Yellow by Coldplay, and other songs which justify taking money off a busker

CERTAIN songs are so annoying or inappropriate it’s only fair buskers lose earnings for playing them. Here are some it’s fine to dip into their guitar case for.

Yellow, Coldplay (2000)

If you’re out with your kids you’ve already had your fill of whinging, so the last thing you need to hear is this bedwetter’s anthem. You don’t know what the lyrics are, but the high-pitched moaning could very easily be ‘I’m thirsty and my legs are tired’. Any busker inflicting this upon an unsuspecting audience owes everyone at least a tenner just for reminding them that Coldplay exist.

Hey Jude, The Beatles (1968)

This is a cheap shot. Encouraging a feel-good group singalong is the last refuge of the busking scoundrel. To make things worse, you debased yourself by joining in and now feel dirty and ashamed. Having done half the work, it’s only fair that the punters take a share of the spoils. 20p per ‘Na’ feels about right.

Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen (1975)

The ambition is admirable, the execution catastrophic. The sophisticated harmonies, shifting time signatures and complex structure just can’t be replicated by one guy with an acoustic guitar with a broken string. It’s as likely to succeed as making your own pet velociraptor out of chicken drumsticks. Grab a fiver from their hat and scarper before they retaliate with a rancid version of Paranoid Android.

Ironic, Alanis Morissette (1995)

A pavement café rendition of this 90s mega-hit seems harmless enough. Unfortunately, you’ll now spend the rest of your lunch break arguing about the definition of ‘ironic’ and coming up with your own more appropriate lyrics. What a waste of your non-work time. This busker owes you the price of a large latte and a tuna melt.

Three Little Birds, Bob Marley (1977)

It’s always uncomfortable when a 25-year-old white man launches into a reggae number. The mawkish optimism of this particular song doesn’t do anything to win you over. You’ll let him get away with it unless he… Oh God, he’s just done it. He just said ‘ting’ instead of ‘thing’. Empty his guitar case of coins. In fact, take his guitar too. And smash it.

A song you don’t know by an artist you’ve never heard of

Come on, mate. You’re busking in a shopping centre. People don’t want to hear an obscure Jesse Malin B-side or worse. Play a crowd-pleaser, something passers-by will actually want to listen to and mumble along with. What about Paperback Writer? Ah. You’re going for one of your own depressing tunes about being dumped by an anonymous girlfriend whose decision listeners wholeheartedly agree with. Give everyone a quid and piss off.

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Swifties, and other fanbases that are certifiably f**king mental

DO you love Taylor Swift so much you send death threats to people who give her new album a vaguely unfavourable review? You are mad. Like these other obsessives:


Are you an uneducated philistine who has the temerity to consider for even a moment that Taylor Swift may not be the pinnacle of 300,000 years of human culture, and perhaps even God herself? Then watch your back, because the Swifties will find out, and they will come for you. What’s it like having your spleen removed via your arsehole because you think Tortured Poets Department is a stupid title for an album by a billionaire? You’ll know soon enough.


Most Doctor Who fans accept he is a Gallifreyan who can regenerate into pretty much any humanoid form. They’re not overly fussed about what so long as they can swap pointless fan theories about Missy being the Rani and the monsters aren’t made of cardboard and bubble wrap anymore. But there are some who feel ‘any humanoid form’ does not include women and black people. For them, woke has ruined Doctor Who and their precious childhood memories of watching shonky aliens plod endlessly up and down the same bit of corridor.


Is there anything worse than an apparently fully functioning adult who wants to tell you which Harry Potter house they are in? No. Anyone over the age of 15 who is happy to state out loud that they are a Hufflepuff, a Gryffindor, or whatever other bullshit nonsense it is they can choose from, deserves to be sidelined from society until they have grown the f**k up and read some better books. You know, ones where you don’t solve life’s problems with a magic spell.

Andrew Tate bellends

Bellends who love Tate because he has a lot of shiny vroom-vrooms and hates women do not have an official name, so this will have to do. What’s gone wrong with their brains to make them slavishly agree with every word uttered by an alleged rapist and human trafficker? Plus the ‘Top G’ would probably call you ‘gay’ for your pathetic man-crush. But above all, is Tate, with his naff shades and shiny little head, in any way someone you’d want to emulate? He looks like a talking peanut created for a KP advert.

Star Wars fans

This lot were bad enough when there were just three films to obsess over, but now there are hundreds of spin-offs in multiple formats for them to be weirdos about. Some like to spend their time calling other fans retards over minor points of Star Wars lore, others won’t stop whinging about women and people of colour in an alternate universe populated by Jedis, Yodas, Wookies and Siths. We get that Disney is a bit too keen on wokeness, but is there any need to say things like ‘Star Wars raped my childhood’?

England football fans

England never win the final, so devoted fans are frequently seen as charmingly loyal and optimistic losers. Then there’s the other type of fan who sees the beautiful game more in terms of getting tanked up and attempting to maim police officers and rival supporters. The image of England fans that springs to many people’s minds now is that bloke with a flare up his arse, which basically tells you all you need to know about these wankers. Although risking 1600 degree burns to your rectum definitely puts you in the category of ‘superfan’.