Alex Turner: His 35 Greatest Lyrics So Far

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Over the last decade, Alex Turner has proven himself to be one of Britain’s finest lyrical wordsmiths. Here’s 35 examples of the Monkey mainman’s best work.

35 ‘R U Mine?’

“Great escape lost track of time and space/ She’s a silver lining climbing on my desire”

34 ‘Pretty Visitors’

“What came first the chicken or the dickhead?”

33 ‘Black Treacle’

“Does it help you stay up late / 
Does it help you concentrate
 / Does it tune you in / 
When you chew your chin”

32 ‘Fluorescent Adolescent’

“Flicking through a little book of sex tips 
/ Remember when the boys were all electric?”

31 ‘Red Light Indicates Doors Are Secure’

“Didn’t you see she were gorgeous, she was beyond belief / But this lad at the side drinking his Smirnoff ice / Came and paid for her Tropical Reef”

30 ‘Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High’

“It sort of feels like I’m running out of time/ I haven’t found all I was hoping to find / You said you got to be up in the morning, going to have an early night / And you’re starting to bore me, baby, why’d you only call me when you’re high?”

29 ‘That’s Where You’re Wrong’

“She looks as if she’s blowing a kiss at me
 and suddenly the sky is a scissor
 sitting on the floor with a tambourine
 crushing up a bundle of love”

28 ‘Mardy Bum’

“Now then Mardy Bum / I’ve seen your frown / And it’s like looking down the barrel of a gun”

27 ‘Suck It And See’

“That’s not a skirt, girl, that’s a sawn-off shotgun / 
And I can only hope you’ve got it aimed at me”

26 ‘A Certain Romance’

“Don’t get me wrong though there’s boys in bands
 / And kids who like to scrap with pool cues in their hands
 / And just ’cause he’s had a coupla cans / 
He thinks it’s alright to act like a dickhead”

25 ‘The Time Has Come Again’

“Without permission / His face became wet / He thought that he learned / How to not get upset”

24 ‘I Want It All’

“It’s a year ago / Since I drank miniature whiskey and we shared your Coke / Said ain’t it just like you to kiss me / And then hit the road / Leave me listening to The Stones / 2000 Light Years From Home”

23 ‘Piledriver Waltz’

“I etched a face of a stopwatch / 
On the back of a raindrop
 / And did a swap for the sand in an hourglass”

22 ‘The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala’

“I took the batteries out my mysticism / 
And put them in my thinking cap”

21 ‘Crying Lightning’

“And though I tried so not to suffer the indignity of reaction / 
There was no cracks to grasp or gaps to claw”

20 ‘Brianstorm’

“I bet there’s hundreds of blokes that have wept 
cause you’ve stolen their thunder”

19 ‘Fake Tales Of San Francisco’

“And yeah, I’d love to tell you all my problem / You’re not from New York City, you’re from Rotherham”

18 ‘Arabella’

“My days end best when the sunset gets itself behind/That little lady sitting on the passenger side /It’s much less picturesque without her catching the light/The horizon tries but it’s just not as kind on the eyes”

17 ‘Stuck On The Puzzle’

“I’m not the kind of fool who’s gonna sit and sing to you about stars, girl / 
But last night I looked up into the dark half of the blue and they’d gone backwards”

16 ‘Despair In The Departure Lounge’

“It seems as we become the winners
 / You lose a bit of summat
 / And half wonder if you want it at all”

15 ‘Fluorescent Adolescent’

“You used to get it in your fishnets
 / Now you only get it in your night dress”

14 ‘Do I Wanna Know?’

“Baby we both know / That the nights were mainly made for saying things that you can’t say tomorrow day”

13 ‘Piledriver Waltz’

“Mysteries flashing amber
 / Go green when you answer
 / But the red on the rest of the questionnaire never changes”

13 ‘Little Lion Man’

M&S cram so many tantalising build-ups into ‘Little Lion Man’ it’s a wonder there’s room for a song at all. Luckily, as any festival-going fule knows, once those familiar banjos stir, they don’t look back.

12 ‘I Bet That You Look Good On The Dancefloor’

“Oh there ain’t no love / No, Montagues or Capulets / 
Just banging tunes and DJ sets / And
 dirty dancefloors and dreams of naughtiness”

11 ‘The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala’

“Her steady hands may well have done
 / The Devil’s pedicure”

10 ‘Reckless Serenade’

“The type of kisses where teeth collide / 
When she laughs / The heavens hum a stun-gun lullaby”

9 ‘A Certain Romance’

“Over there there’s broken bones / There’s only music so that there’s new ringtones”

8 ‘505’

“I crumble completely when you cry / 
It seems like once again you’ve had to greet me with goodbye 
I’m always just about to go and spoil the surprise
 / Take my hands off of your eyes too soon”

7 ‘Cornerstone’

“And I elongated my lift home / 
Yeah I let him go the long way round
 / I smelt your scent on the seatbelt
 / And kept my shortcuts to myself”

6 ‘Fake Tales Of San Francisco’

“There’s a super cool band yeah / With their trilbys and their glasses of white wine / 
And all the weekend rock stars are in the toilets practicing their lines”

5 ‘Number 1 Party Anthem’

“She’s a certified mind blower / Knowing full well that I don’t/ May suggest there’s somewhere from which I might know her Just to get the ball to roll”

4 ‘The View From The Afternoon’

“And she won’t be surprised, and she won’t be shocked
 / When she’s pressed the star after she’s pressed unlock
 / And there’s verse and chapter sat in her inbox / 
And all that it says is that you’ve drank a lot”

3 ‘Do I Wanna Know?’

“So have you got the guts? / Been wondering if your heart’s still open and if so I wanna know what time it shuts”

2 ‘Suck It And See’

“You’re rarer than a can of dandelion and burdock / 
And those other girls are just post-mix lemonade”

1 ‘Arabella’

“Arabella’s got some interstellar-gator skin boots/And a helter skelter ’round her little finger and I ride it endlessly”