Thursday, January 17, 2008

Rock Around The Clock

The Rules

1. The lyrics or title must mention the time precisely. The Wee Small Hours, Lunchtime, Dinnertime, Crying Time, Sugar Time, Hammer time etc. do not count. Midnight and noon, however, do.

2. Each song can only be used once. So, for example, Dolly Parton's Nine To Five can only be used for 9 o' clock or 5 o' clock but not both.

3. The 24 hour clock is welcome but entries such as Paris 1919 (John Cale) or Disney Girls (1957) (The Beach Boys) do not count. And aren't that funny.

4. If the hour is not mentioned in the songs title then the relevant lyric must be quoted.

5. All songs must've been commercially available at some point.

6. Songs are not neccesarilly listed in their original version but rather in the version which is best known. By me, at least.

7. Sonny Dae and His Knights masterpiece, Rock Around The Clock is disqualified.

Here we go.....


In The Midnight Hour (Wilson Pickett)

Midnight At The Oasis (Maria Muldaur)

Down in The Tube Station At Midnight (The Jam)

Midnight Train To Georgia (Gladys Knight and the Pips)

Midnight Train (Johnny Burnette and the Rock'n' Roll Trio)

Moanin' At Midnight (Howlin' Wolf)

Round Midnight (Dexter Gordon)

Rockin' At Midnight(Roy Brown and his Mighty Mighty Men)

Midnight Midnight (Mickey Baker) (Thanks to Bird Yoshikawa)

Twelve O Clock At Night Ted Lewis (Thanks BlizzB)

Thanks to Kimberley James for these

Midnight Blue (Kenny Burrell)

Midnight Blue (Louise Tucker)

Midnight Blues (T-Bone Walker)

"Goodbye, pretty mama,
Lord, get yourself a money man,
You take that midnight train to Memphis,
Lord, leave me if you can,
Oh, take that midnight train to Memphis..." Train,Train (Blackfoot)

Midnight Storm (The Stanley Brothers)

"One O' Clock in the morning..I'm Funky
Two O' Clock in the morning...I'm Funky
Three O' clock in the morning...I'm Funky...
(etc until..
...) Eleven O' Clock in the morning...I'm Funky
Twelve O Clock in the morning... I'm Funky
All around the clock ...I'm Funky Funkiest Man Alive (Rufus Thomas)

After Midnight (J.J. Cale)

Thanks are due to Richard Gibson for these three entries:

Midnight to Six Man (The Pretty Things)

The Midnight Special(Leadbelly / Creedance Clearwater Revival)

Midnight Rambler (The Rolling Stones)

After Midnight (Restless)

Walking After Midnight (Patsy Cline)


One O' Clock Jump (Count Basie Orchestra)

(Thanks, Anonymous)

"Now Ruby started rockin' about one o' clock...." Rock 'n' Roll Ruby (Warren Smith)

"I mean I came when it was coming up to one
Yes my oneness
At one o'clock last morning..." One O'clock Last Morning, 20th April 1970 (Gilberto Gil) (Thanks to Bird Yoshikawa)


Breathe(2am) Anna Nalick (Thanks Kimberley)

"Two o'clock in the morning, something's on my mind..." Happy Ending (Mika)

Quarter to Three (Gary 'US' Bonds) (thanks Anonymous)

"Its quarter to three, theres no one in the place 'cept you and me..." One For My Baby (Frank Sinatra)


Three o Clock In The Morning Don Byas (thanks BlizzB)

Thanks to Kimberley for these two:

3AM (Oar)

3AM (Matchbox 20)

3AM Eternal (KLF)

Three O'Clock Rock (The Five Reasons)

Wednesday Morning 3AM (Simon & Garfunkel)(Thanks to Bird Yoshikawa)

Rebel Music (3 O'Clock Roadblock) (Bob Marley) (Thanks to Joel)

"At three o' clock that morning I awoke in an unfamiliar room... " Tunnel (Pulp)


Four O'Clock In The Morning (The Pogues) (Thanks Anonymous)

Four O'Clock Blues (Esther Bigeou) (Thanks to Bird Yoshikawa)

Four In The Morning (Faron Young)

"You give me Faron Young, four in the morning ..." Faron Young (Prefab Sprout)

"Four in the mornin' and they haul Rubin in,
Take him to the hospital and they bring him upstairs." Hurricane (Bob Dylan) (Thanks Joel)

"At four o' clock the normal world seems very,very,very far away..." Sorted For E's and Wizz (Pulp)

"Its four in the morning, the end of December..." Famous Blue Raincoat (Leonard Cohen)

"At four o' clock in the morning , I was sleeping in my cell...." Riot In Cell Block No. 9 (The Robins)

"We’ve both been sound asleep
Wake up little Susie and weep
The movie’s over, it’s four o’clock
And we’re in trouble deep..." Wake Up Little Susie(The Everly Brothers)
(Thanks due to Alicia for pointing this one out)

"I'd like to remind you, at four in the morning,

my world is very still.

And the air is fresh under diamond skies,

makes me glad to be alive..."
Blue Collar Bachman Turner Overdrive (thanks to Harry Wilson for that)

"This morning at four - fifty, I took her rather nifty...." Up The Junction (Squeeze)


"Wednesday morning at five o'clock as the day begins..." She's Leaving Home (The Beatles)


Six O'Clock in the Morning (Five Royales) (Thanks to Bird Yoshikawa)

"There's something special 'bout six o'clock
In the morning when it's still too early to knock
And the dusky light shines down on the block
And reflects up and down on the hands of the clock
Six o'clock, six o'clock..." Six O' Clock (The Lovin' Spoonful)

"Waking up at 6 a.m. on a cool warm morning
Opening the windows and breathing in petrol..." Thats Entertainment (The Jam)

"The killer's hands are bound with chains
At six o'clock it starts to rain
He'll never see the dawn again
Our lady of the flowers..." Hells Ditch (The Pogues) (Anonymous comes up trumps again)

"I got up at half past six..." Paperboy Song (Jilted John)


"At 7am on a brand new day
I'm gonna start it in the perfect way..." Noise, Noise, Noise (The Damned) (thanks Anonymous)


"He's heading for the Waterloo line,
To catch the 8 a.m. fast, its usually dead on time,
Hope it isn't late, got to be there by nine..." Smithers-Jones
(The Jam)(Thanks to Richard Gibson )

"NBC will not be able predict the winner at eight thirty- two or report from twenty nine districts...." The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (Gil Scott Heron)


Nine to Five (Dolly Parton)

Nine to Five (The Meters)

Nine to Five (Sheena Easton)

"Nine to five, your minds dead, but your bodies alive

six to ten its the same old thought again..." Woman Alive (R. Dean Taylor)


Ten O'Clock (? And the Mysterians) (Thanks for that Bird and for this...)


11 O'clock Tick Tock (U2)


About Noon (The Mar-Keys)

Tonight at Noon (The Jam)

Noon Rendezvous (Sheila E.)(Thanks to Bird Yoshikawa)

"Look at that big hand move along, nearing high noon..." Do Not Forsake Me (Tex Ritter)

"Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun, The Japanese don´t care to, the Chinese wouldn´t dare to, Hindus and Argentines sleep firmly from twelve to one..." Mad Dogs and Englishmen (Noel Coward)

"I used to live in New York City
Everything there was dark and dirty
Outside my window was a steeple
With a clock that always said twelve thirty..." Twelve Thirty (Young Girls Are Coming To The Canyon) (The Mamas and The Papas) (Thanks to Bird Yoshikawa)


One PM Again (Yo La Tengo)

(Thanks to Richard Gibson again)


(thanks to Anonymous for this):

"I should be clocking in at eight but I'm a little late
Can't blame my baby,'cause I took her on a date,
Two 'til ten then it's Friday again..." Here Comes The Weekend(Dave Edmunds)

Two O Clock Jump (Harry James) (Thanks BlizzB)


"Ain't it hard to stumble
And land in some funny lagoon?
Ain't it hard to stumble
And land in some muddy lagoon?
Especially when it's nine below zero
And three o'clock in the afternoon." Outlaw Blues (Bob Dylan)

"Well, the whole thing started at 3 o'clock fast,
It was all over by quarter past." Talkin' World War III Blues (Bob Dylan)

(Thanks Joel for those two)

3:10 To Yuma (Frankie Laine)

"You got Manny in the Library
Working off his hangover 3:30
You get the spleen at 3:15
But it's 3:13..." Winter (Hostel - Maxi) (The Fall)


Life Begins At Four O'clock (Bobby Milano)

"Four o'clock in the afternoon
and I didn't feel like very much.
I said to myself, "Where are you golden boy,
where is your famous golden touch?" Dress Rehearsal Rag (Leonard Cohen)(Thanks Joel)

"Take the last train to Clarksville, and I'll meet you at the station.
You can be be there by four thirty..." Last Train To Clarksville (The Monkees)


Five O'Clock Whistle (Ella Fitzgerald) (Thanks to Bird Yoshikawa)

Just Who Is The Five O Clock Hero? (The Jam)

Five O'Clock World (The Vogues)
(Thanks, once more, to the tireless Richard Gibson)

Five O' Clock Drag Duke Ellington (BlizzB again!)

It's Five O' Clock Somewhere (Alan Jackson) (Thanks to Harry Wilson)

"Most any afternoon at five

We'll be so glad to be alive"

Cocktails For Two ( written by Arthur Johnson and Sam Coslow it is best known in a version by version Spike Jones and his City Slickers although it originally featured in the 1934 movie Murder at the Vanities) (Thanks Harry Wilson)

"When I see the 5 oclock news
I dont wanna grow up" I Don't Wanna Grow Up (Tom Waits) (Thanks again, Joel)

"And a five o'clock shadow boxing all around the town..." Pasties and a G- String (Tom Waits)

"The next day at five o'clock, she heard a rifle shot
Quickly she ran to the door, that was facin' the pass... " Feleena (From El Paso) (Marty Robbins)

"Out of my brain on the five fifteen
Out of my brain on a train.." 5.15 (The Who) (thanks again, who ever you are)

"And he comes back at five thirty..." A Well Respected Man (The Kinks)

5.45 (Gang Of Four)


"Six o'clock - TV hour. Don't get caught in foreign tower..." End of the World as We Know It (REM)

"Alone at six o'clock - you drop a cup ...." Private Hell (The Jam)

"Its six o'clock on the dot and I'm halfway home..." Advert (Blur)

"At six o' clock their mummies and daddies will take them home to bed..." Teddy Bears Picnic

"Now he calls at six/he wants a date at eight" Mean, Mean Man (Wanda Jackson)


Seven O'Clock News (Simon & Garfunkel)(Thanks to Bird Yoshikawa)

"I was sittin' home alone one night in L.A.,
Watchin' old Cronkite on the seven o'clock news.” Black Diamond Bay (Bob Dylan) (We have Joel to thank once more)

When suppertime came the old cook came on deck sayin'.

"Fellas, it's too rough t'feed ya."

At seven P.M. a main hatchway caved in; he said,

"Fellas, it's bin good t'know ya!"
The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald Gordon Lightfoot

"What time is it? (It's seven o'clock)
Just one hour more
What time is it? (It's eight o'clock)
Now I'm at her door And my heart is beating fast
The moment's here at last..." What Time Is It ? (The Jive Five)

"I asked her for a date
She said a quarter to eight..." Peepin' Eyes (Charlie Feathers)

"My baby told me when I left home
I'll give you your last warning
You better get home by a quarter to eight
I don't mean tomorrow morning..." I Can't Go Home Like This (Ray Price)


Dinner at Eight (Rufus Wainwright)(Thanks to Bird Yoshikawa)

"I don't stay out late, don't care to go;

I'm home about eight,

just me and my radio.

Ain't misbehaving, saving my love for you..." Ain't Misbehaving Fats Waller

"She gets too hungry, for dinner at eight..." The Lady Is a Tramp (Frank Sinatra)

"Step in my Rocket and don't be late, Baby, we're pulling out about half past eight..." Rocket 88 (Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats featuring Ike Turner)

"We meet every night at eight
And I don't get home till late
I say to myself each day
Baby oh long long live love..." Long Live Love (Sandie Shaw)

"You have a date for half past eight tonight some distant bell starts chiming now..." Girl Don't Come (Sandie Shaw)

"Oh Colette
Half past eight
Don’t be late
Don’t forget we have a date Colette
How I love you Colette
Oh be on time and say your mine Colette..." Colette (Billy Fury)


Nine O' Clock Sal (Leroy-Hayes-Leary-Ingham) Ladds Black Aces


"We were the first band to vomit in the bar,
And find the distance to the stage too far,
Meanwhile it's getting late at ten o'clock,
Rock is dead they say,
Long live rock..." Long Live Rock (The Who)
(once again thanks are due to our anonymous benefactor!)

"Came in last night at half past ten..." Move It On Over (Hank Williams)


Eleven O' Clock (Morphine) (Thanks Bird)

Seven Minutes To Midnight (Wah!)

11.59 (Blondie)

So there you have it.

Does this folly teach us anything?

It could be argued that it simply demonstrates that I have too much time on my hands.

But it also confirms that popular music is, for the most part, a creature of the night. Midnight is the rockingest hour of the day but the melancholy of four in the morning comes a close second. 21.00 proved a surprisingly difficult slot to fill and the actual hours of a working day are, by and large, comparatively unserenaded...unless you know different.

Questions, corrections and additions are all welcomed.

The picture accompanying this post shows John Harrison's revolutionary timepiece known as H4, one of five clocks he built between 1730 and 1770 in an attempt to solve the longitute problem. Further details here. Horology, its the new rock 'n' roll, trust me.


Alicia said...

As far as four in the morning is concerned, you're missing:

We've both been sound asleep.
Wake up, a-little Suzy, and weep.
The movie's over. It's four o'clock
And we're in trouble, deep.

Just thought I'd mention it.

Richard Gibson said...

Five O'Clock World - The Vogues, covered by David McCallum, Julian Cope, maybe others.

"It's a five o'clock world when the whistle blows..."

Richard Gibson said...

Midnight to Six Man - The Pretty Things.

"...I sleep through the day, rise about four...".


Richard Gibson said...

The Midnight Special - Leadbelly / Creedance Clearwater Revival.

"...let the midnight special shine a light on me...."

Richard Gibson said...

Midnight Rambler - The Rolling Stones.

"Did you hear about the Midnight Rambler..."

Richard Gibson said...

One PM Again - Yo La Tengo.

"Lets not make any sudden moves..."

Testify said...

Thanks Alicia and Richard. I have updated the rockin' clock accordingly and given credit given.

Richard Gibson said...

Another one for 08.00 for you Testify...

"He's heading for the Waterloo line,
To catch the 8 a.m. fast, its usually dead on time..."

Smithers-Jones - The Jam.

What is it about The Jam, lots of times in their songs? Or is it just you are a huge fan of The Jam? Confess Testify!

Testify said...

The Jam's fascination with the time stems, I suspect from their roots in Woking, very much a part of London's commuter belt. when the time is used it is mostly to demonstrate how capitalist society crushes and standardises its citizens.
"The City oppresses its inhabitants,and the evidence of that oppression can be found in the time it imposes;there is a time for eating, a time for working, a time for travelling to work, a time for sleeping.i t represents the great triumph of materialism and commerce within the city" (from London The Biography by Peter Ackroyd).

There is also the question of influence Smithers Jones in particular demonstrates Wellers admiration for The Kinks. It felt anachronistic evenat the time of its release,and was, I think, a rather obvious attempt to write a song like a Well Respected Man.

Down In The Tube Station at Midnight is an interesting case though. On the one level it is simply urban paranoia but it is shot through, I think, with a kind of homo erotic masochism.
Midnight is used both as a shorthand for the sinister but also perhaps as a time of transformation, when night becomes day, though this means little from deep within the Londons malodorous intestine. Weller evokes nakedness("reflect my thoughts/Cold and uninviting, partially naked")and details the attack with a kind of curious eroticism:
"It filled my eyes, ears, nose and mouth
It blocked all my senses
Couldn't see, hear, speak any longer".
Maybe I'm reading too much into it but I can't help but think of the text that accompanys Mapplethorpe's Portfolio X and which talks of masochism as a kind of act of magic transforming and beatifying its practitioners.

Fellow commuter belt offspring Suede quite explicitly viewed London as a place of sex,violence and adventure and these three things are not all, after all, mutually exclusive. Thats Entertainment!
(which also features the time BTW!)
i wouldn't say I was a huge fan of The Jam but I am a fan. Who isn't?

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Anonymous said...

"One O'Clock Jump" by the Count Basie Orchestra

0200hrs, 0800hrs, 1000hrs:
"Here Comes The Weekend" by Dave Edmunds
Lyric: "I should be clocking in at eight but I'm a little late", "Two 'til ten then it's Friday again"

0900hrs or 2100hrs:
"One After 909" by The Beatles (unless it's not a train time in the title!)

"5:15" by The Who (another train-related antecedent for "Smithers-Jones")

Anonymous said...

"Quarter To Three" by Gary US Bonds

Testify said...

Sterling work Anonymous (I'm assuming your both the same Anonymous).
I have not included One After 909 though as a the verse below makes me think that 909 is a train number rather than time:

I said I'm trav'ling on the one after 909
I got my bag, run to the station
Railman says you've got the the wrong location
I got my bag, run right home
Then I find I've got the number wrong

Anonymous said...

Yeah, those two post were both the same anonymous (me). Thanks. :-)

You're right about "One After 909". Oh well.

FWIW, much as it would be nice to put "Quarter To Three" in the afternoon, I'm pretty sure it's the wee hours of the morning he's singing about:

"Don't you know that I danced, I danced till a quarter to three
With the help, last night, of Daddy G.
He was swingin on the sax like a nobody could
And I was dancin' all over the room."

(Bruce Springsteen, of course, famously included it in his concerts for years.)

Anonymous said...

A few more (to make up for One After 909):

0700hrs, 2000hrs:
Noise Noise Noise" by The Damned
Lyric: "At 7am on a brand new day" ... "It's 8 o'clock down the church hall"

"Four O'Clock In The Morning" by The Pogues

"Hell's Ditch" by The Pogues
Lyric: "At 6 o'clock it starts to rain"

Testify said...

Thanks again Anonymous.

I don't know Gary US Bonds terribly well, if I'm honest, but I did know he had recorded "Schools Out" and "Schools In" and just sort of assumed "Quarter To Three" was a school song. That'll teach me for not checking. I've corrected it now.

And thanks for filling the tricky 7am slot so well...I loved "Noise Noise Noise" when I were lad.

Anonymous said...

Back for more. Don't know how I missed this one, give my other suggestions.

"Long Live Rock" by The Who
Lyric: "Meanwhile it's getting late at ten o'clock, Rock is dead they say, Long Live Rock!"
Comment" given the theme of the song, it really is ten at night, not ten in the morning.

Testify said...

Thanks again Anonymous. I've updated the Clock.

Anonymous said...

Midnight Midnight (Mickey Baker)
Twelve Thirty - Young Girls Are Coming To The Canyon (Mamas and Papas)
One O'clock Last Morning, 20th April 1970 (Gilberto Gil)
Wednesday Morning 3AM (Simon & Garfunkel)
Four O'Clock Blues (Esther Bigeou)
Five O'Clock Whistle (Ella Fitzgerald)
Six O'Clock in the Morning (Five Royales)
7 O'Clock News (Simon & Garfunkel)
Dinner at Eight (Rufus Wainwright)
Noon Rendezvous (Sheila E.)

Oh... and I think "Five O'Clock World" is a Dave Clark Five song...

(I am Bird Yoshikawa)

Testify said...

Thanks Bird.I've updated the clock.
I can find no trace of Five O' Clock World by The Dave Clarke Five though.

Kimberly said...

1. Midnight Blue : Louise Tucker/ Kenny Burrell.

2. After Midnight: Eric clapton

3. Midnight Blues : T-Bone Walker

4. Midnight Storm : Blue Highway (Bluegrass)

5. 3AM : Oar~~
("It's 3AM and I wanna go to bed, I got a lady running through my head. Ran out of money, Lookin' for a night shift...")

6. 3AM : Matchbox 20

Kimberly said...

Oh yeah!! and:

Breathe (2AM) by: Anna Nalick

"2AM and she calls me 'cause I'm still awake, Can you help me unravel my latest mistake, I don't love him.....Winter just wasn't my season....."

~ It's an overplayed song but one with great lyrics.......(wish i would've wrote it.)

Kimberly said...

Train, Blackfoot

"Train,...Train. Take me on out of this town......
That woman I'm in Love with....Lord she's got to go....Good~Bye bread Mamma...Get yourself a money Man....Good~Bye bread Mamma...Get yourself a money man....You take that Midnight train to Memphis...Lord, leave if you can.......

Testify said...

Thanks for joining the fun Kimberly.
I have updated the clock accordingly.
However the Clapton and Blue highway trax you suggest are covers so I have credited the original artists.

Anonymous said...

11 O'clock Tick Tock (U2)
Eleven O' Clock (Morphine)
Ten O'Clock (? And the Mysterians)


Testify said...

Thanks Bird.

Obviously the Morphine track refers to the evening but I can't see anything in the lyrics of the other two that that explicitly makes them evening songs so I used them to fill a couple of outstanding morning slots.

If anyone disagrees strongly with this I'll look at them again.

joel. said...

-Rebel Music (3 O'Clock Roadblock) - Bob Marley
-Chicken Crowing for Midnight – Leadbelly
-Pasties And A G-string (at The Two O'clock Club) - Tom Waits

"Four o'clock in the afternoon
and I didn't feel like very much.
I said to myself, 'Where are you golden boy,
where is your famous golden touch?'" - Leonard Cohen from Dress Rehearsal Rag

“When I see the 5 o'clock news
I don't wanna grow up” - I Don't Wanna Grow up by Tom Waits

...And these from Bob Dylan –

"Four in the mornin' and they haul Rubin in,
Take him to the hospital and they bring him upstairs." – Hurricane

"Well, the whole thing started at 3 o'clock fast,
It was all over by quarter past." - Talkin' World War III Blues

"I was sittin' home alone one night in L.A.,
Watchin' old Cronkite on the seven o'clock news.” - Black Diamond Bay

"Ain't it hard to stumble
And land in some funny lagoon?
Ain't it hard to stumble
And land in some muddy lagoon?
Especially when it's nine below zero
And three o'clock in the afternoon." - Outlaw Blues

Testify said...

Hey Joel, Thank you for your additions. Sorry its taken me so long to update the rockin'clock but I was forced off line for a while (it was awful! Like living in the dark ages!).

BTW Pasties And A G String already got a mention at 17.00 hrs and you know the rules...I'm still looking into the Leadbelly song, it's a bit complicated.

Anonymous said...

"Three O'Clock In The Morning", Don Byas and numerous jazzers ...
"Two O'Clock Jump", Harry James
"Nine O'Clock Sal", Sy Oliver
"Twelve O'clock At Night", Ted Lewis
"Five O'Clock Drag", Duke Ellington

Harry Wilson said...

As a loyal Canadian, I was a bit miffed that you left out Bachman Turner Overdrives loving tribute to the wee hours, Blue Collar:
"I'd like to remind you, at four in the morning, my world is very still. The air is fresh under diamond skies, makes me glad to be alive."

Here are a couple of others:

"Moanin' At Midnight" by Howlin' Wolf

Cocktails For Two: "And every afternoon at five, we'll be so glad we're both alive"

Ain't Misbehavin': I don't stay out late, don't care to go; I'm home about eight, just me and my radio. Ain't misbehaving, saving my love for you."

Thanks for the great Billy Lee Riley tribute (found through Charlie Parker/Gunslinger).

Harry Wilson
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (a sordid little burg)

Harry Wilson said...

More from the loyal Canadian:

Gordon Lightfoot's starin' fate in the face "The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald":
"When supper time came the old cook came on deck,
Saying fellows it's too rough to feed ya.
At 7 pm a main hatchway caved in,
He said fellas it's been good to know ya."

Also, from Jimmy Buffett/Alan Jackson's "It's 5:00 Somewhere":
"Pour me somethin' tall and strong,
Make it a hurricane before I go insane.
It's only half past twelve but I don't care,
It's 5 O'clock somewhere."

Thanks for the new obsession!

Harry Wilson
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Testify said...

Belated thanks for these fella's. Will update the rockin' clock soon.