Children hate any remark beginning with the word “Don’t.” It invariably opens a statement of admonishment, such as “Don’t hit your brother” or “Don’t play ball in the house.”
Sometimes the word can be used in a more positive manner. A friend might say “Don’t you just love it?” as you watch a great hitter facing a tough pitcher late in a tight game.
Many song titles have used the word “Don’t” at the beginning of their titles. Some of the songs use it in the sense of admonishment, and some use it with the more positive connotation. Here are my top ten song titles starting with “Don’t.”
10. “Don’t Fear the Reaper” by Blue Oyster Cult: The popular game Guitar Hero gave this song new life, as thousands of teenagers try to outdo each other mastering its delicious riff. The theme of death is also makes the song appealing to teenagers.
9. “Don’t You Want Me Baby?” by The Human League: The band’s biggest hit is one of the few songs to give both sides of a breakup. You sympathize with the guy who has been dumped, yet when the girl gives her side you understand her reasons for splitting. The song represents everything that was good about 80s music.
8. “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” by The Animals: Elvis Costello did an excellent cover of the song on King of America, but I still prefer the Animals’ original. Eric Burden’s vocal seems to fit perfectly the plea for understanding.
7. “Don’t Bring Me Down” by the Electric Light Orchestra: Jeff Lynne and his band scored a huge hit with this catchy, drum-driven song. Even though ELO’s other work outshines “DMBD,” it has a contagious beat that can be heard at almost any sporting event.
6. “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” by Elton John: You don’t often hear a male say “Don’t” and “Go down on me” in the same sentence. It makes sense, though, as the guy pleads for hope in one of John’s saddest songs.
5. “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” by Elton John and Kiki Dee: The duet approach really paid off in this song. Most love songs in which the sexes share lead come across as corny, but somehow John and Dee get it to work here. Perhaps it’s because they seem to sing it with a light and carefree approach.
4. “Don’t Look Back in Anger” by Oasis: This track was recorded when Oasis was at its peak on What’s the Story Morning Glory. Liam’s voice has that Lennon-like tenor and Noel’s lyrics are thought-provoking. One of his best lines in the song is “Gonna start a revolution from my bed.”
3. “Don’t Let Go the Coat” by The Who: Here we have Pete Townshend writing about protection and security in a maternal tone. The song is the highlight of the underrated Face Dances album.
2. “Don’t Do Me Like That” by Tom Petty: This track and its album, Damn the Torpedoes, blasted Tom Petty and his heartbreakers into superstardom. The piano was something relatively new to Petty’s music, and it works well here.
1. “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” by Bob Dylan: The song has been covered dozens of times, by artists ranging from Peter, Paul, and Mary (their version is too happy) to The Four Seasons (their version is just strange). No one sings it with the simple straightforward narration of Dylan. It’s one of the few breakup songs that make you feel relieved that a relationship ended.