My Top 1000 Songs #101: Tom Courtenay

I can't quite call this Yo La Tengo nugget (off 1995's superb Electr-O-Pura) a pop song--the guitars are too noisy, the lyrics too strange. Call it pop-adjacent, perhaps. It certainly highlights guitarist Ira Kaplan's way with a catchy hook, fizzy distorted guitars eased along by those chirpy ba-ba-bahs harmonized by drummer Georgia and bassist James. You're humming along before you stop to try to figure out what it's all about--some name-dropped British actors (the namesake actor doesn't find his way into the lyrics, but Julie Christie and Eleanor Bron do), but also some cryptic imagery ("Somehow stronger from adversity, our hero find his inner peace. So now I'm looking for a lucky charm, with a needle hanging out of its arm"). What's it all mean? Who knows. Crank up the guitars and commence ba-ba-bahing along.

Bonus points for yet another outstanding YLT video.

The band also released an alternated, stripped-down acoustic version, this one sung by Georgia:
Singer-songwriter Lucy Dacus stripped it down even further: