Alphabet Soup: The Letter Q

At first, the only songs that popped into my head for this letter were bad ones like “Que Sera Sera” (sorry, Doris Day fans) or “Quit Playing Games With My Heart” (ditto Backstreet gals).

Then I thought, “Well, if I listened to more Spanish-language music, I’m sure there are a wealth of ‘Que,’ ‘Quien, ‘Quiero,’ y ‘Quizás’ canciones,” but I don’t as of right now, so those are out. Maybe some of you will have some suggestions in that department.

Poking around my music bit more, the first song I noticed that starts with Q was “Quicksand” by Nigel Pulsford, the original guitarist from Bush. I don’t really like the song (which does not seem to be on YouTube) – he’s not much of a singer, and the guitar’s not even that good for a guy who normally does well. So that‘s out.

So what did I come up with? Songs by bands that I otherwise enjoy that aren’t necessarily favorites, but they do fit the theme of this week’s column:

The Letter Q

1. A Quick Peep – Oasis

This is an instrumental that’s a good little British blues piece with an organ and hand claps. It’s only 1:17 long, but it’s way better than “Swamp Song” (the only Oasis song I outright dislike) or even “Fuckin’ in the Bushes” (I do dig that one), the band’s other instrumentals. I’d sort of forgotten about it because I don’t put Heathen Chemistry on as often as some of the others. Written by Andy Bell, it was the first time one of his songs appeared on an Oasis album.

2. Queen Bitch – David Bowie

Dr. Song and I are sort of in a Highlander-Style Internet-Fight over who gets to claim David Bowie as our personal spirit patronous. I’m not saying you should choose sides or anything, but… -ahem-

I kid. Mostly.

Coming off the Hunky Dory album, “Queen Bitch” sort of strikes me as Bowie-channels-Dylan. The chorus is amusing:

She’s so swishy in her satin and tat / In her frock coat / and bipperty-bopperty hat / Oh God, I could do better than that

Listening to this also reminds me that I should eventually track down this album on vinyl. David Bowie Record Dance Parties always need more material.

3. Queer – Garbage

Garbage’s first album is the first CD I ever bought with my own money, purchased shortly after my 13th birthday. Plenty of my friends had CDs long before then, but my dino-like tendencies were already in place at a young age, and I happily kept playing my cassettes until it became clear that stores were going to start phasing them out. Plus, okay, fine, I guess being able to skip tracks without expert rewinding/fast-forwarding skillz was convenient… Whatever! (-Clueless W-shaped hand gesture-)

This song is so delightfully ’90s, isn’t it? If I end up losing the Bowie-as-Spirit-Animal battle, I could be persuaded to have Shirley Manson as the consolation prize. She is pretty badass.

4. Quadrophenia – The Who

Honestly, The Who are one of those bands that, when I hear them, I enjoy the songs, but I don’t usually go out of my way to listen to them. I respect their contributions to rock n roll, and they are indeed legends, but they’re not in my All-Time Favorites list. Still, “Quadrophenia” is a good tune. I believe that it and “A Quick Peep” are the first instrumentals I’ve included in Alphabet Soup, which probably shows my writing bias in how I listen to music. Because I’m in the business of words, I tend to notice the lyrics and the singer(s) before I notice the other elements in a song, though that’s not to say the instruments aren’t important. Of course not – it’s just that the music itself is not how my brain instinctively creates.

I’m sure there are loads of Who fans who can talk at length about why this song is amazing to them, but I’m afraid all I’ve got to say is, “Yeah, nice one.”

5. Quicksand – La Roux

Honestly(x2), the first time I heard this song was when I was searching for the aforementioned Nigel Pulsford song. I always meant to listen to La Roux more because I have “Bulletproof” on a mix, and I really dig it. This song’s pretty good – dance-y, fun, etc. – but the video is a little too intentionally weird and ’80s for my taste. Still, this makes for a good way to round out a challenging Top 5 for this week.

So what about the rest of you? Tell me what Q songs spring to mind, even if you don’t love them. Hell, this week, you have my blessing to cheat – Tell me some songs by bands that start with The Letter Q… which might just leave Queen and Queens of the Stone Age, but (once again) whatever.

whatEVER clueless

Play us out, Freddie!

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Sara Habein

Sara Habein is the author of Infinite Disposable, a collection of microfiction, and her work has appeared on The Rumpus, Pajiba and Word Riot, among others. Her book reviews and other commentary appear at Glorified Love Letters, and she is the co-manager of Electric City Creative.

14 thoughts on “Alphabet Soup: The Letter Q”

  1. Garbage will forever be linked to my middle school persona of black eyeliner, camo print baby tees and ball chain necklaces . Yet I can still listen to their songs without cringing unlike most of my other musical choices at the time  A newer Q song I listen to frequently is Quite Nice People by Ida Maria

  2. I like Quadropheina the album, but the individual song doesn’t hold anything special for me. “Love Reign O’r Me” and “5:15” on the other hand… “Pretty girls. Damn. Prettier women!”

    The only other Q song I have is “Questions” by Jack Johnson. Which I feel about the same way I do about pretty much all Jack Johnson songs, it’s nice song to fall asleep to.

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