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10 Brilliant Songs That Go... La, La, La

by Tom Law
29 March 2013 68 Comments

Why bother knocking out meaningful lyrics when you can fill up a decent song with 'La La la's'. If you don't like it take it up with Van, Iggy, Weller and Rod.

That’s Entertainment – one of the greatest songs ever written. It took Paul Weller 35 minutes to write, or so legend has it. He scribbled it down while sat pissed on the last bus home.

What do the lyrics mean? Haven’t got a clue. And I don’t care – because it sounds great. Especially the chorus:

That’s entertainment.

La-la-la, la-la-la

Why bother spending hours torturing yourself over some wanky lyrics when you can express yourself with a noise? For some reason, that noise usually comes out as  ‘la, la, la’. So, here’s the definitive list, which nobody can argue with, of the 10 greatest songs that go la, la, la.

10. Van Morrison Brown Eyed Girl


It’s no wonder Van Morrison turned into such a miserable git. Despite releasing about 7,000 albums during his life, Van is still best known for one track: Brown Eyed Girl. It’s his signature tune. One of the most played songs in the history of recorded music, recently racking up its nine millionth radio play. But here’s the good bit. Van the Man claims that, owing to a dodgy contract he signed as a youngster, he’s never received a penny in royalties for it. It may explain why he hates it so much. He has said, “I’ve got about 300 songs which are better”. Still, it’s a cracking tune from one of the masters of the la, la. Check out Caravan as well.


Do you remember when we used to sing?






9. Lanc-y-shurr La, La, La

There’s no better sound on a summer’s afternoon than a bunch of fat, sun-burnt Lancashire cricket fans bellowing out this terrace classic. It’s the bacon sandwich of the la, la song. Stripped down to its raw components: name of county, three la’s and some booze. That’s it. Simple. Beautiful. If it was sung by anyone else it could easily sound a tad moronic. But filtered through the bizarre high-pitched drone of the Lancastrian – it becomes the la, la equivalent of Hallelujah.


Lanc-y-shurr… la, la, la. Lanc-y-shurr… la, la, la



8. The FacesOoh La La


Bit of a cheat this. Despite the title, you’ll only find a smattering of five la’s in this tune. But fuck it, it’s a cracking song. This was recorded just as the The Faces were falling apart. Ronnie Lane wrote it for Rod Stewart, but the mullet-haired idiot refused to sing it – didn’t like it, apparently. It was left to a pre-Rolling Stones Ronnie Wood to do the vocals on the album version. But it’s this later version, sung by Ronne Lane, that does it for me.



Ooh-la-la-la, yeah



7. Half Man Half BiscuitVenus In Flares


Trust these loveable Birkenhead scallywags. They couldn’t just do a song with some la’s, oh no: they had to be all postmodern and droll about it and deconstruct its use in the tool shed of lazy songwriters. Smartarses. Good though – off their first album.


And I went la-la-la-la-la-la-la


I went la-la-la-la-la-la-la

Just like everyone else does when they can’t think of any more words.



6. Wolfgang Reichman Himmelblau

What do you need to know about Wolfgang Reichman? Well, you’d never have guessed it, but he was German. He dressed like an accountant, wore blue lipstick and was stabbed to death by a random stranger just a couple weeks before his first album was released. Himmelblau is nine minutes of bubbling, shimmering electronica. It sounds a bit like Kraftwerk driving a Fiat Punto through the countryside. It keeps you waiting before the la, la bit kicks in, but stick with it – it’s worth it.





5. Iggy Pop – The Passenger


This has to be included, I suppose. It’s a shame, because Iggy Pop really is one of the most tiresome dickheads ever to parade around on a stage with his top off. Iggy – currently performing in his latest car insurance advert – has only ever recorded two half-decent songs: Lust for Life and The Passenger. And despite being poisoned by association with its creator, The Passenger has survived as the Smoke on the Water of the la, la, la. Yes, Bowie did some of the backing vocals. Now fuck off.


Singin’ la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la

La-la-la- la-la-la-la-la

La-la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la



4. The Jam Saturday’s Kids


You can chart the decline of Paul Weller by the number of songs he wrote which featured a la, la, la. Back in the 80s, just about every Jam song seemed to include a burst – That’s Entertainment, Going Underground, Man in the Cornershop – all class. But the height of the Weller la, la, la came with Saturday’s Kids. After that he started getting into jazz, writing sensible lyrics about emotions and the next thing you know, you’re in a field surrounded be middle-aged men watching the UK’s dullest musician.







3. Elvis Presley I’m Leavin’


This was a commercial flop for 70s Elvis. It showed its face in the Top 40 before scuttling off into obscurity. But it remained one of Presley’s personal favourites, a song he continued to perform right up until his death. It’s not your usual Presley fare – it’s a song about loneliness and depression. The la, la, la’s here come from somewhere deep inside – a fragile and haunting refrain.






I’m, I’m leavin’



2. Joe Raposo – Sing

You might not have heard of Joe Raposo, but, if you’re of a certain age, you’ll be familiar with his tunes. He was a Portugese musician who used to write most of the music for Sesame Street, including the classy theme tune. He’s also supposed to have been the inspiration for the Cookie Monster. Raposo wrote Sing as something that kids on the show could learn easily. No need to remember lyrics, just go la, la, la. But it became something of a crooning classic after it was covered by the likes of The Carpenters and Barbara Streisand. Fuck you Radiohead. Fuck you Doves. Listen to this and weep.







1. Meic Stevens Y Brawd Houdini


If you hang around pubs in Cardiff for long enough, you’ll eventually meet a cantankerous old fella clutching a pint of wine. This is Meic Stevens – the creator of the best la, la ever recorded.

These days Meic looks a bit like Father Jack – and a few years back he was arrested for threatening to shoot a landlady who’d refused to feed him any more booze. In the 60s, however, he was a fresh-faced young folk singer who was touted as the Welsh Bob Dylan. With fame and fortune calling, Meic heroically slammed the door in its face. He insisted on continuing to write and record music in his native Welsh language. And he’s carried on doing it for the last 40 years. But it’s one of his very first songs which still stands out – Y Brawd Houdini. It’s a song about going for a beer with the brother of the escapologist. Once you hear this la, la, la – it’ll never leave. The greatest terrace chant that never was.


La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la



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image descriptionCOMMENTS

that bitch kylie 8:26 pm, 14-Jul-2010

what about her? la la la, la la la la la (repeat)

gingernick 1:40 pm, 20-Aug-2010

How is Bob Dylan "The Man in Me" not in the top ten?

Who cares? 10:24 pm, 13-Sep-2010

Love Plus one - Haircut One Hundred

Rob 2:20 pm, 6-Oct-2010

Smiths - Sheila take a bow

Rob 2:21 pm, 6-Oct-2010

And that sickly Minnie Ripperton tune

dan botten 7:46 pm, 6-Oct-2010

Hey Jude?

Dave G 12:53 pm, 7-Oct-2010

The Shirelles, Baby its You {cover by the the fab four) has to be mentioned

gingernick 1:04 pm, 7-Oct-2010

America "A Horse with No Name"

Sal 4:10 pm, 20-Nov-2010

Brown Girl in the Ring? First one that springs to mind but it's not here . . .

Man in a Shed 9:06 pm, 8-Nov-2011

Wot, no Monaco?

RipTheMichael 9:51 pm, 8-Nov-2011

Ya forgot the other Jam la la la one! Carnation

ben jones 11:34 pm, 8-Nov-2011

It worked for Weller on 'Entertainment' and he did it on 'Man in the Corner Shop'

GB 10:05 am, 9-Nov-2011

You should do one about ridiculous gibberish lyrics eg there she was just-a walkin down the street singin doo-wa-di-di-dum-di-di-doo, or that scatman john song: skee-ba-ba-ba-da-ba. Finest works of musical and English language, lyrical genius

David L 10:43 am, 9-Nov-2011

How's about LaLaLa by Nouvelle Vague then? After dispensing with stinging lyrics like "you and I have such futile jobs, let's stop acting like kings and queens", Julie Delpy softens the blow with the classic refrain "la la-la la, la la la, la la la, la la-la la, la la la, la la la, la la-la la, la la la, la la la, la la-la la, la la la, la la la, la-la la-la la, la la la, la la la, la la-la la, la la la, la la la, la-la la-la la, la la la, la la la, la la-la la, la la la, la la la". I'm thinking of having that one at my funeral.

BenJ 10:56 pm, 9-Nov-2011

Why not the Dickies, the Banana Splits theme?

2starsonmeshirt 12:27 am, 11-Nov-2011

Nothing from the La's then.

Brendan 10:33 pm, 14-Nov-2011

One great big omission: Simon & Garfunkel - The Boxer.

JK 10:50 pm, 14-Nov-2011

Can you rename the article "Top 10 songs that go La la la are in the comments submitted by readers, and there's another 10 in the article which aren't quite as good"

FoxyDread 8:33 am, 15-Nov-2011

Television Personalities - Part Time Punks And here's hoping Dan makes a recovery.

2starsonmeshirt 5:35 pm, 18-Nov-2011

Sorrry Brendan to be pedantic but The Boxer went Lie La Li.

Niall 10:13 pm, 19-Nov-2011

Ryan Adams has a nice song called The Bar is a Beautiful Place with a nice "Sha la la, sha la la la" section.

Jane Garcia 11:16 pm, 25-Nov-2011

What about "La La Means I Love You" by the Delfonics? Not a patch on "Ready Or Not, Here I Come," or "Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time), but a la la song nonetheless. And don't Simon and Garfunkel sing "lie la lie" in "The Boxer", not "la la la?" That means it doesn't qualify.

Ace 9:49 am, 29-Dec-2011

BTO-hey you

John Tisdall 5:43 pm, 10-Mar-2012

Don't you forget about me - Simple Minds.

manmeetdinosaur 5:48 pm, 10-Mar-2012

You forgot the incredible 'Lost Coastlines' by Okkervil River. For shame.

bogfox 6:28 pm, 10-Mar-2012

"Manchester,la la la la,Manchester,la la la la.." or if you're a cricket 'ead "Lancashire,la la la la..."

Aurélien Parlouër 9:32 pm, 10-Mar-2012

Hey jude! Seriously! It should be way over the top of your classification!

Aidan 1:40 pm, 26-Oct-2012

'For Tomorrow' by Blur is deserving of a place on this list.

Cholo 1:57 pm, 31-Oct-2012

La la love you Pixies?

vivi 1:23 pm, 3-Nov-2012

and Head Over Heels by Tears For Fears? lalalalalalala lalalalalallala

Graham Ward 1:18 am, 5-Nov-2012

I think Hey Jude is Na Na Na Nana Na Na. Not La.

Josh McDonald 1:25 am, 5-Nov-2012

To all the silly folk saying "hey jude". "Naaaa, naa naa nanana naaa, nanana naa, Hey jude". No la la la's Schoolboy mistake guys.

Johnny Drama 10:43 am, 5-Nov-2012

I Never Loved Eva Braun - Boomtown Rats. Some brilliant la la la - la la - la la laaaaa's.

Ryuuga Takanawa 2:17 am, 23-Jan-2013

Why the hell isn't "Self Esteem" on the list?

Paul 9:54 am, 4-Feb-2013

Hey Jude by The Beatles should be there!

Seth 7:37 pm, 8-Feb-2013

Of course there's the la la song I was looking for that brought me here in the first place ... Tonight Tonight by Hot Chelle Rae. Not the greatest, but definitely on the list.

Dennis V. 1:20 am, 15-Feb-2013

The Last Waltz -- Englebert Humperdinck Suavecito -- Malo That's Cool, That's Trash -- The Kingsmen

Legal Wrangle 1:21 pm, 1-Mar-2013

Agree with Aidan above, a great song no doubt, but there are a few Blur songs that could qualify as well e.g. Charmless Man.

Craig Wood 4:08 pm, 29-Mar-2013

Funny, I was just at the Holland v Romania match on Tuesday. The half time entertainment consisted entirely of songs that go la la la, all set of with a guy who shouts in Dutch 'we have an L, we have an A' then the lyrics come up on giant screens LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA etc here's the 'song'...

Tom Conway 5:05 pm, 29-Mar-2013

Ex-Lion Tamer by WIRE is my favourite La La La songs. In fact one of my favourite songs full stop.

Andy N 5:23 pm, 29-Mar-2013

Some might not consider it cool but fuck 'em- 'Cracklin' Rosie' by Neil Diamond. Actually it's amazing the amount of old songs that got away with 'la la la' until the fade.

Goode 11:57 am, 30-Mar-2013

First thought was HMHB. Great to see it listed.

Robert S 10:27 pm, 19-Apr-2013

Can't remember who sang it or the title of the song, but I believe it was "The La La La Song"... from the 60's I believe, that went something like this >>>> It may sound stupid, but I know cupid has shot his arrow at me. You are the only girl, th' one and only girl, no other girl could please me. But when I'm alone with you, walking along with you, words don't come so easy. So I just sing 'La la la la la la, la la la la la la, la la la la la la , la la'. It may sound stupid but I know cupid has shot his arrow at me >>>> etc. I know this isn't the whole song, but I can't remember it perfectly. Anyone out there that can help me out with the title and artist?

Phil A 3:09 am, 14-May-2013

Surely you should have included Simple Minds - Don't You Forget about Me , with the big la la La ending. Great 80's song, from the Pretty in Pink Soundtrack I think.

anna 3:53 am, 14-May-2013

I can't remember the name of a song that sounds a little like James Brown (but I don't think it's him)... a real classic. I remember rythmic drums followed by "laaaaa lalalalaaa, lalalalaaa lalala lalala..lalalalaaaaaa". Not verry clear but does anyone know which song I'm talking about? (I'm sorry about my english, I'm french)

Vitaliy 8:27 pm, 20-May-2013

do u know this song ?

tyson 4:45 am, 26-May-2013

tried to find that one song that went la la la la la la luh lala.... no help here good suggestions tho! i figured it out... add: wild world by cat Stevens to the list!

theremin 7:43 am, 2-Jul-2013

Tom Conway: Funny, you mention Ex-Lion Tamer, but I was thinking of Mannequin.

gogu steriade 2:14 pm, 22-Jul-2013

@anna The Tamperer Feat. Maya - Feel It, i think...

Sarah 3:44 pm, 1-Aug-2013

The Simple Minds song is on the The Breakfast Club soundtrack.

Sarah 3:51 pm, 1-Aug-2013

I came here hoping I could find a song that I used to hear in clubs and parties a lot in about 1985-86. It would have been considered alternative, it was really mellow, and had kind of a droning LA LA La section at the end of the song. I remember the first chords-Em-G-D. That's the best I can do. I remember Gang of Four being mentioned by friends around that time, but not sure it's them.

Jessie 6:15 pm, 2-Aug-2013

Where's la la la by naughty boy and sam smith?

Will McClintick 6:33 am, 3-Aug-2013

Mr Jones- Counting crows Jersey girl- Tom Waits

raytatatatat 12:49 am, 16-Aug-2013

you all forgot ian thomas - painted ladies

goughy 8:30 pm, 16-Aug-2013

Tim Buckley-Troubadour,

Nettie 3:35 am, 18-Aug-2013

I'm thinking of a song that went La lalalalalalalalala I'm a showgirl sung by a bloke but I can't remember who??? (I thought it was the Happy Mondays/Shaun ryder but No)

katarina 11:56 pm, 8-Sep-2013

Does anyone know name of this lalala laaa song? ty :)

Troll321 10:24 am, 6-Nov-2013

What about the trollollol song?

Ihsan 11:46 am, 9-Dec-2013

Do yourselves a favor... fall in love with this one: Number One by Patrice Rushen She might be saying "daa daa daa..." now that I think about it...

uma 7:58 am, 11-Feb-2014

i want the song starting with la lala la la it used to ringtone for mobiles in 2005

Mohamad Ayman 8:45 pm, 21-Feb-2014

Life is life - Opus should be at the top of this list

james murphey 1:57 pm, 8-Apr-2014

la la song by zebra!!!!

Anna 9:59 pm, 28-Apr-2014

Basshunter - I Can Walk on Water.

Tuan Anh 4:06 pm, 29-Apr-2014

@Reply Uma: If u remember what's ringtone name, plz contact with me. I really love it.

Joel 6:08 pm, 1-Aug-2014

great list of my own... some songs better than others... lots of great stuff hear i added as well

joe 2:53 am, 14-Nov-2014

Where Meth and Red on Da Rockwilder at doe

Victor 12:01 am, 8-Dec-2014

One that's been really bugging me, in the chorus pretty sure it goes "we sing la la la la la la la la la la" (though it might be na) In a lulling, folky way, but upbeat. Pretty sure it's a 70's song. Honestly if anyone's got any clue, that'd be great...

Exronin From Indonesia 4:29 pm, 22-Dec-2014

la la la song... i only love Cant Get You Out Of My Head By Kylie Minogue

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