Six utterly baffling questions posed by song lyrics

MUSICAL artists are fond of posing questions and leaving it to the poor old listener to work out the answer. Here are some you’ll struggle to answer.

Should I Stay or Should I Go? – The Clash

Like a gran trying to decide whether to get rich tea biscuits or Bourbons, singer Mick Jones dithers about whether to stay or go. Unhelpfully, no details of his circumstances are given to help you judge. However he does reveal that if he goes ‘there will be trouble’, but if he stays ‘there will be double’. Clearly the answer is to go. Basic damage limitation.

What Difference Does it Make? – The Smiths

Before becoming a far-right fanboy, Morrissey was noted for his feelgood hits about people being killed by buses and trucks. But The Smiths’ 1984 single What Difference Does it Make? left listeners scratching their heads. What difference does what make, Morrissey? A solar storm? Depressed currency markets? An outbreak of Dutch Elm Disease?

Don’t You Remember – Adele

‘When will I see you again?’ mopes Adele in yet another song about being dumped. The rest of the song is her badgering her former partner about getting back together. Badgering. Non-stop badgering. More badgering than The Wind in the f**king Willows. In this failed relationship the best answer might be ‘never’, ie. a clean break. But really Adele should ask a qualified counsellor, not her fans.

Who are you? – The Who 

If you were singer Roger Daltrey posing the question, the answer was likely to be ‘Pete Townsend’, ‘John Entwistle’ or ‘Keith Moon’. It wouldn’t even be a particularly surprising question, given the amount of drink and drugs The Who quaffed. But on a deeper level, who, indeed, am I? An individual with free will, or just a series of sense perceptions giving that illusion? They really need to consult a philosophy professor.

Are We Human? – The Killers

Are we human, or are we dancer? Perhaps the deepest question posed by a song since Haddaway asked What is Love?. It’s the kind of song that leads to the same existential angst as when you click the ‘I am not a robot’ button on a website, then wonder if you are, in fact, a robot who has been programmed to think they are human.

When I’m Sixty-Four – The Beatles

‘Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m sixty-four?’ Ah, the irony of Paul McCartney and Heather Mills separating in 2006 when he was 64. Heather’s departure may have been caused by the thought of knitting a sweater by the fireside, or maybe it was Paul listening to Wings. Either way, in this case the answer was a clear ‘no’.

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The middle class guide to faking enjoyment of al fresco dining

DO you find dining with friends in a garden on a summer evening pleasantly aspirational? Here’s how to overlook the many downsides of eating outdoors.


Smile enthusiastically while trying to ignore the wobbling of the uncomfortable cast iron and glass seating on the uneven patio. Or you may be forced to sit on a plastic patio set with chairs that don’t fit under the table. Grin and bear it. Literally.


A staple of eating outside in the British summer is swatting away nosey hoverflies, wasps and whining midges showing more interest in the bland Tuscan pasta than it deserves. Channel your annoyance into pathetically saying ‘Shoo!’ and ‘Pesky fly!’ rather than screaming, ‘Can we not just eat pizza in front of the TV, like normal people?’


The perfect temperature for eating outside will only last for three minutes. Before then it will be too hot, after that too cold. Inconvenience the host by asking to retrieve a layer of extra clothing you brought just as each course is being served. Or rely on the candles to provide a pathetic bit of heat in the encroaching cold. Just don’t get so close you set your hair on fire.


As the tablecloth whips up in the wind again, resist the temptation to use the not-very-nice pate starter to glue it down. If the main course comes with a sauce, watch closely like a lifeguard to remove drowning flies before you end up chowing down on them. But most importantly maintain the facade and don’t blurt out that it’s so f**king cold can you skip the ice cream and have a Cup-a-Soup?

The loo

Excusing yourself briefly or to fix windswept hair is fine. But relieving yourself next to a open bathroom window lets everyone know what you’re doing. Especially if you’ve been in there for a while obviously doing a shit, then have to cough loudly to disguise the noise of a second flush.