Album: Gotta Let This Hen Out!
. . .
But probably my favorite song on Gotta Let This Hen Out! was the penultimate track, and it was barely a song at all, but rather just a really big riff and a massive hook.
Which was good enough for me.
“Listening to the Higsons” originally surfaced as a b-side to Robyn’s 1981 single “Eaten By Her Own Dinner’ (a song that I just missed writing about, even though the last minute is utterly sublime) and the greatest thing about it is that it’s about exactly what it sounds like: Robyn is listening to the English punk-funk band The Higsons — an experience that I still haven’t had.
Listening to The Higsons
One night in November
And I thought I heard them singing
Said “I gotta let this hen out”
The Higsons come from Norwich
And they eat a lot of porridge
But I prefer East Grinstead
I’m running out of living
It’s of course the massive “whoooo-ohhhhhhh” after nearly every line that do all of the heavy lifting on this song. Without it, it’s just Robyn Hitchcock writing a whole song about how he heard The Higsons song “Gotta Let This Heat Out” as “gotta let this hen out.” As you do.
My favorite is of course, the juxtaposition of the the true fact “The Higsons come from Norwich” with the Hitchcockian supposition “and they eat a lot of porridge.”. It’s all just sublime silliness, that also happens to stick in your head for days afterwards.
“Listening to the Higsons (London 04-27-1985)”
“Listening to The Higsons (Official Music Video)”
“Listening to the Higsons” (Live 2013, w/Peter Buck, Posies, Scott McCaughey)
Did you miss a Certain Song? Follow me on Twitter: @barefootjim
The Certain Songs Database
A filterable, searchable & sortable somewhat up to date database with links to every “Certain Song” post I’ve ever written.
Certain Songs Spotify playlist
(It’s recommended that you listen to this on Spotify as their embed only has 200 songs.)
Support “Certain Songs” with a donation on Patreon
Go to my Patreon page