Thanks to Faye Harland for suggesting this list, and thanks to Richard Nabavi for pointing out that most of these are not genuine double negatives but intensifiers using the negative form. In no particular order...
1. “Never gonna not dance again” P!nk, 2022. Faye Harland’s opening nomination, a real double negative, because Ms P!nk (Alecia Moore) does actually intend to dance again.
2. “Ain’t no sunshine” Bill Withers, 1971. That’s an intensifier. Definitely no sunshine when she’s gone. Thanks to Dean Fox and Steven Fogel.
3. “Ain’t no mountain high enough” Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, 1966. Another intensifier. People today would say “Literally no mountain high enough (to keep me from getting to you)”.
4. “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” Rolling Stones, 1965. And another. Nominated by Harriet Marsden, Joel Taylor and Tony Parkin.
5. “No Woman No Cry” Bob Marley and the Wailers, 1974. That is just two negatives in the title, and it doesn’t mean what a lot of people think: it means “Woman, don’t cry”, not “Women bring grief”. Ingenious nomination from Gillian Williamson, David Twizell, Phil Riley, Nick Clayton and Timothy Stafford.
6. “Don’t Nobody Bring Me No Bad News” Mabel King, 1978, from The Wiz, a reimagining of the Wizard of Oz. Triple negative intensifier. She really does not want to hear the bad news. Thanks to Chris Hunter.
7. “Don’t Come Round Here No More” Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, 1985. Nominated by Harriet Marsden and Jeremy Thomas.
8. “You Don’t Love Me (No, No, No)” Dawn Penn, 1994. Which is a quadruple negative, I suppose. Thanks to Jack Brown.
9. “No, No, No!” by Parquet Courts, 2015. Which is just three negatives, but it’s my favourite band and it is only 72 seconds long.
10. “Ain’t No Way” Aretha Franklin, 1968. Yes, it is another intensifier, but it’s going in because it’s a belter. Ain’t no way you can stop me. Thanks again to Harriet Marsden.
Something called “No no no no no no no no no no no no there’s no limit”, by 2 Unlimited, was nominated by Andrew Graystone, but its actual name seems to be “No Limit”, which is disappointing.
Honourable mention for Paul Ashby, who nominated “I Started Out With Nothing and I Still Got Most Of It Left” by Seasick Steve. “There is always one” award this week to Martin Sykes-Haas for “Knowing Me Knowing You” by Abba.
Next week: things named after people who opposed them, such as “Orwellian”.
Coming soon: paragraphs in British Political Speeches Since the War – a whole paragraph, making an argument, not just a pithy sentence.
Your suggestions please, and ideas for future Top 10s, to me on Twitter, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org