dum. da-dum ch!


Obviously, there are many many more tracks that begin with this iconic drumbeat. I just haven’t found them yet. If you happen to know more, let me know, yeah?

The Ronettes – Be My Baby

I’m pretty sure that any artist who is using “the beat” in their song nowadays is referencing this tune. Its fun to know that within four or five seconds you can conjure so many images and ideas.

Tracy Dey – I Won’t Tell

THE standout track from the excellent “One Kiss Can Lead To Another” box set. Anyone who can scream “I WON’T TELL!” so loudly can obviously be trusted. The story, a sort of Hayley-Mills-being-bad romp involves some brothers and sisters not being too nice to each other. The outro gives the listener exactly what they want: just a few more seconds of bliss. What came first, this or the Beach Boys’ “Hang On To Your Ego?”

The Magnetic Fields – When You Were My Baby

The ghost of Merritt & vocalist Susan Anway’s “The Wayward Bus” lingers when I listen to any girl group. Were songs from this genre always infused with such pathos, or am I just doomed to hear it the way Stephin did from now on?

Carla Thomas – What A Fool I’ve Been

I guess I always take this singer for granted. Her vocals on the verses in particular are really powerful.

The Twinkle – Terry

Originally thought too perverse to be played on British airwaves, this song really isn’t too different in content from J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers’ “Last Kiss.” C’mon, it’s sweet! The cheating part is just, you know, topical!

Bat For Lashes – What’s A Girl To Do?

Can this song really exist without it’s eerie video? The answer is yes. While Natasha Khan certainly benefits from being cast as Donnie Darko’s cousin from Brighton, the story rivals any told in the girl group canon. And that scary intro! I guess dumping someone is a bit like taking a walk in the graveyard.

Cinderella – Please Don’t Wake Me

Not that Cinderella.

The Satisfactions – Daddy You Gotta Let Him In

If I were this girl’s dad, I’d be pretty convinced of here case. That is, until she starts channeling the spirit of Big Mama Thornton on the chorus, talking about “one of Hell’s Angels!” Sorry kid, the front door’s got a date with The Club tonight.

The Magnetic Fields – The Saddest Story Ever Told

“You’ll see the world/ Diving for a pearl you’ll never find/ And then we’ll finally grow old/ The saddest story ever told”

Au Revoir Simone – A Violent Yet Flammable World

It took me a long time to like this band. Being shallow, I was bothered by the fact that their album cover looks like the front of the JCrew Fall Collection. But, being just as shallow, it occurred to me one day that the band’s name is culled from the scene in “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure” where Texas Diner girl Simone is waving farewell to Pee Wee from the bus, a la “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg,” and shouting:

“Ooo-vwah Pee Wee!”

“Ooo-vwah Simone!”

Man, these gals are awesome!

The Jesus & Mary Chain – Just Like Honey

You gotta give credit where it’s due. And I’m not going to front and say I had ever heard this song before the closing scene of “Lost in Translation” Though frankly I wouldn’t have it any other way. The rest of the album is pretty darn amazing too. Even if dudes do look like the Thompson Twins.

Britt Daniel – Set Me Free

This is a live cover that Spoon’s Daniel laid down at the 40 Watt Club in Athens, GA back in ’00. These guys do some pretty tasteful covers, including a wonderfully stripped down “Bring It On Home To Me,” and Destroyer’s “It’s Gonna Take An Airplane”

The Crystals – Then He Kissed Me

I’m going to spit a lot of superlative in this blog. Every song is the best to me, but you can’t beat this one for pure joy. William Blake would like this song. Yeah.


  1. Salmonella Fitzgerald
    Posted March 2, 2008 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Nice mix. If Peter Schickele were this engaging I might spend more time listening to the radio.

    More please. I’m looking forward to the entry for songs starting with “1-2-3-4!”

  2. Dave W
    Posted March 8, 2008 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    Shins do a modified version of this on “Pahntom Limb”–actually matches up pretty well with the J&MC song, since it mixes drums w/ strings for the beat.

  3. rrrraaaawwwrrr
    Posted September 23, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Also, Depeche Mode use this beat on “A Question of Lust.” I found this blog by googling “dum da dum ch.” Haw haw!

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