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Related Lyrics

Single and album tracks with no direct relation to Doctor Who that nonetheless make brief lyrical references to the programme.

1969 - Groovy Baby

Microbe: Groovy Baby
7" vinyl single, May 1969
CBS 4158

A. Groovy Baby Microbe
B. Your Turn Now The Microbop Ensemble

(C. Andrews [A] / D. Cash [B])
Arranged and Produced by Ian Green

--> Full Lyrics ("Groovy Baby")

This novelty single originates from the early days of Radio One. BBC news reader Pat Doody would often sit his 3 year-old son, Ian, in front of a microphone; Radio One DJ Dave Cash would then use snippets of the resulting recordings during his show. His gurgles and dialogue - "Groovy baby", "I dig the Beakles", and so on - became characterised as 'Microbe', and this inevitable cash-in disc made it to No. 29 in the UK charts in May 1969, armed with a catchy chorus reportedly sung by Maddy Bell, Leslie Duncan and Dusty Springfield. The B-side was an instrumental with missing bars that your own child was supposed to fill in, and has become quite collectable among funky lounge-pop DJs. The popular opinion of the A-side is that it is best forgotten.

We shall do no such thing, however, for the record captures an early telling of the infamous 'Knock, knock'/'Who's there?' Doctor Who joke, performed delightfully by Microbe and one of the breathy female singers. In fact her soft whispering of the punchline makes the words 'Doctor Who' sound downright sexy. Microbe absolutely loves it, and seems tickled pink by his own brilliant wit. For all we know the young tyke might have invented the joke himself. Are there any earlier examples of it than this? Or have we merely been quoting a 3 year-old all this time?

1977 - Remote Control

The Clash: Remote Control
7" vinyl single, May 1977
CBS 5293

A. Remote Control
B. London's Burning Live

Mick Jones: Guitars, vocals
Joe Strummer: Guitars, vocals
Paul Simonon: Bass
Topper Headon: Drums

--> Full Lyrics ("Remote Control") / Compilation releases

The Clash were one of the most successful groups to emerge from the original punk era, forming in 1976 to pursue a harder sound inspired by The Sex Pistols. By Spring 1977 their debut album, The Clash, was available in Britain, reaching No. 12 in the album charts yet failing to entice the American branch of their record label. As a result of the LP's unavailability in the US, it became an underground hit, selling 100,000 copies on import.

The single Remote Control, taken from the album, contained the following verse:
Because this song is rather typical of the punk period - lots of distortion guitar, predictable and repetitive riffs and hoarsely shouted vocals - the lyrics are actually rather hard to make out without them sitting in your lap, so the mention of a Dalek isn't really all that exciting. But it's undeniably cool to find that Doctor Who was influencing even the hippest punksters, as well as the unheard-of fringe bands.

1991 - Blue Lines

Massive Attack: Blue Lines
12" vinyl LP, CD, cassette and minidisc, February 1991
Virgin WBRCD1

1. Safe from Harm
2. One Love
3. Blue Lines
4. Be Thankful For What You've Got
5. Five Man Army
6. Unfinished Sympathy
7. Daydreaming
8. Lately
9. Hymn Of The Big Wheel

--> Full Lyrics ("Blue Lines")

In the early 80s, the pioneering force behind Bristol's unique musical sound was known as the Wild Bunch, an enormously popular DJ collective that dominated the local scene. Several members of the Wild Bunch later transformed into Massive Attack, producing an innovative blend of reggae, hip hop and soul. Their debut album, 1991's Blue Lines, blew away the UK critics, but did not initially achieve much commercial success, despite three fantastic singles including the sublime Unfinished Sympathy.

The title song from this acclaimed album is a typically lengthy slab of ambient dance with half-rapped, half-sung vocals from a variety of performers, and among the endless chanting, cool guitar noises and rather soothing organ is the following verse from Tricky: Don't look at us for answers. We have no idea. All that we know is that she mentions the TARDIS, although the context could mean anything. Anything!

1997 - Life Thru a Lens

Robbie Williams: Life Thru a Lens
CD, cassette and minidisc, September 1997
Chrysalis CDCHR 6127 [CD] MDCHR 6127 [MD] CCHR 6127 [Cass]

Lazy Days
Life Thru A Lens
Ego A Go Go
South Of the Border
Old Before I Die
One Of God's Better People
Let Me Entertain You
Killing Me
Baby Girl Window

--> Full Lyrics ("Life Thru a Lens") / Compilation releases

Following his split with Take That, Robbie Williams spent several months in a detoxification clinic before emerging to challenge fellow ex-member Gary Barlow's solo career. Life Thru a Lens, his first album, spouted a number of singles (Old Before I Die, Lazy Dies and South of the Border) that noticeably failed to do anything much in the charts; it was only with the release of his Christmas song, Angels, that Williams proved his staying power, and Life Thru a Lens tiptoed to Number One in the album charts.

The second and title track of Robbie's first album features a brief reference to Doctor Who, perhaps explaining where the Dapol Dalek on the cover of Take That's Nobody Else shrine came from - could Mr Williams be a closet Doctor Who fan? Squeezed into first verse of Life Thru a Lens is the following lyric: Many wise men have spent considerable hours attempting to dissect the meaning of this line. Out of context it naturally makes perfect sense - Quo Vadis must be a fashion centre with more groovy items inside that you'd have thought - but when put next to the fuller lyric, this appears to be a rather random statement. Then again, making sense of the entire song is something you could probably spend your entire life failing to do, so we shan't worry.

1998 - I Will Lick Your Ar****le

Quan Yeomans: guitar, vocals
Ben Ely: bass guitar, vocals
Peter Kostic: drums
Shane Rudkin: keyboard
Regurgitator: Unit
Australian CD, October 1998
Warner Music Australia 398422 1352

Enhanced Unit Re-booted CD also available, featuring 5 CD-Rom videos, choice of 4 colour sleeves, October 1998

I Like Your Old Stuff Better Than Your New Stuff
Everyday Formula
Song Formerly Known As
Black Bugs
World Of Sleaze
I Pi** Alone
I Will Lick Your Ar****le
Modern Life
Mr T
Just Another Beautiful Story

--> Full Lyrics ("I Will Lick Your Ar****le")

This Brisbane based 3-piece formed in late 1993, when guitarist Quan Yeomans and bassist Ben Ely met by chance on a bus. It was while supporting Primus (of the South Park theme tune fame) on tour that they were talent-spotted by a Warner Music representative and were signed to record an EP or two for Warner Music Australia. Their first album, Tu Plang (Thai for jukebox) gained the group international fame, whilst their 1998 album Unit went platinum and won ARIA (Australian Record Industry Association) awards for Best Album, Best Producer, Best Alternative Release and Best Cover Art (an award shared with The Shi*s).

The lyrics to I Will Lick Your Ar****le contain a short reference to the BBC special effects department ("I got the special effects like the BBC man"), followed by the following mention of a young lady named Sarah Jane: Given the astonishingly broad scope of lyrical references in this song and indeed the entire album, we have no real need to doubt that the band are making a tongue-in-cheek reference to the fourth Doctor's assistant, as played by actress Elisabeth Sladen. Tongue-in-cheek, that is, because (as anyone will tell you) Sarah-Jane was actually quite pathetic under pressure. The jury is still out over whether the band named the album after the 70s establishment U.N.I.T. or if that's just a coincidence.

1998 - How Long's a Tear Take to Dry?

The Beautiful South: Quench
12" vinyl LP, CD and cassette, October 1998
Go! Discs 538 166-1 [LP] 166-2 [CD] 179-2 [limited edition sleeved CD] 166-4 [Cass]

How Long's A Tear Take To Dry?
The Lure Of The Sea
Big Coin
Perfect 10
The Slide
Look What I Found In My Beer
The Table
Window Shopping For Blinds
I May Be Ugly
Losing Things
Your Father And I

--> Full Lyrics ("How Long's a Tear Take to Dry?") / Single & Compilation releases

Popular opinion has it that Northern indie group The Beautiful South hit new heights with Quench, abandoning their usual wry tone to embrace a morbid, depressed side of their music. Their previous album, Blue is the Colour, saw the South bursting into the mainstream charts with singles such as Don't Marry Her and Rotterdam, and sales of Quench were assured on the back of this previous success. Despite the change in style, the album became a favourite with fans and public alike, with Perfect 10 becoming one of the most played singles of the year on radio stations worldwide.

The album's opening track and fourth single, How Long's A Tear Take To Dry, includes a short lyrical reference to the TARDIS, used as a simile to the narrator's tide of emotions locked inside his heart: We don't know whether the band are secretly in love with Doctor Who or if the lyric popped out by accident (entirely possible), but the reference is carried no further - no sign of a police box on the sleeve, or an open heart with roundels...