Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by mark winstanley, Apr 4, 2021.
Ray solo in Scranton, 2010:
What does Dave shout out at the very end? Sounds like "Bingo".
I don't know, but I'll be interested in the replies.
Unfortunately the link is blocked in the US
It’s ‘Bingo’ but according to Dave himself
on Twitter a few years back, it’s Pete Quaife shouting it!
I don't think it's Dave - it sounds like a scene from a school playground. The kid is yelling "bingo!" - maybe he's just scored a harry off the local newsagent??
As much as I appreciate all the work you have put into this thread, I would very much like to see you use block quotes and provide attributions when you copy and paste from Wikipedia articles and the like.
How do I love "Harry Rag"? Let me count the ways.
So catchy. Impossible not to sing along with.
So unafraid to refer to mortality, and accept it as what must come to us all.
Such a democratic spirit.
Such a sense of fun, with its colloquialisms and rhyming slang sure to confuse some non-Brits.
Another song I would have tried to rush out as a single.
And the strangest thing is, I hate cigarettes.
Just catching up on reading the other posts- I can see how some might take it as anti-smoking, but that's not how I hear it myself. Quite the opposite.
I never thought that either. Wasn't Ray a smoker?
I'm not really sure why that matters....
But all the lyrics and dates come from kindakinks.com ..... I don't tend to use wiki much, but i would have assumed the links and notes in there would have been a dead giveaway.
I'm not sure what the picture is you posted, it doesn't come up on my phone or computer.
With time being such as it is, and in an attempt to be somewhat thorough, it seemed more logical to copy info from wiki about rhyming slang than me try and make some kind of vague statement about it
First, a big thanks to Mark who is doing a fantastic job as thread starter in keeping the momentum going. And his song introductions - including this one - are invariably excellent.
I don't smoke and have never smoked (apart from some youthful experimentation) but I love Harry Rag and feel compelled to sing along to this song whenever I hear it. It's been compared to a sea shanty - presumably because it's easy to sing-along to. And more recent experimentation leads me to think alcohol consumption helps with the vocals. Sure, there's not much musical or lyrical depth here, but not all good music needs to be deep. Enjoyable will do it for me. And I really enjoy this.
In these “barbaric” times we have become very sloppy about using the content of others without giving credit. Even though there are clues in much of what you pasted that it is copied content it doesn’t replace a clear demarcation of pasted vs original content and certainly gives no clue as to the source. Aside from any legal or moral considerations, the posts would be more readable with a clear separation between the reference sections and your original content. Often, I only want to read your personal thoughts, but it is a minor chore to ferret out where the reference material ends and you begin.
The image is of the block quote icon which is the third from the right on the options list at the top of each post composition field between the movie film and the floppy disc.
I well recall this struck me on first listen to the CD & not so much as it was a departure but because of its beauty.
The lyrics didn't strike me as important & i know i wasn't wanting to listen hard to discover them less their discovery may spoil my joyful interpretation.
The music is panoramic & i see a glider floating & banking high amidst the clouds in a blue sky, gently buffeted by the instrumentation and Ray's melodies and phrasing which profer a genteel, resigned & somewhat forlorn mood
Somehow I am reminded of some visuals from The Thomas Crown Affair & recall the soft voice of Claudine Longet singing in The Party.
Yes a mood piece an intermission a departure & another stylistic change from all the tracks that preceded it.
What iam trying to say is that this song Is amongst my favourites on the album & i think i once even put it on a mix tape seperate from the LP.
If you thought the Kinks were going to copy Face To Face you will find this track is Something Else!
Just consulted Rogan who writes "The rumbustious 'Harry Rag follows, an arrangement that appears to be based on a sea shanty, complete with hearty cries and a rousing singalong, simultaneously warning and celebrating the effects of nictotine dependency from the point of view of a stoical smoker".
Again a razor sharp Ray nails his topic & characters with excellent spot on observations & again this album takes another immediate left turn with yet more wide new varieties of material.
All that said it is a fine song but one that is not really my cup of Afternoon Tea, perhaps because as a salesman 30 years ago i worked with a labour crew who were all exactly like a throwback to this song and as it turned out their time in history was nearly up!
The theory about "Harry Rag" being an anti-smoking song is an interesting one, especially since Pete Townsend was working on a couple of anti-smoking songs around the same time ("Little Billy" & "Do You Want Kids, Kids", the latter one of the highlights of the recent Who Sell Out box set to me). I don't think "Harry Rag" is specifically an anti-smoking song. I see it as a celebration of one of the few luxuries the working class was allowed to have. The Man (or State) can try to take everything from you, but he really can't & you luxuriate on what he can 't take. A "Knees Up Mother Brown" of the 1960s.
A question for those who live/live in the UK: Are they still Cockneys still out there or have they faded away into the mists of history?
Something Else By The Kinks
Sorry, I'm catching up again!
I've just listened to the whole album for the first time and look forward to listening to songs again day by day.
The title strikes me as a sort of dismissive, self-deprecating title, as well as reflecting that it is something different for the times as @mark winstanley said above.
This is my first time hearing all of the songs apart from Waterloo Sunset, and I didn't know what to expect.
Overall I think this album sounds much more cohesive, and I think I could have identified the Kinks had I heard any of the songs individually, whereas I'm not sure I could have done before this point. They have developed a distinctive sound - sort of jangly - and the observational style which attracted me to their music is there in full force.
Thank you @mark winstanley for switching to one song per day, I was intimidated by the number of comments and with trying to find and listen to two songs per day, so I ran away! Thanks also to @Vagabone for informing me of this via the TDC thread!
Now to catch up on the first few songs...! I must stress that I've only listened once to each, so this is a very initial view, and I haven't read everyone else's comments yet so this is purely my first impression!
The opening few bars and the first 'fa fa fa' bit set this up to be an annoying song, but once it got going it actually made me chuckle, which is rare for me. I can't tell whether the singer actually aspires to be like this person or is taking the piss or both - starts off as a definite piss take but then I'm not so sure whether there is some actual admiration there beneath the sarcasm!
Death Of A Clown
This is right up my street. I read it as being about the death of variety, which is something I'm highly interested in as I'm married to a professional magician and we have done a bit of research on the golden age of variety and magic (1890s to 1940s) and its fading and death through the post war years with the growth of cinema.
There's something very evocative about the clown's caked makeup, the insect trainer and, most of all, the dead fortune teller.
Juxtaposing this against the jaunty musical setting it has far more impact than had it been a wallowing, sad song. The almost throwaway line about the dead fortune teller reflects the way society has moved on and thrown away this old form of entertainment without a care. Let's drink to the death of varety; ring in the changes; we've got cinema and tv will soon be in more homes.
Musically the lovely tinkly intro and eerie 'la la las' near the end are very effective in giving a sense of unease - the final curtain call, perhaps, before the pub singing rhythm kicks in and everyone starts celebrating the sad demise of this clown who's drinking among them, representing his dying breed of entertainer. Nice pause before the word 'gin'.
In terms of musical and vocal arrangements and delivery, to me this sounds leagues ahead of anything on the last album!
I can very much sympathise with this woman! This nearly brought a tear to my eye at the part where she wants to putthe kids in nursery as I thought she was going to look at them and feel numb/wish they weren't there as they are part of what is trapping her. But instead she looks at them and just has a total turnaround! I didn't buy this at all. Its not the done thing to say anything but your kids are a total blessing and the apple of your eye but in reality there are moments I have genuinely wished for the freedom that comes with being single, and while in reality I wouldn't exchange my children for that, that longing doesn't go away just by realising how much you love the kids!
And I've lived on my own, built a career and had a taste of freedom - I'd imagine the longing kust be doubly strong if you'd married young as I feel this woman has.
Interesting style - bossa nova? I hadn't expected that from the Kinks. Pretty, wistful song which largely drifts past me, as I usually find with this style.
I'm not sure what to make of this one and will be interested to read others' comments later on when I have time!
I don't feel its making any judgement on the people who will do anything for a fag - this was a time when practically everyone smoked! My grandma, who loved playing sports and dancing, would, according to my mum, sit in her armchair chain smoking before going out to play squash. Men, women, all social classes loved a fag!
There's been some discussion around smoking refeences in songs on the Divine Comedy thread, with some people saying they find this so offputting it throws them out of the song. I can understand that view, but haven't found that a problem myself as cigarettes haven't been the primary subject of the songs.
This song is different in that its entirely about people wanting a ciggie, and that actually does put me off! I can almost taste the stale, sickly, second hand smoke in the back of my throat, and smell that smell people have who don't even realise their clothes and probably skin are permeated with smoke...
In a way that's down to the power of music and the descriptive language, but maybe it does its job too well as I don't need to hear it again! I'm off to open the window...
Ahh you just beat me to it by mentioning The Who's Little Billy!
Well I am pleased you came back.
Thanks @Vagabone for passing on the info!
Yes there are, but they are a shrinking bunch. They seem (in my anecdotal experience... please correct me as needed!!) to be very much concentrated around Bow, Shadwell and the Isle of Dogs areas. I think this is in part because of how multicultural London is, and also that a lot of the Cockneys who had dispersed from these areas to wider South and East London have since either moved out further (into Kent or Surrey, for example) or have been squashed back into the poorest predominantly white parts of London. In a way, it seems the core of true Cockneys may be back within the sound of Bow Bells!
But I'm sure the way of speaking is, like all UK accents, sadly dying out. I did come across some real Cockney children on the Docklands Light Railway once which actually really took me by surprise!!
Thanks! I'm so glad I did as this album is a cracker
It's kinda hard to not feel naked listening to this song without a pint in your hand!
Yet another song that defies.... well.... so much.
When I bought Something Else at age 19, my instinctual thought was I don't buy rock and roll to hear vaudeville or ragtime retro stuff. Nor was I a fan of drinking songs (no problem with drinking, mind you... just didn't care for drinking music which seemed dumbed down). At the same time, I did have a serious disgust with smoking and any connection to that topic was an immediate turn off.
Despite all those prejudices, I took to the song immediately. Such is the genius of Ray and the Kinks.
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