Readers recommend playlist: songs about schadenfreude

From Half Man Half Biscuit to the Dixie Chicks, our reader pored over your suggestions and made a playlist celebrating the misfortunes of others. Who’s laughing now?

Below is this week’s playlist – picked by a reader from the comments on last week’s blog. Thanks for your suggestions. Read more about the weekly format of the Readers recommend series at the end of the piece.

Getting to grips with the concept of schadenfreude – as Chambers Dictionary puts it: the “malicious pleasure in the misfortunes of others” – was rather like trying to nail jelly to a windmill’s sails in a thunderstorm. Tricky. I therefore make no apologies if some of my choices Irk the Purists or seem somewhat shaden- or indeed freude-free zones.

The YouTube playlist. If you use Spotify, click here.

After that sneaky Half Man Half Biscuit number, the SmithsCemetry Gates, fulminating on the “big nosed” ones, the “sticky beaks” who want to spoil our poetical funtimes.

Half Man Half Biscuit should sweep this but all the obvious ones are out e.g. Light at the end of the tunnel (is coming from an oncoming train) - tending the wrong grave for 23 years .

So - Irk The Purists
"Give me Love, give me Can, give me Meat Loaf
Give me Rush, give me Marquee Moon
Michael Ball, or The Fall
I could listen to them all
In the twilight or the afternoon

Irk the purists
Irk the purists
Irk the purists
It’s a right good laugh"

With Who’s Laughing Now Jessie J flaunts her success in the faces of those who taunted her as a youngster, with considerable delight and a groovy electronic beat. Grimes does her thing in Flesh Without Blood in a way which, frankly, I don’t really understand, but find an enjoyable noise and a fun way to pass a few minutes. More accessible, unfortunately perhaps, is Goldie Lookin Chain’s Your Mother’s Got a Penis, a fairly self-explanatory number from the Welsh rappers. The last minute or so is particularly worth staying around for.

Dixie ChicksGoodbye Earl is somewhat problematic, morally; do we really approve of “instant justice”, even for wife beaters? Perhaps we do – the singers seem particularly gleeful on this point.

“You thought you were a clever girl,” begins the Rolling Stones’ great put down of a failed social climber in Out of Time. Perfect for the topic, I think. As is Green Day’s Ha Ha You’re Dead. A longtime favourite, and written by their bassist Mike Dirnt, too, which is nice.

The Chi-Lites metaphorically rub the noses of the admirers of a one-time Homely Girl in it. She’s out of their league now. Finally, Deborah Conway asks us Will You Miss Me When You’re Sober? There’s a simple way not to have to find out. Stay drunk.

Whew! Tricky topic. Next up, “Antidisestablishmentarianism.” (Only joking. I hope ... !)

New theme

The theme for next week’s playlist will be announced at 8pm (UK time) on Thursday 14 April. You have until 11pm on Monday 18 April to make nominations.

Next week’s playlist will be assembled by reader George Boyland, who posts in the comments as sonofwebcore.

Here’s a reminder of some of the guidelines for RR:


The GuardianTramp

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