Jack Names the Planets

[Oscar Wilde]
Ah, the next point is very important
About the name of your song
‘Cause we were very surprised
That you called it er “Jack Names the Planet”
And not “Jack Names the Planet Nieuw-Vennep”
Because that’s a good name for a planet

[Patrick the Brewer]
The center of the universe
Is Planet Nieuw-Vennep

We were walking, walking in two worlds
In the gardens of sunlight home
Bad children on the phone
Withheld me to withhold you

I said I’d kiss you if you want
You’ve got things back to front
I got a letter, I sent it back
I didn’t like it, honey what you had

Jack names the planets after you
Jack names the planets after you
Jack names the planets after you, you

When I turned you had gone away
So I didn’t skip upon that day
Morose feelings, small mind
Don’t touch its face you might like its kind

I said I’d kiss you if you want
You’ve got things back to front
Don’t mind your spelling, it ain’t so bad
Things like that they never made me quite so mad as you

Jack names the planets after you
Jack names the planets after you
Jack names the planets after you, you

Jack names the planets after you
Jack names the planets after you
Jack names the planets after you, you

I wish you’d come back, everything’s ready for you
You are welcome if you plan to
You can come walking and you know where
You’ve gotta understand that you gotta care

I said I’d kiss you if you want
You’ve got things back to front
My mothers dying, I’ve got to go home
But there’s more you want be sorely on your own now

Jack names the planets after you
Jack names the planets after you
Jack names the planets after you, you

You, you
You, you
You, you

Song Notes

This was the bands first official release and was only available on 7” vinyl. The single version of the song is entirely different from the album version that appears on Trailer, the band were said to be unhappy with the version released on the 1994 single, and re-recorded it. The first 50,000 pressings of Ash’s debut full-length album 1977 began with “Jack Names the Planets” and “Don’t Know” as hidden tracks that could only be found by rewinding the CD, before the usual opener “Lose Control”.

During the spoken section at the beginning of Trailer version of the song, two Dutchmen suggest that the song should have been called ”Jack Names the Planet Nieuw-Vennep”, given that, in their opinion, Nieuw-Vennep is a good name for a planet. Nieuw-Vennep is a town of thirty thousand inhabitants in the west of Holland, midway between The Hague and Amsterdam. According to Tim:

“Jack Names the Planets” is the title of a chapter in the 1984 novel The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub, Tim said he stole the title because he thought it sounded good. The book is also further referenced in some of the lyrics.

I consider it the first good song I wrote. I was 15 and we’d just formed Ash. It became our first single two years later and we still play it a lot today.

The band re-recorded the track in 2011 at Atomic Heart Studios in New York and included it on the 2011 compilation album The Best of Ash. This version was later released as a digital single on March 3rd, 2014 to coincide with the twentieth anniversary of the original single release.