Warning: the contents of the following article may be unsuitable for those easily offended or aged over 18.
Last week, for the second consecutive period, the UK's singles chart was topped by two songs distinguished with an unusual quirk. The top-selling single of last week was "F.U.R.B" by Frankee - the "R.B." stands for "right back", with no prizes for guessing what the "F.U." stands for. In second place was the displaced former chart topper "Fuck It" by Eamon (which is more usually referred to by its subtitle, "I don't want you back").
What will be obvious to all but the most jaded reader is that both titles include the word described by the Collins dictionary as "still generally considered to be one of the most offensive words in the English language". Yet the two titles hide a rather sweet tale of young love, of sorts, between the artists Frankee and Eamon. Frankee's number one hit is said to be an answer to Eamon's own work, in which Eamon speaks of his inner turmoil at his previous partner's alleged infi delity and his sense of betrayal. Or, as he puts it: "Fuck what I said, it don't mean shit now." In response, Frankee's accuses Eamon of being an unexciting lover, and of having genital lice. These two singles could be seen as taking the sadly neglected epistolary form to fashionably new heights. Or possibly new depths.
Of course, the singles market has for years been captured by the under-16s, meaning that total sales have shrivelled away to the point where only a handful are needed to get a single into the charts. These teeny teenagers like nothing more than the shock value of hip-hop, hence the latest titles. Meanwhile, the older and wealthier either get their music from the internet or buy albums, where sales are the territory of the 30-something. Morrissey, the gloomy 1980s bed-sit icon, has seen his latest album come in at number two on the album charts, but his new single has quickly faded. But there is an even more unusual F-word on the latest singles chart: the band Rasmus have a song in at number nine ... and they come from Finland. That's remarkable.