Friday, September 11, 2009

Make Mine Cherry: The Mudlarks: "Lollipop"

What makes a song stick in your mind? I am sure there are scientists out there right now trying to figure this out (I have yet to read Daniel J. Levitin's The World In Six Songs) but this one (called falsely a 'novelty' song) must be used in any experiments. "Lollipop, lollipop, mm - lolli lolliop!" is the chorus and it is instantly hummable/sing-a-longable (always a good sign of a hit) and the dub-like moments and general sense of otherness come from the production of - well who else could it be? - Joe Meek. Clear, clean, this is a well-behaved crush on wheels, a lime/huckleberry quoting treat that skips down the street in a way somewhere poised between childhood and adulthood. I have no idea if it is the first song to equate a loved one with candy, but how guilelessly suggestive the choice of a lollipop is! (Of course, it could have been chosen as it's a fun word to sing and because of the 'pop' noise that naturally comes out of it, but still...hmm..."Lollipop" by Lil' Wayne didn't come out of nowhere.)

And so the number two spot is both squeaky clean and winking at us at the same time, the sparkling shine in part coming out of the fact that this is sung by two brothers and a sister who sang in their spare time and all worked at the Vauxhall factory in Luton; they recorded one first dud single and then were championed by David "Heello Therre" Jacobs and became stars overnight. The Mudlarks didn't write or even perform this song first (it was a US hit for The Chordettes), but the UK market was ripe for UK remakes and this marks the real beginning of that time - before the UK had much pop, it did what it could, including ever-so-slightly surreal versions of dippy, earworm joys like this song.

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