Numan, “Cars”

    Technically, these are all songs without vocals in the chorus. They have instrumental choruses, and quite memorable ones at that.

  38. E.B. Says:

    Why is there not a link to send you questions/comments directly?

  39. MrKrrtFt Says:

    Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody

    one of the all time best Rock Operas.

    Enjoy šŸ™‚

  40. Jeff Says:

    “Common People” and “Disco 2000” by Pulp are great. Although, as a general rule, Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker is best one of the best lyricists of all time.

  41. orbert Says:

    Go Ask Alice, Jefferson Airplane.
    Always loved how this one builds.

    Thanks for the question, by the way.
    I’m learning about a lot of great songs
    this way, being reminded of others.

  42. Sean Malone Says:

    just terminated my friendster for 2 things:

    1. firing you for a nonsense reason
    2. ads


  43. Oscar Sierra Says:

    Hey! What about ‘Optimistic’ by Radiohead?

  44. Gen Says:

    Been busy, but meaning to follow up on songs without choruses. Got kinda busy around here just after that.

    Here’s one o’ my own. Songs without choruses that is. I think it qualifies.


  45. Alvin Says:

    I’m not sure about “New Lace Sleeves” — doesn’t the bit that starts with “The teacher never told you anything but … white lies” sound a bit more chorusy than the rest (although admittedly also a whole lot like the rest)?

  46. Bohemian Rhapsody
    The Rose
    Mr. Brightside

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