Top 5 Accordion Rock Songs?

In honor of the American Accordionists Association’s annual festival — going on this weekend in Arlington, Virginia — the Washington Times published a list of its top five accordion rock songs. (We’ll try to ignore the fact that they misspelled “accordion.”) Their list:

  • “Squeeze Box” by The Who
  • “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)” by Bruce Springsteen
  • “Jenny’s Got a Pony” by Los Lobos
  • “Back Street Girl” by The Rolling Stones
  • “If I Should Fall from Grace With God” by The Pogues

For some reason, they ruled out crossover acts like BeauSoleil and Buckwheat Zydeco, but even then, I still think they’re missing some winners. What would make your list of top accordion rock songs? Leave a comment and let us know.

40 Comments:

  1. Here are some rockin’ songs I really like:

    “I’m Shipping Out to Boston” Dropkick Murphys
    “I’ll Be That Girl” Barenaked Ladies
    “Civilization” David Byrne
    “Wouldn’t it be Nice” Beach Boys

  2. Excellent call on “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” — no list of accordion rock songs would be complete without something from “Pet Sounds.”

    Some tunes for my list:

    – “Road to Nowhere” by Talking Heads
    – “Istanbul, Not Constantinople” by They Might Be Giants
    – “Boy in the Bubble” by Paul Simon
    – “You Are the Everything” by R.E.M.

  3. Historic:
    1947’s “Ten Gallon Boogie,” by Pee Wee King and his Golden West Cowboys
    “Rockin’ Little Tune”, (or maybe “Straight Jacket” if there was a better recording), by Bill Haley and the Comets (Johnny Grande on acc!)
    “My Soul,” by Clifton Chenier (1957 and so R&R.)

    Modern:
    Shotgun Pageant, Bain Mattox. Beautiful riff.
    Miss Murgatroid’s cover of the Gang of Four’s, “Love is Like Anthrax.”
    “Rebuting Newton,” by the Russian punk band Play, Bayan!
    “Bulgarian Skin Mechanic,” by Alex K. Redfearn and the Eyesores. Relentless, prog-punk.
    “Brutal,” by the Mekons.
    “Cindy Lou,” by The Gay (for a great melody, and the line, “What would Wanda Jackson do?”

    “Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” by the Beach Boys is one of the greatest recordings ever. But you already said that.

    A lot of these we played on the Accordion Noir Radio – “History of Rock Accordion” show, which was fun to put together: http://accordionnoir.org/drupal/node/86

  4. Hmmm, not much rock music in my collection.

    But “Hurricane Glass” by Catherine Feeny is pretty rocking.

    Other than that I’d add something by The Ukrainians (the band not the nation), perhaps some of their covers of The Smiths.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2L_X8NC8AvA

  5. “Pay Me My Money Down” Bruce Springsteen

    “Rise From the Ruins” Mark Heard

    Does Country/Blues count? If so.

    “Under the Table Again” Dan Newton

  6. I’m going to have to go with “Seven Dials” and “Tea Party” by the Corner Laughers. He he he he…

  7. I like the version of Hotel California by Kombrig.
    (He might be the first?) His version of Volare is excellent too.

  8. How about “Come on Eileen” by Dexy’s Midnight Runners?

  9. From Michael via email:

    – “Lost in France” by Bonnie Tyler
    – “Streets of Bakersfield” by Dwight Yoakum

  10. What about Polkas on 45 by Weird Al? He’s got some great polka medleys!

  11. I would like to obtain sheet music to any of the “rockin songs” listed above. Can anyone point me in the right direction?
    Thanks,
    Peter

  12. “When I Paint My Masterpiece” by The Band

    “Euro Trash Girl” by Cracker (not the original version from the album Kerosene Hat, the re-recorded version from Greatest Hits Redux)

  13. Los Lobos take the rockin’ accordion award – “Serenata Nortena” is amazing and sometimes I can hit every other note of “Corrido # 1″ both songs from Will the Wolf Survive CD. “City Headache” by Scott Matthews and Brave Combo doing “The Gadfly’s Revenge”. It ain’t just Myron Floren anymore!

  14. Nice list! I’m a fifteen year old girl who plays accordion (a bit of a rare beed hm?) and i freaking love rock, not this new crap like nickelback (ew) i like ROCK. I’m a huge flogging molly fan matt hensley is my favourite accordianist. but the band Those darn accodrdions (TDA) are awesome must hear baba o’ riely on accordion! or devil went down to georgia

  15. I have a few songs with an accordion….

    “Nothing that I didn’t Know” Procol Harum
    “A Long December” Counting Crows
    “Worse Comes to Worse” Billy Joel
    “Sweet Painted Lady” Elton John
    “C’est la Vie” ELP
    “The Mosquito Song” Queens of the Stone Age
    “Party Fears Two” The Divine Comedy
    “All You Need Is Love” Beatles
    “God Only Knows” Beach Boys

  16. No one has listed it yet but How Can I Be Sure by the The Rascals

  17. “Everything had changed”
    Bare Naked Ladies

  18. mm guys these songs are great, but i really need know one songs name. i dont even know the lyrics, but its real often on the radio, its a pop song, i think its new, and it has a real catchy accordion melody that comes in about 1/4 of the song. please guys..

  19. Hey You
    by The Polka Floyd Show

    http://www.myspace.com/polkafloyd

  20. Mosquito Song From QOTSA!!! Great piece of accordion in that song!!! Check it out! its simple but sweet!!

  21. So glad “Backstreet Girl” by the ROLLING STONES was mentioned. That was BRIAN JONES (R.I.P.) playing that beautiful accordion. Clearly one of Rock’s most amazing musicians!
    Speaking of the World’s greatest band, how about “Sweethearts Together” from the brilliant “Voodoo Lounge” album.

    Also, in 1971 The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band had a Top-Ten hit with “Mr. Bojangles”. Very excellent!

    Seatrain’s “Scratch” is a great song with a great accordion.

    Styx’s “Boat On The River”.

    Bob Dylan’s “Desire” album has 2 accordion songs.

  22. I know this was posted forever ago, but I cannot ignore the absence of Coming up Roses by Elliot Smith.

  23. “Karla With a K” by the Hooters.

    “Bound by Love” by the Band (with John Hiatt).

    …and Those Darn Accordions’ cover of “Baba O’Riley.”

  24. This is a year late so you probably found it by now, Mike, but it’s Edward Maya “Stereo Love”. Awesome song.

  25. Frenchman for a Night – Jimmy Buffet
    Fly Like a Bird – Boz Scaggs

  26. another rock song featuring the accordion

    This is the Day – The The (Matt Johnson)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMWzYip6R30

  27. I can’t believe noone’s mentioned Nirvana – Jesus Doesn’t Want me for a Sunbeam from their unplugged album
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdyqXSa5Bzc

    Dropkick murphies have some great accordion songs, as do Mad Caddies who I first saw supportiong dropkick murphies. The intro to Coyote:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXYipPdfDoI

    and Weird Beard
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyWEz0OqU6A

  28. what a completely bonkers website – but how wonderful to know i’m not alone with my liking of the accordian and wanting to know some rock songs to play

  29. nothing ever happens, by del amitri, wonderful song

  30. Warped as it is, “Peek a Boo” by Siouxsie and the Banshees. And the intro to “Mockingbirds” by Grant Lee Buffalo.

  31. this is a brilliant collection, cheers for all the songs peoples. im trying to put together a spotify playlist of Accordion songs, if any of you are on Spotify you’ll be able to find it here.. i’ve only started.

    http://open.spotify.com/user/ronanglynn/playlist/4Wif4ZV07ZwM2eEewnkclg

    Heres my contribution…
    Om Du Möter Varg (If you meet the wolf) by Detektivbyrån (The Detective Agency)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QsLEBzQIos&feature=related

    I think those translations are right, they are a swedish band and the song is amazing.

    squeeze onx

  32. Stereo Love, THis is My Life ,and Desert Rain By Edward Maya

  33. There is a wildly fantastic workout song that played over the speakers at the gym. Very upbeat accordion music and what seems to be “a matter of time” as a chorus.. but the lyrics were very hard for me to make out. Female artist. I want to know what it is so I can get it on my MP3 player.
    ANY IDEAS?

  34. I played the accordion back in the early seventies before I graduated from high school. Some of my favorite rock songs that I played were – House of the Rising Sun and Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood by The Animals as well as Sound of Silence and Scarborough Fair by Simon & Garfunkel.

  35. I must also add another great Billy Joel song with an accordion solo in it! “Vienna”…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZdiXvDU4P0

  36. Can anybody please help me find sheet music for the accordion line (accompaniment) in Nothing ever happens by Del Amitri??

  37. @ Sandi, You may be looking for Stereo love – Vika Jigulina ft. Edward Maya

  38. People are suggesting songs from Beach Boy’s Pet Sounds, but these are harmonicas (some quite large Bass harmonicas) rather than accordians.

  39. What is the name of the song that was sung by a woman (probably white) , has an accordian playing for the majority of the song, and was probably a hit during the 60’s or 70’s?
    I understand that this is completely vague but it is driving me insane! I heard it on sirius radio right after angel of the morning by merrilee rush
    Even a list of songs would help!!

  40. I did my research for the band I play in:

    Nobody mentioned Grace Jones with Strange
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIN3IE3DHqc

    Willy de Ville I broke that promise http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBUg_Qu-WZE&feature=plcp

    Zazi with Turn me on (dutch girls group) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8Of_9qwy2o

    Venice with Stuck in the middle with you
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmrZEKt6GDo

    Kate & Anna McGarrigle with Complainte pour Ste Catherine http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_WQKYrlsTM&feature=plcp

    Sheryl Crow with Strong enough to be my man
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ok4SRFbxALQ

    Abba with The way old friends do
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfJcfTFi8dw

    And my favorite Joe Cocker N’Oubliez jamais
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtISqOjbR4Q

    De Dijk with Als het golft (dutch band)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYLxQNU-Y1Y