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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
  • 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.
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  • 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 Columbia 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 
  • 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".