Donations are essential to keep Write Out Loud going    

John Cooper Clarke poem that's a favourite at weddings goes global - thanks to the Arctic Monkeys

entry picture

Is it now the world’s favourite poem? According to an article in the Guardian, a musical version of John Cooper Clarke’s ‘I Wanna Be Yours’ by the Arctic Monkeys has clocked up almost a billion streams on Spotify, after becoming a sensation on the social media platform TikTok.

JJC’s poem, which includes the lines “I wanna be your vacuum cleaner, breathing in your dust / I wanna be your Ford Cortina, I will never rust,” and which he describes as a “deeply felt romantic Valentine poem”, has been a popular choice to be read out at weddings for a number of years.

Later lines have the original punk poet, who is now aged 74, offering to become a teddy bear, a coffee pot and an umbrella, and adding: “I wanna be your electric meter / I will not run out / I wanna be the electric heater / You’ll get cold without.”

When he stays in a hotel where there’s a wedding going on, quite often the couple will rush over and say they’ve just read his poem out. Occasionally he delivers it at weddings himself, for friends: “I get a dinner out of it. It is to weddings what Always Look on the Bright Side of Life is to humanist funerals.”

JCC says the Artic Monkeys version has earned him a lot of royalties, and raised his profile: he’s touring UK venues again this month. “I was never actually on the sausage” – rhyming slang for dole – “as this is what I do, this is my job, and sometimes I’m doing better business than others. But thanks to a great extent to the lads sticking me into the pop world again, everything has gone from strength to strength.”

The biggest thrill, though, is that I Wanna Be Yours has helped to lift up poetry itself. “Unlike all the other arts, poetry is the one everyone gives a go. I believe everyone’s written a poem at some point. It’s the easiest, most accessible – a pen and a piece of paper and off you go. You don’t even have to be literate – you could record something. But it’s perceived as a minority of a minority who are interested in poetry. I don’t know why it’s got that reputation.”



◄ Ambit ends publication after 64 years with issue 249

'Witty and a touch sardonic' Write Out Loud poet planning new collection ►

Please consider supporting us

Donations from our supporters are essential to keep Write Out Loud going


No comments posted yet.

If you wish to post a comment you must login.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more Hide this message