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Ranking all the puns in Oliver Dowden’s “songs to get vaccinated to” playlist

Indy 100 logo Indy 100 09/06/2021 Kate Plummer
a man wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera: od.png © JOHN SIBLEY/Reuters/Oliver Dowden od.png

Oliver Dowden is our Culture Secretary.

So how best could he shoehorn culture into the vaccine discourse to stay relevant? By making a playlist called “songs to get vaccinated to”, that’s how.

The minister and ToryMP knocked together a whopping 54 track playlist, allowing those who get their vaccine - which takes minutes - to listen to vaguely vaccine-related music for over three hours.

Gosh. The Telegraph was particularly scathing and said “it sounds like it has been compiled by a wedding DJ for a middle-aged couple on their second marriage”. The Times meanwhile dubbed it “the kind of upbeat, unthreateningly melodious playlist that a middle-aged father of two like Dowden would compile for a barbecue.”

As for indy100? We are appropriately embarrassed but recognise that some of his choices were better than others. Who are we to say no to an average to good pun, after all? So here’s our ranking of his choices based on how logical they are as inclusions for the playlist and NOT how good/bad the songs are.

1. ‘Hit Me With Your Best Shot’, Pat Benatar, 10/10

Decent pun, we do want to get hit with the best shots. Room well read, Dowden.

2. ‘Here Comes The Sun’, The Beatles 0/10

This isn’t a weather forecast. An odd choice and makes little to no sense. Delete.

3. ‘Good as Hell’, Lizzo 3/10

“I do my hair toss, check my nails.” Unnecessary for a vaccine appointment tbh.

4. ‘Rescue Me’, Fontella Bass, 1/10

Sounds like some in the government have hero complexes...

5. ‘You Make My Dreams (Come True)’, Daryl Hall & John Oates, 0/10

Again, tenuous.

6. ‘Lovely Day’, Bill Withers, 6/10

We are sure it will be.

7. ‘My Shot’, Hamilton: The Musical, 10/10

Another worthy pun.

8. ‘Jump in the Line’, Harry Belafonte, 4/10

Jumping in vaccine centres sounds inadvisable

9. ‘Mr. Blue Sky’, Electric Light Orchestra, 7/10

Classic ‘good times are coming’ type stuff.

10. ‘(What A) Wonderful World’, Sam Cooke, 1/10

Incorrect. Vaccines are working well in the UK but there is massive inequality throughout the world in terms of access to jabs.

11. ‘Best Day Of My Life’, American Authors, 3/10

Getting a vaccine is incredibly important but if getting one constitutes the best day of Dowden’s life, that is quite sad.

12. ‘I’m So Excited’, The Pointer Sisters, 5/10

It’s exciting, but let’s maintain decorum.

13. ‘Something Good Can Work’, Two Door Cinema Club, 1/10

‘Something good can work’ should be the government’s new slogan. You did something good. You can work. Thanks?

14. ‘Celebration’, Kool & The Gang, 0/10

Naff!

15. ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’, Queen, 0/10

Why is this here?

16. ‘Can’t Stop The Feeling’, Justin Timberlake, 1/10

Can’t you? Should get that checked out.

17. ‘Faith,’ George Michael, 2/10

Nothing like shouting ‘faith’ to make you lose faith...

18. ‘Dog Days Are Over’, Florence + The Machine, 3/10

Irresponsible communications. People with the vaccine still need to be careful.

19. ‘If You Wanna’, The Vaccines, 8/10

The Vaccines! We see what you did there.

20. ‘We Are The Champions’, Queen, 1/10.

No thanks to self-congratulatory nonsense from the government.


Gallery: The 20 worst Beatles songs (Espresso)

21. ‘Freedom! ‘90’, George Michael, 1/10

“I won’t let you down, so please don’t give me up” could also be the Conservative Party’s next general election campaign slogan.

22. ‘Good Days’, SZA, 0,10

In terms of genre alone, this really doesn’t fit with the rest of the playlist.

23. ‘Feeling Good’, Nina Simone, 7/10

We know what you mean.

24. ‘The Cure’, Lady Gaga, 5/10

We get the theme but a vaccine is just prevention, not a cure. Let’s not start a misinformation crisis, Oliver.

25. ‘Break Free’, Ariana Grande, 1/10

Why are you here? Imagine Oliver Dowden bopping to this song.

26. ‘You’re The One That I Want’, Grease: The Musical, 3/10

For the vaccine snobs out there...

27. ‘I Gotta Feeling’, Black Eyes Peas, 3/10

Another ‘nighttime’ themed song choice when people get vaccinated during the DAY.

28. ‘It’s Gonna Be Me’, *NSYNC, 1/10

“Every little thing I do, never seems enough for you”. Dowden, we are grateful for the vaccines, calm down!

29. ‘Rescue Me’, OneRepublic, 2/10

Hero complex, alert.

30. ‘I Want You’, Savage Garden, 3/10

Weak link.

31. ‘What A Feeling’, Irene Cara, 2/10

Why could most of his songs equally be added to a playlist called “songs overused in British TV adverts from 2005-2015”? Why? No offence, Irene.

32. ‘The Sweet Escape’, Gwen Stefani ft Akon, 4/10

Escape from the pandemic, we guess?

33. ‘Livin’ la Vida Loca’, Ricky Martin, 0/10

There is never an appropriate moment to whip this tune out.

34. ‘Feel Good Inc.’, Gorillaz, 2/10

What about the side effects?

35. ‘Jump Around’, House of Pain, 1/10

We said it before. Jumping in vaccine centres sounds inadvisable. House of Pain is also not a very reassuring band name.

36. ‘Bulletproof’, La Roux, 1/10

More misinformation. Vaccines will not protect people from bullets.

37. ‘Good Feeling’, Flo Rida, 7/10

Getting called up for the vaccine is a good feeling.

38. ‘This is How We Do It’, Montell Jordan, 2/10

Does Dowden imagine walking out to address the people, with this song playing? We REALLY hope not.

39. ‘I Love It’, Icona Pop ft Charli XCX. 2/10

“I crashed my car into the bridge, I love it.” Is this the behaviour we want a government minister to promote?

40. ‘I Get A Kick Out Of You’, Ella Fitzgerald, 3/10

Another sharp genre change showing Dowden would be an awful DJ. Also, makes no sense in terms of the vaccine.

41. ‘Finally’, CeCe Peniston, 10/10

The only song that actually captures the mood of the generation the playlist was aimed at - frustrated and desperately waiting for the vaccine.

42. ‘Take on Me’, a-ha, 9/10

“I’ll be fine, in a day or two”. True.

43. ‘Beat It’, Michael Jackson, 0/10

??

44. ‘Eye of the Tiger’, Survivor, 0/10

Too! Dramatic!

45. ‘A Night to Remember’, Shalamar, 0/10

Vaccines! Happen! During! The! Day! Not! Night!

46. ‘Disco Science’, Mirwais, 1/10

Vaccines were made by scientists? And now we can go to discos?

47. ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’, Depeche Mode, 1/10

Yes, we can, two doses please, no more, no less.

48. ‘More Than a Feeling’, Boston, 3/10

Another advert song! Also: “I closed my eyes and I slipped away...” NOT SOMETHING that will happen because of the vaccine.

49. ‘Beautiful Day, U2’, 9/10

Finally, a song about a day, not a night, being good.

50. ‘I’m Still Standing’, Elton John, 4/10

Well, of course, it's just a jab. Dramatic, much?

51. ‘One Day Like This’, Elbow, 1/10

Shame their band name isn’t Upper Arm.

52. ‘You Can Get It If You Really Want’, Jimmy Cliff, 3/10

Tell that to the people under 25 who haven’t got the call-up yet.

53. ‘Walking On Sunshine’, Katrina & The Waves, 8/10

Positive vibes.

54. ‘Fight Song’, Rachel Platten, 1/10

Aggressive.

Safe to say, we’ll bring our own playlists.

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