« Book Report: Four Plays (Wodehouse) | Main | Book Report: The Mysterious Benedict Society »

Kings full of Queens

So, I have decided, unless I change my mind, to go with the easiest idea for a Richard III mix: songs about kings and queens. What the heck. I have a lot of such songs, and it looks to be a good mix, so why make trouble for myself?

Here’s an initial list, with some notes and possibilities, and then I’m throwing the floor open for comments and GR help. My restrictions on this were (a) no instrumentals, (2) no jazz numbers this time, and (iii) um, I had to kinda like the stuff. I am tempted to break the no-instrumentals rule to end the Mix with Queen’s recording of “ God Save The Queen ”, but then, they are my rules and I can break them if I want to, right? Your advice is, as always, gratefully appreciated, both on more tunes to add and what to leave off (as well as what must stay).

  • “I’m King”, B.B. King: I’m stuck between this slow sexy blues and “Riding With The King”, a duet with Eric Clapton.
  • “The King Of Bedside Manor”, Barenaked Ladies: A fun song, with some relevance to the Boar
  • “Kings Of The Highway”, Chris Isaak: a ballad, which could either provide a nice variation with a mostly uptempo mix or be a stone cold drag.
  • “Rock’N’Roll is King”, Electric Light Orchestra: Rama-lama-lama-lama!
  • “King Of Confidence” or “King Horse”, Elvis Costello: or, I suppose, “Brilliant Mistake”, which begins he thought he was the King of America; another ballad, though
  • “The King & Queen Of America”, Eurythmics: I had forgotten this song entirely until I did a search in my library for the words, but it’s a good song.
  • “Duke Of Earl”, Gene Chandler: This is the only song left on my list with duke rather than king or queen, but it does seem to belong.
  • “Wanderlust King”, Gogol Bordello: Gotta have some of that gypsy shit.
  • “The King Is Gone”, Heads: This is from that odd and inconsistent album that the rest of Talking Heads did without David Byrne; it’s a good song, in its way, and has a bit of that punk sound to it.
  • “New Crawlin’ King Snake”, Howlin’ Wolf: This is not about a king, actually, but a king snake. Well, it isn’t actually about a king snake, either…
  • “Babydoll, The Beauty Queen”, Jabbering Trout: One thing about a Mix Tape is the right combination of familiarity and novelty. I like to have a couple of obscure things like this one.
  • “King of the World”, Joe Jackson: a live cover of the Steely Dan song.
  • “King Of Spain”, Moxy Früvous: Gotta have this.
  • “King of the Dogs”, Iggy Pop: this sounds nothing like Iggy Pop to me, but I like it
  • “La Femme duDoight”, Queen Ida: The chorus goes Queen Ida/Is her name
  • “King Of Comedy”, R.E.M.: Off my least favorite album, one of those grungy songs, seems to suit the mood of our show
  • “King Of Bohemia”, Richard Thompson: Another somewhat obscure track, and, alas, another down-tempo one
  • “King Of The Hill”, Roger McGuinn: The former Byrd, the side is pretty much indistinguishable from Tom Petty, which isn’t a bad thing
  • “Sun King”, The Beatles: Hard to leave the Beatles of a list if there’s an excuse for including them
  • “The Rascal King”, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones: Love, love, love this one, which is of course about Mayor Curley
  • “King Dork”, The Mr. T Experience: The chance to include this track is what made up my mind about using the K&Q theme.
  • “King Of The Hill”, The Nields: another obscurity, alas, but one that begins Gimme my bomb back, yeah
  • “King of Pain”, the Police: this Mix? Needs Moar Eighteez.
  • “King For A Day”, XTC: one of their cheerful Colin Moulding numbers

Tolerabimus quod tolerare debemus,


Would June Tabor's "King of Rome" fall under the obscurity rubric? It's a tear-jerker about a pigeon.

A quick search on my library results in a few other good ones:

The Band, "King Harvest(has surely come)" (nice Hammond organ)

Roger Miller, "King of the Road" (I think there's an R.E.M. cover also)

Silly Wizard, "The Queen of Argyll" (amazing guitar)

Taj Mahal, "Queen Bee" (funky mid-tempo reggae)

Hmm, i feel like a jerk, but it's not, it's "gimme my ball back". Anyway, i'm biased by not really thinking the song is a keeper to begin with.

I doubt the Magnetic Fields are much up your alley, and you already have a certain amount of comedy, but "Queen of the Savages" is fun. Different note entirely: i have a soft spot for Suzanne Vega's "Queen and the Soldier". Second Jacob on "The Queen of Argyll", and second you on "King of Comedy", which i do quite like.

Well, phooey. It's off the list. Seriously, I think I have been corrected on that before, and that I just like the mondegreen version so much, I revert to it. Hmph.

Thanks for the suggestions, all. I'm still listening and thinking…


Comments are closed for this entry. Usually if I close comments for an entry it's because that entry gets a disproportionate amount of spam. If you want to contact me about this entry, feel free to send me email.