The first single I ever bought
There is a great temptation to lie here. But hand on heart, it was [beloved ITV puppet] Roland Rat Superstar’s novelty rap Rat Rapping. He was rapping about being a puppet of a rat. I remember thinking: “Wow, this will stand the test of time, this is worth spending £1.75 on,” or however much a single was in 1983.
The best song to play at a party
The coolest I have ever been was for six months in 2001, when friends and I ran a club night in a Dublin pub. I would play a 15-minute set that was really a palate cleanser: after all the cool Daft Punk remixes, I would put on Steely Dan, and everybody would go for a wee and get a drink. I think it performed an important job, like half time at a football match.
The song I’ve streamed the most
Werewolves of London – Warren Zevon. What I love about it is that it’s just a song about werewolves in London. I don’t think it’s a metaphor. It’s just about the pros and cons of living in a major centre with werewolves. For me it’s a vibe-lifter.
The best song to have sex to
The difficulty with picking a song to have sex to – and I’m not trying to brag here – is that most songs are three to five minutes long, unless you pick a 12-minute song, then you’re heading into the jazz realm. Can I put on an episode of Melvyn Bragg’s In Our Time, one of the really good ones? The one on the Industrial Revolution.
The song I pretend to hate that I secretly like
Some of the pop bands of the 90s are now seen as pretty good, but there’s one tune that has never been cool that I do absolutely love: Never Had a Dream Come True by S Club 7. I’ve learned to play it on the piano, look. [Plays it on the piano] I think it’s fair to say that they are not a cool band, but it’s actually a powerful song. The lyrics are really good.
The song I want played at my funeral
I think it would be an interesting experiment to play a song that no one could possibly cry at if they heard it. I think that song is It Wasn’t Me by Shaggy. Or else I would play an Ireland world cup song from 1990, when we were very good at football, called Give It a Lash Jack, which encouraged Jack Charlton to give it a lash. No one could possibly cry at that.
My actual favourite song
Flamenco Sketches by Miles Davis, the slow peaceful one on Kind of Blue. In the Voyager space launch in 1977, they put a record player and a record on it so that if aliens ever found it, it would say: “Please don’t destroy us, aliens. Look, here’s some beautiful stuff that we made.” Flamenco Sketches might be the most useful song that I can think of for that. If I was the DJ for the next spacecraft, I’d send it into space.
Along for the Ride With David O’Doherty airs Mon, 10pm, Channel 4 and is available to stream on All 4.