With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music trivia, useless info, extra added random stuff and the odd rant from me

The Mayhem Monthly Top 20 Song Chart – May 2022 June 9, 2022


Here comes the third monthly Mayhem Top 20 Song Chart. This month’s number one is from a band that has featured on this site quite a few times and will continue to do so if they keep up the superb quality of their great music and live shows. They scraped into the artist chart at number 20 back in March. But now they follow Prairie Brigade and the Hazy Janes to hit the top spot in the song chart. Who am I talking about? A fabulous York band called Vaquelin with their current single “Roads Leading Nowhere”. They managed to hold off competition from Harry Styles who sits at number 2. There are a lot of oldies in this month’s chart, including Bill Withers, Love, Steely Dan, the O’Jays, the Clash, Mike and the Mechanics, Traffic, and the Sex Pistols. T.Rex take “Metal Guru into the top 20 for the second time in three months, it hit number 20 in March and sits at number 18 for May. David Bowie makes it three entries in a row and Roxy Music appear for their second month in a row. The oldest release on the list is “Alone Again Or”, a 1968 UK hit from Love at number 8. A really eerie cover of Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” by M Ward hits number 6 and my favourite Professor Elemental song, “I Love Libraries” gets to number seven. There are also appearances from Leeds band Astoria at a very creditable number 4, the Institutes, Let’s Eat Grandma, and Kendrick Lamar. Eight artists featured in the Mayhem Top 20 Artist chart for May also feature on this list. We would love to hear your thoughts on the Mayhem Song Top 20 Chart as we hope to make it a regular feature. Check out the complete list below.

1 Roads Leading Nowhere – Vaquelin
2 Music For A Sushi Restaurant – Harry Styles
3 Goodbye Mr. Blue – Father John Misty
4 (Don’t) Turn Around – Astoria
5 Use Me (Live) – Bill Withers
6 Let’s Dance – M Ward
7 I Love Libraries – Professor Elemental
8 Alone Again Or – Love
9 Haitian Divorce – Steely Dan
10 All That You’ll Ever Know – The Institutes
11 The Living Years – Mike and the Mechanics
12 London Calling – The Clash
13 Pyjamarama – Roxy Music
14 I Dig Your Act – O’Jays
15 What In The World – David Bowie
16 United In Grief – Kendrick Lamar
17 Happy New Year – Let’s Eat Grandma
18 Metal Guru – T Rex
19 Freedom Rider – Traffic
20 Anarchy In The UK – Sex Pistols

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Play It Again Mayhem – “Haitian Divorce” – Steely Dan December 31, 2020


This is the sixth song in the Play It Again Mayhem series which began earlier this year. Check out the earlier posts by clicking here (Betty Wright), here (Elton John), here (Roxy Music)  here (The O’Jays) and here (John Miles). This one is another from the 70s, and it is from Steely Dan. This was the third single released from the band’s 1976 album ‘The Royal Scam’. It never appeared on the US charts but reached number 17 in the UK. The song is “Haitian Divorce” which takes it’s title and much of the story told in the lyrics from the easy divorces available in Haiti to foreigners, particularly Americans. It was so simple that it only needed one partner to be there and the divorce could be finalised in a matter of hours.

The song tells the story of a woman who goes to Haiti to get a divorce, she has a brief fling with a Haitian man, fails to get the divorce and nine months later gives birth to a half Haitian baby. The mention of Papa in the lyrics is interpreted in two ways. Firstly as her father telling her to go back and get the divorce, and secondly as the voice of Haitian ruler at the time, Papa Doc Duvalier, who encouraged divorce tourism. The song was written by Donald Fagen and Walter Becker. It was Becker who used a Talk Box on the song over Dean Park’s guitar. Perhaps the most famous proponent of the Talk Box was Peter Frampton on ‘Frampton Comes Alive’. Enjoy the song, I love the jazzy, laid back reggae feel of the track, Why not sing along too? The lyrics are copied below. Please not that the second video is by a rather good Steely Dan tribute band, Steely Damned II

Lyrics
Babs and Clean Willie were in love they said
So in love the preacher’s face turned red
Soon everybody knew the thing was dead
He shouts, she bites, they wrangle through the night
She go crazy
Got to make a getaway
Papa say
Oh – no hesitation
No tears and no hearts breakin’
No remorse
Oh – congratulations
This is your Haitian Divorce
She takes the taxi to the good hotel
Bon marche as far as she can tell
She drinks the zombie from the cocoa shell
She feels alright, she get it on tonight
Mister driver
Take me where the music play
Papa say
Oh – no hesitation
No tears and no hearts breakin’
No remorse
Oh – congratulations
This is your Haitian Divorce
At the Grotto
In the greasy chair
Sits the Charlie with the lotion and the kinky hair
When she smiled, she said it all
The band was hot so
They danced the famous Merengue
Now we dolly back
Now we fade to black
Tearful reunion in the USA
Day by day those memories fade away
Some babies grow in a peculiar way
It changed, it grew, and everybody knew
Semi-mojo
Who’s this kinky so-and-so?
Papa go
Oh – no hesitation
No tears and no hearts breakin’
No remorse
Oh – congratulations
This is your Haitian Divorce

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