Song Lyric Sunday (5 April 2020) – Birthdays

Last week, Jim (NewEpicAuthor, A Unique Title For Me) set a theme of senses (my choice). This week, theme of birthdays.

I’ve got a dodgy link this week, but the song is just too good to pass up. In 1982, The Jam released their final studio album, The Gift. There’s my link.

I was just about too young to remember all the Mod and Rocker nonsense of the Seventies. I doubt very much it happened anywhere except the UK, did it? Mod music just seems very British to me. But now I am perfectly happy to listen to some of the old Mod bands. If I were ten years older, I could just picture myself riding a scooter 🙂. Even now, I have my honourary fishtail coat.

For anybody who didn’t follow that last paragraph, this is a fishtail. It gets its name from that distinctive split at the bottom. Fishtails were most always that military green colour, and people would often paint insignia on them, as you see.

Anyway, back to music. The Jam were always a cult band in the UK, where this album comfortably reached #1. They weren’t as successful internationally – the album only reached #82 in the USA. The album spawned a couple of singles, however, and one of these is my choice today. The Jam was Paul Weller, Bruce Foxton and Rick Buckler, and Town Celled Malice, like most of the music on the album, was writted by Weller and charted at #1 in the UK Singles chart in February 1982. It also charted in much of the English-speaking world, reaching #31 on Billboard.

It’s a brilliant, speedy track which epitomises The Jam era, I bet you have trouble sitting still!

Better stop dreaming of the quiet life
‘Cos it’s the one we’ll never know
And quit running for that runaway bus
‘Cos those rosey days are few
And…stop apologising for the things you’ve never done
‘Cos time is short and life is cruel
But it’s up to us to change
This town called Malice

Rows and rows of disused milk floats
Stand dying in the dairy yard
And a hundred lonely housewives
Clutch empty milk bottles to their hearts
Hanging out their old love letters on the line to dry
It’s enough to make you stop believing
When tears come fast and furious
In a town called Malice

Struggle after struggle, year after year
The atmosphere’s a fine blend of ice
I’m almost stone cold dead
In a town called Malice

A whole street’s belief in Sunday’s roast beef
Gets dashed against the co-op
To either cut down on beer or the kids’ new gear
It’s a big decision in a town called Malice

The ghost of a steam train echoes down my track
It’s at the moment bound for nowhere
Just going ’round and ’round
Playground kids and creaking swings
Lost laughter in the breeze
I could go on for hours and I probably will
But I’d sooner put some joy back
In this town called Malice

Paul Weller


    • Yeah that kinda doesn’t surprise me, the Mod and Rocker “gangs” seemed to me like they would not be repeated anywhere else. There were big bust-ups between the two here in the 70s. On the face of it they were both music-driven, but actually they were two totally conflicting philosophies of life.

      Liked by 2 people

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