June Challenge: John Cooper Clarke

June 1, 2012 1:46 PM

June Challenge: John Cooper Clarke

The challenge for June is to put one of John Cooper Clarke's poems to music.

Before you embark on this challenge, a few words of wisdom from MajorDundee:

JCC is one of the few genuine talents to have survived from the glory days of British punk, so......let's treat the material with the respect it and its author deserves huh? And if anyone by any outside chance makes any commercial gain from a track make sure JCC gets his full due - he's not a wealthy man.

Here's a link to Clarke's official site, where you can find lots of his poetry and inspiration.
posted by The World Famous (13 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: Poster's Request -- frimble

So, what does it mean to treat the material with the respect it deserves? Like we can only do music in the style of early punk? Or just not to treat the material as jokey? I respect the advice, just not sure how to read it.
posted by Doleful Creature at 10:48 PM on June 2, 2012

I kind of wish I hadn't said that now - bit pompous really. I guess it's easy to see JCC as a sort of novelty act whereas in fact his material is a long way from that, and that's sort of where I was coming from. Ignore what I said. I started thinking about doing a hoe-down 2-step version of "Evidently Chickentown" and that would definitely be a send-up so I'm just full of shit really......:-))
posted by MajorDundee at 12:29 PM on June 3, 2012

*makes country-rap crossover of JCC's "Twat"*
posted by marienbad at 3:13 PM on June 3, 2012

Er, I came on to mefimusic and saw one new comment in this thread and it was mine above. On re-reading, it looks a bit like I am calling MajorDundee a twat. This is most definitely not the case, sorry for any confusion or offence inadvertently caused!
posted by marienbad at 2:25 PM on June 5, 2012

Major Dundee is a complete twat. That's a significant part of the character. So - no offence taken marienbad!
posted by MajorDundee at 9:50 AM on June 6, 2012

pmsl. (can we use that on here? I know some lolspeak is frowned upon on mefi blue.)
posted by marienbad at 4:54 PM on June 6, 2012


I have absolutely no idea what that means, but it sounds dashed saucy.... I rarely visit the blue btw - far too cliquey and right-on for the likes of me...I'm just not cool enough and daily have to live with the pain of that...
posted by MajorDundee at 2:54 AM on June 7, 2012

I have no idea what it means either and I'm mostly on the blue, so. Mentally, I'm pronouncing the way you would say "pencil" if you had one in your mouth.

I think I mentioned before that when I started writing songs, I began with the booklet that came with John Cooper Clarke's Snap, Crackle & Bop album (which, for some reason, contained the lyrics from the previous album). In much the same way that I turned The Wasteland into a bad prog epic. And later used the songs from Gravity's Rainbow, which was a challenge last year some time.

I'm feeling personally taunted, here. I do realise I'm in no way together enough to do a post for any of these challenges, there's no reason to rub it in.

(JCC's poems are excellent, by the way - he was hugely influential on generations of performance poets and songwriters who were interested in writing good lyrics, the most recent of whom that I know of was Alex Turner out of Arctic Monkeys)
posted by Grangousier at 12:40 PM on June 7, 2012

I'd never heard of John Cooper Clarke before, but he's great!

I think I'm actually going to do this challenge.
posted by topoisomerase at 1:13 PM on June 7, 2012

pmsl = pissing myself laughing.
posted by marienbad at 5:12 PM on June 7, 2012

hmmm..... think I found something... challenge accepted.
posted by djdrue at 6:28 PM on June 14, 2012

Well, I tried mine out at an open-mic last night - all I have to do now is record it.
posted by Grangousier at 11:35 AM on June 19, 2012

Ah shit, I missed this. His appearance in Urgh! A Music War is one of the hidden delights of that film.
posted by not_on_display at 3:32 PM on July 5, 2012

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