Back in 60, A Wait In The World, A Teacup

January 13, 2019

Off-topic Sunday.

 

Regular visitors might recall a recent post on Sam The Sham and the Pharaohs frat rock favourite, Woolly Bully. and my failure to decipher the lyrics, despite loving the song. Well, another example popped back onto my radar the other day. 

 

When Geno by Dexys Midnight Runners was released one of my older brothers bought it on 7in. I must have played his copy 50 times, as a nine-year-old, and heard it well over 100 times later. I loved, still love, the whole song, but I couldn't get a handle on the lyrics.

 

I hadn't seen this studio performance with their great entrance either. Whose ideas was it to bring on duffel bags and towels just to chuck them before picking up their instruments? And those time signature changes from a band so new (singer and lyricist Kevin Rowland was 27 at the time). This was their second single. 

 

The look of the band, mixing docker/stevedore uniform with boxing gym chic and Rowland's eye shadow (is it eye shadow?), plus bum fluff moustaches, leather 'Roxy' jackets and the band as gang mentality... I lapped it up (all except the eye shadow, I've only just noticed that, but whatever floats your boat).

 

The lyrics are truly bizarre for a top ten 'pop' hit, but pop music is best when it's bizarre. It turns out the first line of the song isn't, Back in 60, a wait in the world, a teacup...

 

Back in '68 in a sweaty club
(Oh, Geno)
Before Jimmy's Machine and The Rocksteady Rub
(Oh, Geno)
On a night when flowers didn't suit my shoes
After a week of flunkin' and bunkin' school
The lowest head in the crowd that night
Just practicin' steps and keepin' outta the fights

Academic inspiration, you gave me none
But you were Michael the lover
The fighter that won
But now just look at me as I'm looking down at you
No, I'm not bein' flash, It's what I'm built to do

That man took the stage, his towel was swingin' high
(Oh Geno)
This man was my bombers, my Dexy's, my high
(Oh, Geno)
How the crowd, they all hailed you, and chanted your name
But they never knew like we knew
Me and you were the same
And now you're all over, your song is so tame, brrr
You fed me, you bred me, I'll remember your name

Academic inspiration, you gave me none
But you were Michael the lover
The fighter that won
But now just look at me as I'm looking down at you
No, I'm not bein' flash, It's what I'm built to do

 

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