Almanac Music: Numerical Songs from 1 – 10


Inspired by Kevin Densley’s music posts on the Footy Almanac related to specific themes I decided to come up with one of my own.


After much head scratching I decided songs with numbers in the title in numerical order from I to 10 to be my theme, they are off the top of my head and obviously many more could have been included. I look forward to your comments and suggestions.



1: ‘One Of Us Must Know (Sooner or later)’ – Bob Dylan


Initially I considered the obvious song here, Harry Nilsson’s ‘One’ best known in Australia by Johnny Farnham’s version or the one I prefer by Three Dog Dog Night but in the end how could I go past Bob?







2: ‘It Takes Two’ Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston


Fab duet from the mid 60s.







3: ‘Three Times A Lady’The Commodores


I tried to find more lesser known but still quality songs to include but for number 3 my choices were limited with the Lionel Richie song the stand out.







4: ‘Positively Fourth Street’Bob Dylan


The greatest put down song ever – some say it’s about Joan Baez, others suggest it’s Bob’s reaction against those who booed him when he went electric at Newport in 1965. I think Baez more likely.







5: ‘5D (Fifth Dimension)’ The Byrds


The Byrds had great success with interpretations of Bob songs but also wrote some excellent songs themselves. This is from their  Fifth Dimension album.







6: ‘Six Months In A Leaky Boat’ – Split Enz


Great song from Split Enz that unfortunately was banned from airplay on the BBC when it was gaining momentum in the charts due to the Falklands War.







7: ‘Seventh Son’ Johnny Rivers


There are many fabulous versions of this song including Georgie Fame’s but I selected the Johnny Rivers version as I’m a great fan of him.







8: ‘Eight Miles High’The Byrds


Another fab song from The Byrds written by them. It was banned due to perceived drug references but McGuinn always it was about high flying jets which he had a passion for.







9: ‘Love Potion Number 9′The Searchers


Again many versions of this song but this one is the best remembered by me. The Searchers were a great band and had many hits world wide but for some reason never received the acclaim of many others of the British Invasion of the 60s.







10: ‘Slaughter on 10th Avenue’ – The Shadows


The Shadows were a top instrumental band from the late 50s through the 60s and 70s and for many years were Cliff Richard’s backing band. This is one of the numerous versions of this song.







As you can, I’ve only touched the surface and I’m sure you will suggest many other alternatives to the choices I made.


I suppose the challenge ahead is to continue songs in numerical order.




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About Colin Ritchie

Retired teacher who enjoys following the Bombers, listening to music especially Bob Dylan, reading, and swimming.


  1. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    The Ramones 7-11 can come next (I’d rather them than U2)

    Clever concept Col.

  2. 867-5309/Jenny.

  3. 25-41 by Grant Hart. Great list Col.

  4. Tom Robinson Band 2 4 6 8 Motorway

  5. Like it, Col.

    Can I indulge you with an Australasian list (1-8 only):

    One Word – Baby Animals,
    Two Shoes – Cat Empire,
    Three Legged Dog – Cruel Sea,
    Four Walls – Cold Chisel,
    Odyssey #5 – Powderfinger,
    Six Months In A Leaky Boat – Split Enz,
    7 Minutes – Dean Lewis,
    Angel of 8th Avenue – Gang of Youths,

  6. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    12lb Toothbrush – Madder Lake

  7. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Thirteen is a tie between Big Star

    and Anthony Hudson

  8. Colin Ritchie says

    Thanks guys for your suggestions and comments, you probably can tell from my selections the era I listened to most. It will be interesting if a list from 11 – 20 can be created. I’m wracking my brains at the moment for songs in that range. As Swish mentions ’12lb Toothbrush’ , and ‘Thirteen’, and I remember ’16 Tons’, and of course ‘I was only 19’ but I’m struggling for 11, 14, 15, 17, 18, 20 at the moment.

  9. Rick Kane says

    Edge of Seventeen, Stevie Nicks, and Janis Ian had one as well but I can’t remember the title.

    Did we get 9 to 5 by Dolly in there? We better have.

    Great idea CR!

  10. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    7-11 includes 11 doesn’t it Col? As does U2’s 11 O’Clock Tick Tock

  11. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Here ya go Col

    Fourteenth of February – Billy Bragg

    TVC 15 – Bowie

    I’m Eighteen – Alice Cooper

    20 Miles – Ray Brown and the Whispers

  12. Colin Ritchie says

    Janis Ian ‘At 17′ of course, and Ray Brown & the Whispers one of my favourite bands from the 60s, how could I forget ’20 Miles’, and if we get that far ‘500 Miles’ Peter Paul & Mary. The list from 11 – 20 is filling fast!

  13. Rick Kane says

    To complete the 11-20 package, Johnny Paycheck’s great 70s song, 11 months and 29 days. No, thank you.

  14. Regrettably, Duran Duran’s 1983 album Seven and the Ragged Tiger featured no title track.

  15. DBalassone says

    Nineteen Forever – Joe Jackson

  16. There was an Sydney band in the late 70’s called The Numbers. Anyhow here’s a few songs with 15.

    15 Taylor Swift, also 10-15 by the Cure.

    The Eurythmics had a song with 17 in its title but I’m stumped remembering its name.

    If we want to wind the clock back a few years Eddie Cochran had a few wonderful tunes with three in the title: Three Steps to Heaven, also the hauntingly sad, Three Stars.


  17. Kevin Densley says

    Neatly done, Col (and other contributors) – glad I helped in terms of inspiration!

  18. Karl Dubravs says

    I tried hard to find a 1- 10 of Dylan songs but failed at 8 & 9.
    Here’s the list, with a bonus beginning at 0:
    0 ~ Love Minus Zero/No Limit
    1 ~ One Too Many Mornings
    2 ~ 2 x 2
    3 ~ Three Angels
    4 ~ Billy 4
    5 ~ Obviously Five Believers
    6 ~ From A Buick 6
    7 ~ Seven Curses
    8 ~ ???
    9 ~ ???
    10 ~ I Shall Be Free No. 10
    If the list ever gets higher, I have suggestions for 12 & 35, 51, 61, 115, 10000 & 1,000,000.
    Thanks for the numerical song challenge ~ filled in an hour on an otherwise lazy Tuesday morning..

  19. Keiran Croker says

    Yossou N’Dour – 7 Seconds
    Lyle Lovett – 12th June

  20. Colin Ritchie says

    Thanks for all the suggestions everyone, I might have a crack at 11 – 20.
    Karl – thanks for the Bob 1 – 10, I must admit I gave it some thought but had trouble with some of the numbers.

  21. DBalassone says

    Love the Dylan theme Karl. Could we add:

    11 Outlined Epitaphs

    Maybe we could make an allowance and use Dylan lyrics, rather than titles, to try and fill the rest e.g.

    Eight by eight, they got to the gate,
    Nine by nine, they drank the wine
    She’s five feet nine and she carries a monkey wrench
    Wants eleven dollar bills / You only got ten
    No younger than twelve, no older than seventeen
    Now the fifth daughter on the twelfth night
    In fourteen months I’ve only smiled once and I didn’t do it consciously
    ‘Twas the fourteeth day of April
    Sixteen years. Sixteen banners united over the field
    New York Times said it was the coldest winter in seventeen years / I didn’t feel so cold then
    I ain’t seen my family in twenty years That ain’t easy to understand
    I’d ask why he dressed with twenty pounds of headlines stapled to his chest
    Twenty years of schoolin’ and they put you on the day shift
    I’m twenty miles out of town, Cold Irons bound
    With four and twenty windows / And a woman’s face in ev’ry one.
    Bringin’ home thirty cents a day to a family of twelve
    Seen it thirty three times, maybe more
    Johnson sworn in at two thirty-eight
    Well, I’m forty miles from the mill, I’m dropping it into overdrive
    Well Mack the Finger said to Louie the King / I got forty red white and blue shoe strings
    Two trains running side by side Forty miles wide, down the eastern line
    I’ve been walkin’ forty miles of bad road / If the Bible is right the world will explode
    The watchman lay there dreaming / At fourty-five degrees
    And that it’s thirty-six hours past judgment day
    For the last fifty years they’ve been searching for that
    Fifty thousand tons of steel
    I paid fifteen million dollars, twelve hundred and seventy-two cents
    Sent him off to prison / For a seventy-dollar robbery
    Well, I investigated all the books in the library / Ninety percent of ’em gotta be burned away
    I investigated all the people that I knowed / Ninety-eight percent of them gotta go
    Well, I’ve walked two hundred miles, now look me over
    A whore will pass the hat, collect a hundred grand and say thanks
    King Saud’s got four hundred wives
    William Zanzinger, who at twenty-four years / Owns a tobacco farm of six hundred acres
    Nine hundred miners had laid their money down
    Heard one hundred drummers whose hands were a-blazin’
    Heard ten thousand whisperin’ and nobody listenin’
    When the Reaper’s task had ended Sixteen hundred had gone to rest

    etc, etc, etc.

    How far can we go? I’m stopping to get a life now!

  22. DBalassone says

    Actually, while we’re at it, he covers off quite a few numbers in this verse:

    I was shadow-boxing earlier in the day
    I figured I was ready for Cassius Clay
    I said, “Fee, fie, fo, fum, Cassius Clay, here I come
    26, 27, 28, 29, I’m gonna make your face look just like mine
    5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Cassius Clay, you better run
    99, 100, 101, 102, your ma won’t even recognize you
    14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, gonna knock him clean right out of his spleen”

  23. Karl Dubravs says

    DBallassone – now that is some serious Dylan numerology research – did you flick through the 600 pages of ‘Lyrics’?
    I’ll leave the subject at that and wait for Colin to do ‘instrument song titles’ & get excited again.

  24. DBalassone says

    Cheers Karl. A combination of memory, ‘Lyrics 1962-2001’ and google, got me going with this. A fun exercise – I’m surprised it has not been attempted before. Listening to Dylan is one of the great joys of life.

  25. Richard Griffiths says

    One -is the loneliest number. John Farnham
    Eight Days A Week – Beatles
    Revolution No 9 Beatles
    Two Of Us Beatles

  26. Richard Griffiths says

    Some more:
    Love Me Two Times – The Doors
    Three Cool Cats – The Beatles
    Hollywood Seven – Jon English

  27. Liam Hauser says

    One more river: James Reyne
    One step at a time: Jeff Lynne’s ELO
    One more time: Jeff Lynne’s ELO
    One summer dream: Electric Light Orchestra
    One country: Midnight Oil
    One after 909: Beatles
    Rule of threes: Mondo Rock
    Four to the floor: Starsailor
    Five miles closer to the sun: James Reyne
    Seven wonders: Fleetwood Mac.

    And let’s not forget Midnight Oil had an album titled 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

  28. Liam Hauser says

    Two can play: Australian Crawl

  29. Ian Hauser says

    At the outer limit, can anyone come up with a precise number in a song greater than Judy Stone’s 1964 release ‘4003221 tears from now’?

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