Songs for Modern Loving

by Helen Arney

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    A collection of all the best songs from Helen Arney's 2009 and 2010 Edinburgh Fringe comedy shows, bundled together for your listening pleasure. Pay what you want for everything!
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LYRICS - Indie Song This is my indie song It’s got 3 chords and it’s 2 minutes long It sounds like a tune you already know Because they used it to advertise a Nokia phone Uh huh, ah yeah, I only know 3 chords Oh yeah, uh huh, I’m a full-grown adult but I ride a skateboard I’ll tell you how to get a record deal Cover Britney Spears on the glockenspiel All my songs sound a little bit samey Cos I play them on an out of tune ukulele Oh yeah, uh-huh, I’ve stolen Laura Marling’s fans. Uh-huh, a yeah, I’ve got a large collection of cardigans Some people ask me what this song is all about… It’s about girl–slash–boy meets boy-slash-girl There isn’t any other type of song in the world But I gotta keep my indie credentials up So let’s rock it with a mini harmonica Some people ask me how I’m going to end this song… I’ll repeat a phrase until it sounds meaningful Repeat a phrase until it sounds meaningful Repeat a phrase until it sounds meaningful Repeat a phrase until it sounds meaningful And then we'll end on a minor chord
LYRICS - Stoke Newington Waiting for the bus, the number 73 I get a creepy feeling someone's staring at me Cos I haven’t got a baby I’m a failure, well, maybe Going down to the shops I pick some bread from a shelf Someone “tuts” because I haven’t knitted it myself They think I’m lazy I think they might be crazy You can see why middle classes are attracted to the Village in London’s heart There are still a few real people hiding behind the vintage Shops and bohemian café bars But for some it’s the next best thing to living in Surrey You can still pop down to Brick Lane for a curry Stokie is a heaven – or for some a living hell Of tofu-reading, Guardian-eating young professionals It’s obligatory To not vote Tory I like Stoke Newington but it don’t like me And that’s Hackney
LYRICS - My Dad Is A Morris Dancer My dad is a Morris Dancer He’s an English country prancer We never did the normal things that families like to do Like watching Strictly on the box or going to the zoo Instead we drive to Berkhamstead And he dances round in a horses head Me and my brother have to help By sewing on bells till our fingers bled Our mother thinks that he should get A proper job instead I wish I was dead His uniform is whiter than white He trains for hours every night Cos he's a major Morris-Man, he's not a Morris Minor We think it's a stupid dance, he thinks there's nothing finer Thank hankies, sashes, bells and sticks The kids at school all take the mick The bullies always try to nick My lunch money it makes me sick Even the teachers call him a freak And say he's wrong in the head I wish they were dead Then one day it happened The thing no-one imagined A space ship full of aliens landed in our town Not friendly ones but ugly ones with teeth and massive mouths They started wobbling down the street Looking for something good to eat They thought the postman tasted sweet But the butcher tasted of rotten meat They ate them all but left the feet I think we’re going to end up dead I’m hiding in my bed Things are looking bad But we hadn’t counted on my dad Cos he’s endowed with special powers that we never knew he had He grabbed his bells and sticks and dressed in white he headed out To the sound of an accordion He danced towards the aliens Fearless, brave without a gun Hankies waving in formation The aliens screamed and turned to run Back to their space station And blasted off towards the sun He saved us from the attack Maybe my dad’s not such a prat So now there are no more days off For human/alien face-offs My dad’s a hero – yeah that’s cool But I still have to go back to school… I wish I was dead I’m hiding in my bed I think I’ll send my dad instead
LYRICS - Statistically I Love You Baby I’ve looked at this empirically And I think you’re the one for me Plus or minus three You’re my man And I want you to understand How it feels when I hold your hand So I’ll draw a Venn Diagram Statistically I love you Mathematically I need you Graphically I want you And on average, I’m going to make you mine You’re beautiful My love for you is irrational It’s constant, it’s recurring and you can use it to calculate The circumference of a circle of any known diameter Maybe that’s not love, maybe I’m just thinking of pi Statistically I love you If you were a logarithm I’d be your exponential When you grasp my arithmetic I find it rather sensual Give me your raw data and I’ll show my conclusion Give me a new equation and I’ll name a biscuit after you Statistically I love you Therefore logically I need you Rhetorically do I want you Theoretically – you are already mine
Modern Love 02:29
LYRICS - Modern Love I wanted to be Justine Frischman lead singer of Elastica I wanted to be Damon Albarn Just so I could get close her But I didn’t want her clothes, her hair Or to get in Damon’s underwear All I wanted was to be 23 not age 13 Experience what made her write those songs Songs of Modern Love I wanted to be Ben Folds So much that it made me sick I wanted to be in his band The four of us would have been Ben Folds Six Not because I wanted to Play the piano like an utter loon But cos he made me think I might not Be a girl for the rest of my life But a woman who can write all of her songs Songs of Modern Love I wanted to be Neil Hannon Of the Divine Comedy I had everything he wrote On tape cassingle and then CD Every day I would obsess About turning into frog princess So I could live like Generation Sex, Promenade & Liberation Casanova, Regeneration Victory & A Short Album Now it’s turned into a list Of everything he put on disc But I didn’t think the new one would fit Cos nothing useful rhymes with it But listening to Bang Goes the Knighthood Makes me think that maybe I should Spend the rest of my life writing songs My songs of Modern love
LYRICS - Strongwoman with a Broken Heart Did you hear about the act at the circus? Tonight she’s trying a new part You’ll be on the edge of your seat with her amazing feat She's a Strongwoman with the Broken Heart The Strongwoman with the Broken Heart She fell in love with a handsome clown And they began a glorious affair But life can be cruel and not all fun Ironic when you live at the fair The woman who was mightier than 20 men Was slowly falling apart But she had been taught "On with the show!"The Strongwoman with the Broken Heart She’s the Strongwoman with the Broken Heart The pain in her chest grew intense, in tents, and She booked in a doctor to treat her He said: "Your heart is just a muscle like all others Don’t let this set-back defeat ya" So she took his advice and began training Cos she needed somewhere to start Remembered the saying, “No pain, no gain” The Strongwoman worked-out her heart The Strongwoman worked-out her heart Every time she used her heart, it grew and grew She learnt to laugh again at clowns Lifted weights while she juggled dates Toned up her smile and lost her frown Did you hear about the act at the circus? Tonight she’s trying a new part She’s mightier than 20 men - plus one The Strongwoman with a strong heart. The Strongwoman with a strong heart.
Platitudes 01:51
Once A Week 01:58
Pianoman 03:39


The very best of my first two Edinburgh Fringe shows: "8 1/2 songs about love (and other myths)" and "Songs For Modern Loving"

"Champion of musical whims" (Evening Standard)
**** "Charming, witty and warm, with great one-liners" (The List)
**** "Harnesses the spirit of Ben Folds and the Divine Comedy’s Neil Hannon… delightful" (Chortle)
**** "High-class musical comedy with soul, intelligence and wit" (Broadway Baby)

Get several of these songs - and more - to play along with in my PDF songbook, available here:

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released August 1, 2010

Helen Arney: vocals, ukulele and piano, with: James Hingley: guitar, bass, thumb piano, SFX / Rhodri Marsden: musical saw / Michael Legge: shouting / Stewart McCarthy: Drum looping wizardry & extra production. All other instruments played by Helen Arney

Tr 1-9 recorded in Helen’s bedroom, July ’10
Tr 10-17 recorded/mixed Oct ’09 by James Hingley

All music and lyrics © Helen Arney
Except Tr 9, from an original poem by Bec Hill

Artwork by Alex Brenner


all rights reserved



Helen Arney London, UK

"Geek Songstress" Helen Arney is the UK's finest purveyor of comedy songs with a scientifically verified twist.

"Champion of musical whims" Evening Standard
**** ”Harnesses the spirit of Ben Folds & the Divine Comedy’s Neil Hannon… delightful” (Chortle)

Also one third of Festival of the Spoken Nerd and author of "The Element In The Room"
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