‘No one could cry to Shaggy's It Wasn't Me': David O'Doherty's honest playlist

The comedian can’t get enough of Miles Davis and Warren Zevon – but which 90s pop ballad does he perform when no one’s around?

The first single I ever bought
There is a great temptation to lie here. But hand on heart, it was [beloved ITV puppet] Roland Rat Superstar’s novelty rap Rat Rapping. He was rapping about being a puppet of a rat. I remember thinking: “Wow, this will stand the test of time, this is worth spending £1.75 on,” or however much a single was in 1983.

***

The best song to play at a party
The coolest I have ever been was for six months in 2001, when friends and I ran a club night in a Dublin pub. I would play a 15-minute set that was really a palate cleanser: after all the cool Daft Punk remixes, I would put on Steely Dan, and everybody would go for a wee and get a drink. I think it performed an important job, like half time at a football match.

***

The song I’ve streamed the most
Werewolves of London – Warren Zevon. What I love about it is that it’s just a song about werewolves in London. I don’t think it’s a metaphor. It’s just about the pros and cons of living in a major centre with werewolves. For me it’s a vibe-lifter.

***

The best song to have sex to
The difficulty with picking a song to have sex to – and I’m not trying to brag here – is that most songs are three to five minutes long, unless you pick a 12-minute song, then you’re heading into the jazz realm. Can I put on an episode of Melvyn Bragg’s In Our Time, one of the really good ones? The one on the Industrial Revolution.

***

The song I pretend to hate that I secretly like
Some of the pop bands of the 90s are now seen as pretty good, but there’s one tune that has never been cool that I do absolutely love: Never Had a Dream Come True by S Club 7. I’ve learned to play it on the piano, look. [Plays it on the piano] I think it’s fair to say that they are not a cool band, but it’s actually a powerful song. The lyrics are really good.

***

The song I want played at my funeral
I think it would be an interesting experiment to play a song that no one could possibly cry at if they heard it. I think that song is It Wasn’t Me by Shaggy. Or else I would play an Ireland world cup song from 1990, when we were very good at football, called Give It a Lash Jack, which encouraged Jack Charlton to give it a lash. No one could possibly cry at that.

***

My actual favourite song
Flamenco Sketches by Miles Davis, the slow peaceful one on Kind of Blue. In the Voyager space launch in 1977, they put a record player and a record on it so that if aliens ever found it, it would say: “Please don’t destroy us, aliens. Look, here’s some beautiful stuff that we made.” Flamenco Sketches might be the most useful song that I can think of for that. If I was the DJ for the next spacecraft, I’d send it into space.

Along for the Ride With David O’Doherty airs Mon, 10pm, Channel 4 and is available to stream on All 4.

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