Mayhem

Songfacts®:

  • This is the title track and second single from the third studio album by the Irish rockabilly singer Imelda May. The song was her first release to chart in Ireland, peaking at #24 in the Irish Singles Charts.
  • The song was written after the release of May's second studio album, Love Tattoo, which she was promoting on tour at the time of writing. She explained to The Sun that it, "Came to me after leaving a gig at 3am and seeing two fellas having a fight and a girl standing there crying. It happens in every town on a Friday or Saturday night."

    May added that the song is also a row she had with her husband Darrel Higham, who is also the guitarist in her band. She recalled: "I threw my engagement ring out of a cab window in Camden. It was one of those bad nights but luckily it was a cheap ring that made my finger black. We made up and the next day went to get a proper ring."
  • The song title came from a nickname that May used to have. She told Spinner UK: "It was a previous drummer I'd had, Dean, the drummer on Love Tattoo, he used to call me Imelda Mayhem, because - actually I never tell people - when I bring the suitcase in, I have to cram as much as I can into one suitcase for traveling. Actually, our bass player calls it an explosion in a whorehouse, because when you open the suitcase, the whole room is just covered in leopard print, diamond, feathers, glitter. It's just everywhere! Maybe you shouldn't write that! [Laughs] So a lot of that goes on and then Dean would come in the room and say, 'Oh, this is Imelda Mayhem!' So it was a little bit of that."

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