Readers, it’s been a rubbish year for pop. Ordinarily at this time of year I like to compile my personal top ten tunes of the previous twelve months, but I’ve struggled to come up with five this time around. Perhaps I’ve been too busy to listen to new music (partially true), or maybe I’ve retreated into my own private timewarp (almost definitely – Janet and Whitney have had a very good year round at McMurray towers). Nonetheless, over the next few days I’ll be counting down from five to one, revealing my ultimate pick of the year on “Hogmanay”. It’s almost unbearably exciting isn’t it?
No.5: Thomas Holm – Nitten
Now, purists may argue that this is from 2009, but as it only showed up on my radar in 2010 I’ve decided it’s allowed. I know practically nothing about Mr Holm, other than that he’s Danish, sings in Danish and has a very nice beard. All of these are quite valuable commodities in pop music, though obviously not if you want to have a hit in the UK.
Nitten, which I believe translates as “the shortest straw” (sidebar: isn’t it great when foreign languages have one word for something that takes several to say in English? So economical) – is an absolutely glorious pop tune, as I’m certain those of you who have just clicked on the video link will agree. It is, quite literally, a record for bounding down the street to, waving sunnily at passers-by and appreciating the beauty of ordinary things – for example the first snowdrops pushing bravely through the frozen earth to signal a rebellion against winter’s icy grip or, on a slightly more base note, a really hot jogger.
If I have to criticise Nitten at all, it’s in the lyrics – which deal with someone having a jolly bad day and contain somewhat unsavoury scatalogical overtones (it’s at this point we become grateful that the song is sung in Danish). Now, eating dog poo might be a regular topic of conversation in Denmark, or perhaps even a regular activity – what do I know – but here in Britain we like our chart hits to be about more everyday things – falling in love, falling out of love, personal struggles, and of course what it’s like to be a ghost come back to haunt a cruel former lover on the Yorkshire moors.
Take note, Mr Holm, and maybe we’ll see you again next year.