MacBeth starts with the classic scene where the witches forewarn, “Double, double, Toil and trouble.” In spite of the warning, the Thane of Cawdor in Shakespeare’s play goes on to commit one murder, and then another, thus doubling his troubles.
Of course, double doesn’t necessarily indicate ominous consequences. The daily double on the TV game show Jeopardy can result in bigger gains than other selections. Conversely, though, the daily double can bankrupt someone whose response is incorrect.
Doubles are good in baseball as well. However, they aren’t nearly as memorable as home runs. Just look at the all-time doubles leader in MLB history. Tris Speaker is a moderately well-known Hall of Famer, but he is not nearly as well known as the home run king of his era, Babe Ruth.
In music, no artists are noted for recording hit singles, not hit doubles. Sometimes, though, the single can in fact be a double. For example, one of the first hits by the Beatles included a double use of a word in Please Please Me. The Manhatten Transfer recorded Yes We Can Can, a single that included a double.
Here is a list of the best ten songs consisting of one word used twice.
10. Talk Talk by Talk Talk: This track is really a double double, since the song has the same name as the new wave band of the 80s.
9. Corrina Corrina by Bob Dylan: The folk bard from Hibbing, Minnesota adapted the traditional folk and blues song Corrine Corrina for his Freewheelin’ album.
8. Tighter, Tighter by Alive and Kicking: Tommy James wrote this 1970 tune that became the biggest hit for the short-lived band featuring singers Pepe Cardona and Sandy Tober.
7. Cherry Cherry by Neil Diamond: The chorus in this gem from Diamond, “she’s got the way to move me, Cherry,” is probably the catchiest of his storied career.
6. Promises, Promises by Naked Eyes: This 80s new wave tune, aided by a popular music video, was the band’s follow-up to its remake of the Bacharach-David tune, Always Something There to Remind Me.
5. Rebel Rebel by David Bowie: This cut from Diamond Dogs is vintage Bowie, both in music and in lyrics. The guitar riff is one of the best in Bowie’s lengthy catalog, and it backs lines such as, “You got your mother in a whirl, She’s not sure if you’re a boy or a girl.”
4. Mary Mary by The Monkees: This Michael Nesmith song is one of the many hits on which Glen Campbell played guitar. The nursery rhyme-like lyrics are perfect for the playful rhythm of the tune.
3.Cache Cache by The Who: More commonly known as “They’re ain’t no bears in there,” this track from Face Dances is told by a battle-tested man who believes fear is vastly overrated.
2. Bang Bang by Squeeze: The first song on the band’s debut album literally starts the record of with a bang. Chris Difford’s lyrics even contain history lessons about Napoleon and Henry VIII. My favorite line is, “Catherine lost her pretty head, She wasn’t very good in bed, Didn’t wear a hat again, She got so wet out in the rain.”
1. Radio Radio by Elvis Costello and the Attractions: Costello ended the excellent This Year’s Model album with this rant about the quality of music on the radio. Thirty years later, the quality has gotten even worse, much worse, except for satellite radio.