20 songsGive up, but don’t give in

By | posted on 20th February 2015

Give up the ghost, but don't give up your day job. Give out but don't give up, give in, give over, give it away give it away give it away now. I'm a change giver, giving all my love to you - it's a given. Shay Given.

It's lent, and apparently I've stopped making sense during these fast times. Must be the come-down.

"I'm going to stop messing around" sings John Bramwell on I Am Kloot's "Stop", a pretty mild way to start the ball rolling. Or stop it. Luckily Sharon Jones is on hand to pose a more demanding question we've all asked ourselves at one point or another: "What If We All Stopped Paying Taxes?".

Nick Drake doesn't necessarily propose giving up anything in "Been Smoking Too Long", but he does just about manage hide his upper-middle class roots for long enough to concede some of the drawbacks of his habit:

Ive got opium in my chimney
No other life to choose
Nightmare made of hash dreams.
Got the devil in my shoes

The answer is in the title of a 1986 Talk Talk song, Nick: "Give It Up". A lot of people have trouble giving up smoking, and many have found success through Allen Carr's idiot book on the subject. Here's a much better way that worked for me: rather than giving up smoking, simply take up not-smoking instead. Trust me, it works brilliantly. I'm happy to expand on how the system works for the right publishing deal, by the way.

The Stone Roses pretty much gave up being a band during their days of legal limbo, which explains Second Coming. Before that they were a madchester tour de force, so cocky they reversed one song and gave it a new name and lyrics.