Sunday, 16 January 2011

Sunday Nights is... Kinks delayed

Dead End Street (November 1966)

I have to go to London for a reading and will be back very late. No time for a more substantial post here, but this is part of Ray Davies's exploration of England.

The simple idea of writing about England, English themes and English places was startlingly new to the generation born after the war. There was no particular glamour in the idea of Birmingham or Wells or Gateshead or Bristol. Familiarity had bred not so much contempt as a dead space. Twenty-Four Hours to Bootle. I left my Heart in East Grinstead... Lazy jokes. And then it opens up again, a little like this, as a crude road map of the sublunar imagination. These songs are made of our lives, not of the myths of others. Well, something resembling our lives at any rate. The lives at the back of our eyes.

There's a crack up in the ceiling,
And the kitchen sink is leaking.
Out of work and got no money,
A Sunday joint of bread and honey.

What are we living for?
Two-roomed apartment on the second floor.
No money coming in,
The rent collector's knocking, trying to get in.

We are strictly second class,
We don't understand,
(Dead end!)
Why we should be on dead end street.
(Dead end!)
People are living on dead end street.
(Dead end!)
Gonna die on dead end street.

Dead end street (yeah)
Dead end street (yeah)

On a cold and frosty morning,
Wipe my eyes and stop me yawning.
And my feet are nearly frozen,
Boil the tea and put some toast on.

What are we living for?
Two-roomed apartment on the second floor.
No chance to emigrate,
I'm deep in debt and now it's much too late...

Boil the tea and put some toast on..., there, at just that point.


Non-Petticoat Lane Anon said...

David Bowie sounds rather more generous on this subject -"I've made some breakfast and coffee" (Oh You Pretty Things). But then, he doesn't sound like he was talking about England: hard to imagine Bowie getting stuck in with the Mellow Birds and Coffee Mate at any time of day, let alone 7am.

Unless it was Szirtes coffee. What does your archive reveal on this matter?

George S said...

I speak as a foreigner in this, NPLA, albeit one wholly assimilated in the matter of tea. A cup of tea very first thing seems to me an idea that should conquer the world.

It should, however, be followed by coffee, ideally from a reputable non-instant source. The rider to that 'however' is that, in a lazy mood, I am happy with instant, a cup of which I am about to make this very moment.

From the archive it would appear that I am not a fan of authenticity for its own sake. I don't mind having a coffee that doesn't taste like some other coffee providing it does a decent menial job.

I have a personal anecdote of David Bowie that I have recounted far too often. He is probably hiding somewhere in the archive.

By the way, was it Hoccleve, Langland or Chaucer? Dunbar? You have me intrigued now.