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Music / Kirsty MacColl

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And I'll see you baby when the clans rise again,
Women and children united by a struggle going down,
You've got to walk into the water with your sister and your daughter,
In this free world.
"Free World"

Kirsty Anna MacColl (10 October 1959 – 18 December 2000) was a British singer-songwriter known for humorous lyrics and a tendency toward Genre Roulette.


  • Desperate Character (1981) — given an Updated Re-release as Kirsty MacColl in 1985
  • Real (recorded 1983, released 2023)
  • Kite (1989)
  • Electric Landlady (1991)
  • Titanic Days (1993)
  • Tropical Brainstorm (2000)
  • Also a number of significant non-album singles, including "A New England" (her biggest solo hit, from 1985) and the million-selling collaboration with The Pogues, "Fairytale of New York" (1987, and included on their album but not hers).

Tropes asociated with Kirsty MacColl:

  • Double-Meaning Title: "My Affair" - meaning both "a romantic fling I am involved in" and "mind your own business".
  • Elvis Impersonator/Elvis Lives: "There's A Guy Works Down The Chip Shop Swears He's Elvis". Of course, he's lying.
  • "Dear John" Letter: The subject of the song "Dear John". It was considered too much of a tearjerker even for the gloomy Titanic Days album and was given to Eddi Reader instead, who had a minor hit with it.
  • Everything Sounds Sexier In Spanish: First invoked in "My Affair" on Electric Landlady, and later on the Tropical Brainstorm album.
  • Genre Roulette: Even her small number of hit singles are all quite diferent in style, encompassing rockabilly, pop, balladry and hip-hop. That's before getting into the rock and Cuban influences evident on her albums.
  • Gold Digger: "I'm Going Out With An Eighty Year Old Millionaire" is pretty self-explanatory.
    There's one thing that's better than an old millionaire
    That's a young millionairess, and I'm almost there!
  • Greatest Hits Album: The first, "Galore", was released in 1995 and is her biggest-selling album. Since her death, a new one comes out every couple of years or so. Even with the expanded reissues of her proper albums, a Kirsty collection still requires at least one Greatest Hits Album to cover key non-album tracks like "They Don't Know" and "A New England".
  • Heroic Sacrifice: She died saving one of her sons from an oncoming boat.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In "England 2 Colombia 0", the narrator calls out a date for not mentioning he has children... then notes that she didn't mention she has kids either. note 
  • Oops! I Forgot I Was Married: The guy in "England 2, Colombia Nil", who "forgot he had three children, he forgot he had a wife".
  • Pun-Based Title: Electric Landlady, a twist on Jimi Hendrix' Electric Ladyland. It was suggested by Johnny Marr, who was renting a room from MacColl at the time.
  • Questioning Title?: "In These Shoes?", "Closer To God?"
  • Secondary Character Title: "There's A Guy Works Down The Chip Shop Swears He's Elvis" isn't actually about the guy who works down the chip shop, he's just someone the real protagonist gets compared to.
  • Self-Backing Vocalist: She used this technique regularly throughout her career. Her multitracked harmonies are often compared to The Beach Boys.
  • A Wild Rapper Appears!: in "Walking Down Madison".
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: "Don't Come The Cowboy With Me, Sonny Jim" is essentially telling the addressee of the song that he might think he's "supposed" to act like an asshole, but he isn't and he's not.