Protomartyr: 10 Songs I Have Sung To Myself Alone

From driving around “aimlessly” while being unemployed to cleaning bathrooms in a local comedy club, Joe Casey – singer of Detroit post-punk act Protomartyr – has spent a lot of time on his own. These 10 songs have helped him pass the time.


‘Word On A Wing’

David Bowie

Alone and a little drunk in a hotel bathroom. Good acoustics


‘Men Of Good Fortune’

Lou Reed

Alone, driving around aimlessly during the long period I was unemployed.


‘The Old Triangle’

Brendan Behan

Alone, on numerous occasions when I am too drunk to sing ‘Word On A Wing’.


‘Big Rock Candy Mountain’

Harry McClintock

Alone, when I had to clean the bathrooms in the comedy club I worked at. I would often repeat the line: “Hang the jerk that invented work.”



Nina Simone

This was on the jukebox at The Bronx Bar [in Detroit] for a long time. I was often in this bar, alone except for the bartender, and I’d sing this song to myself and laugh.


‘Wheel Of Fortune’

Kay Starr

Over the last year when I’ve been driving alone around Detroit.


‘Girl On The Run’

Honey Bane

Often times the guitar line of this song will run through my head incessantly. So I will sing the guitar part to make it stop when I’m alone.




When I’m slightly more drunk than “Word On The Wing” and less so than “Old Triangle”. I don’t know all the words so I just make things up.


‘Doo Doo Brown’

2 Hyped Brothers & A Dog

When I’m alone and I want to cheer myself up, which is often


‘Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet’

Gavin Bryars

Alone when I want to sing something repetitive and remind myself everybody else is alone, too.

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