The Teddy Bears—To Know Him Is To Love Him

Tom Breihan over at Stereogum has been running a column about all the Number One songs on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart since its inception in 1958. (It’s great—you should check it out.) I decided to use each song as a writing prompt.

 

The specter of future ills

fills the clean notes with a grizzly

wall of dread—can we bear

the question of whether

we ever really know, know, know

anyone?

Tom Dooley—The Kingston Trio

Tom Breihan over at Stereogum has been running a column about all the Number One songs on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart since its inception in 1958. (It’s great—you should check it out.) I decided to use each song as a writing prompt.

 

A murder ballad missing Nick Cave’s

baritone,

missing any sort of feral

moan,

any bloodlust or anguished

koan alluding to a dripping

subterrane,

missing the red right hand,

the stain

of Satan, the mark of

Cain,

is reason to hang your head

and cry.

 

 

 

 

It’s Only Make Believe—Conway Twitty

Tom Breihan over at Stereogum has been running a column about all the Number One songs on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart since its inception in 1958. (It’s great—you should check it out.) I decided to use each song as a writing prompt.

 

“My one and only prayer

is that some day you’ll care.”

 

But what if the absence of God

is also God?

 

Two roads converged on a word,

and I—I mustered only a sigh,

And wished I could still tell the difference.

 

 

It’s All in the Game — Tommy Edwards

Tom Breihan over at Stereogum has been running a column about all the Number One songs on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart since its inception in 1958. (It’s great—you should check it out.) I decided to use each song as a writing prompt.

A sweet bouquet.

As he sidles up,

he whispers

your sobriquet

—part of the opening salvo

feigning intimacy,

love not as salvation

but acquisition—

not your real name.

 

A sweet bouquet,

but no plans to stay—

The game is still the game.

 

 

Little Star—The Elegants

Tom Breihan over at Stereogum has been running a column about all the Number One songs on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart since its inception in 1958. (It’s great—you should check it out.) I decided to use each song as a writing prompt.

The arbiter elegantiarum

of the royal court

of social media

says “full send,”

without fear

or favor,

to any photo

where your eyes twinkle

without filter.

 

 

 

 

Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare) by Domenico Modugno

Tom Breihan over at Stereogum has been running a column about all the Number One songs on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart since its inception in 1958. (It’s great—you should check it out.) I decided to use each song as a personal writing prompt.

 

Unfairly debonair

Andrea Pirlo chips

a free kick

into the waiting

Fiat 500 Spiaggina,

whisking us to sun-dappled

Tuscany in the lost episode

of season two of Master of None.

 

Alternately:

Tony Soprano and Dr. Melfi star

in a remake

of Pasolini’s Il vangelo secondo Matteo,

which ends with a pull-back

dolly

shot of the resurrected Christ fading

into blue.

Volare.

 

The Fiat 500 Spiaggina by Garage Italia.The Fiat 500 Spiaggina by Garage Italia.

 

Poor Little Fool by Ricky Nelson

Tom Breihan over at Stereogum has been running a column about all the Number One songs on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart since its inception in 1958. (It’s great—you should check it out.) I decided to use each song as a writing prompt for myself.

Woo fails

and the chorus

coos in assent

as our Ricky tries

but loses the number

loses the plot

loses his heart

to those carefree devil eyes