35 Great Rock Songs That Are Less Than Two Minutes Long

Written by on April 4, 2018

Every couple months, my KPSU radio show Six Degrees of Rockination has a theme. In August 2015, that theme was “Two Minute Warning.” Every song was less than two minutes, which meant I could fit over twice as many songs as usual into my one hour show. What songs did I play?

The Presidents of the United States of America – “Ladies and Gentlemen, Part 1”

A good opening song, welcoming listeners to the show.

Bad Religion – “Superman”

Someday, I need to do a theme show with nothing but superhero songs.

Crash and the Boys – “I Am So Sad. I Am So Very, Very Sad”

If you haven’t seen Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, stop whatever you’re doing and go watch it. Now.

The Connells – “Dial It”

If I ever do an instrumental theme show, this might make the cut.

The Tragically Hip – “Last of the Unplucked Gems”

R.I.P. Gord Downie.  You are missed.

Screeching Weasel – “Gotta Girlfriend”

Such a cute song, it really brings back the angst of my teenage years.

Napalm Death – “You Suffer”

At 1.316 seconds, this is in the Guiness Book of World Records for “Shortest Song.”

Moxy Fruvous – “Johnny Saucep’n”

Not just a short song. A live song, as well.

The CRY! – “Down in the City”

Possibly my favorite Portland band.

Strongbad – “Different Town”

This song is voiced by Strongbad, but it was written by They Might Be Giants.

The Vaccines – “Norgaard”

This is our 11th song and we’re still not even halfway through the show. It was quite the workout for me, constantly getting songs queued up.

Cosmic Departure – “Agent Ocean”

Surf rock from another Portland band.

Monty Python – “Bruces Philosopher Song”

Emmanuel Kant was a real piss ant.

Burning Brides – “Glass Slipper”

Hard rock out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Relient K – “The Crayons Can Melt On Us For All I Care”

I just wasted 10 seconds of your life.

Paramore – “Moving On”

One, Hayley Williams has a great voice. Two, ukulele alert!

Locksley – “She Does”

This is the only song this hour that would make my all-time Top 50. Possibly my Top 20. I love it so much.

Simon and Garfunkel – “Bookends”

Paul and Art prove that you don’t need 7 minutes to write a heart-breakingly beautiful song. Heck, you don’t even need 2 minutes.

Hank Green – “Edward Spoonhands”

I like the way this song builds, adding instruments along the way.

James Taylor – “Oh Baby, Don’t You Loose Your Lip On Me”

This song feels improvised, like he was making it up on the spot. I don’t know if it was, but it feels like it.

Prince – “The Rest of My Life”

R.I.P. Prince. There are no more virgins in heaven.

Dr. Horrible – “Freeze Ray”

If you haven’t seen Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, stop whatever you’re doing and watch it. Now.

Calamine – “Sealab 2021”

Theme song for the Cartoon Network show.

Into It. Over It. – “Wearing White”

Everytime I hear this singer, I think he’s Benjamin Gibbard from Death Cab for Cutie. Spoiler alert: he’s not.

Crash and the Boys – “We Hate You, Please Die”

The second appearance by this fake band from a movie.

Brendan Benson – “Bird’s Eye View”

Benson might be better known as a member of the Raconteurs.

C’mon – “The Messenger”

I don’t know much about this band, I just know this song’s awesome. Total garage rock.

Barenaked Ladies – “Raisins”

Raisins come from grapes. People come from apes. This band comes from Canada.

The Smithereens – “Crazy Mixed-Up Kid”

Everything this band does sounds like it should have hit the Top 40 in 1964. I love them

The Rutles – “Ouch!”

If you haven’t seen The Rutles, stop whatever you’re doing and watch it. Now.

The Mountain Goats – “Dance Music”

John Darnielle is definitely one of my Top 5 lyricists.

They Might Be Giants – “Letter, Not a Letter”

I think this song is adorable. Each kindergartner has their own distinct personality.

The D4 – “Get Loose”

Your second favorite band from New Zealand.

NOFX – “What’s the Matter With Parents Today?”

I love the way they flip all the cliches on their heads. So clever.

The Figgs – “Kristy McNichols Boots”

The Figgs ask that age-old question: why don’t you quit your bitchin’?

And there you go! 35 great rock songs that are less than two minutes long. And guess what? This isn’t just a list I came up with. This was an actual hour-long radio show. Want to hear it? Here’s the link. A solid hour featuring a whole lot of really good, really short songs.






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