The Kinks - Album by Album (song by song)

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by mark winstanley, Apr 4, 2021.

  1. The late man

    The late man Forum Resident

    Location:
    France
    Back to Front

    This one has nothing to endear it to me, and yet I enjoy it a lot. I would hate an album made of such tracks, but one on side 2 is OK. It doesn't really make me think of Wings' Spin It On, as Avid @Fortuleo suggested (blasphemy ! I love that track !). Rather, when I try to sing it in my head (I don't know it very well yet), I tend to slide off towards Genesis's "Who Dunnit?" from the same year. (A much maligned track, which I can understand, though I think it would have sounded great as an interlude in the middle of the projected Dodo suite).

    Very fun rocker indeed. Edit: yes, great play with rythm. And I'm beginning to understand why I'm changing my mind on this album: Mick is back!

    I listened to Chosen People on Sunday, and started to listen to it again. I think it's really great music. I will treat any attempt to tell me what the words are about with the fiercest denial. I hope the government gets his due, though. Be it local or cosmic.
     
  2. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Most of side one is pretty straight forward, and intelligible
     
  3. Paul Mazz

    Paul Mazz Forum Resident

    Back to Front

    So far, the more I hear this one the more I like it. Definitely liked it in the context of the whole album. Wakes things up after Yo Yo, which I’m also liking quite a bit.

    I like the prominence of the propulsive drums on Back to Front. It brought to mind another album where the drums are very much in the spotlight, particularly the first cut.

     
  4. Geoff738

    Geoff738 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Love the nods to RFTC and Masters of Reality. The one album they had Ginger Baker on Drums.

    I haven’t commented on the last few Kinks tunes. I like them all well enough. I don’t necessarily think about dissecting the lyrics though. I’m not sure they hold up coherently. But take them as they are and I think the songs mostly work. Tomorrow might be a different take.

    I like the early positive thoughts on Chosen People. I think it is actually a pretty good album. Way better than the previous two. But I’ll leave that up to everybody to see whether they agree or disagree.
     
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  5. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Senior Member

    Location:
    Australia
    You Sandgroper you, are you saying you're a bit of a Mike Hussey?
     
  6. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    I've searched the thread - no mean feat - and can't find any trace of this. An (unreleased) version of "Tired of Waiting For You" by Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood!

     
  7. Ex-Fed

    Ex-Fed Not Fed Ex

    Location:
    New York State
    Not very good, and inadvertently brilliant. I wonder who thought this was worse that what wound up being released?
     
  8. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Ok then, here we go.... could be the most interesting discussion on the thread so far....

    Art Lover.

    stereo mix (3:47), recorded May-Jun 1981 at Konk Studios, Hornsey, London

    Sunday afternoon there's something special
    It's just like another world.
    Jogging in the park is my excuse
    To look at all the little girls.

    I'm not a flasher in a rain coat,
    I'm not a dirty old man,
    I'm not gonna snatch you from your mother,
    I'm an art lover.
    Come to daddy,
    Ah, come to daddy,
    Come to daddy.

    Pretty little legs, I want to draw them,
    Like a Degas ballerina.
    Pure white skin, like porcelain,
    She's a work of art and I should know
    I'm an art lover.
    Come to daddy,
    And I'll give you some spangles.

    Little girl don't notice me
    Watching as she innocently plays.
    She can't see me staring at her
    Because I'm always wearing shades.
    She feeds the ducks, looks at the flowers.
    I follow her around for hours and hours.
    I'd take her home, but that could never be,
    She's just a substitute
    For what's been taken from me.
    Ah, come to daddy, come on.

    Sunday afternoon can't last forever,
    Wish I could take you home.
    So, come on, give us a smile
    Before you vanish out of view.
    I've learned to appreciate you
    The way art lovers do,
    And I only want to look at you.

    Written by: Ray Davies
    Published by: Davray Music Ltd.

    On one level this is a very disturbing song, and on another level this is incredibly sad....

    The verse of this song, almost intentionally sets up a narrative to catch out that judgey side of us that hears certain information and processes it before we have all the facts...
    There is one hint in here, as to what this song is actually about, and even that can be read in a couple of different ways.....

    If it helps, this is a line Ray took out, so the song had an ambiguity ... something Ray is often keen on when writing.
    "Sunday parents with their kinds, knowing they're just alone,"

    The first verse comes in like a shock really. the line "Jogging in the park is my excuse to look at all the little girls" ... I think at that point, most of us retract. There is a somewhat "What The F... Ray!" moment there, and I reckon many folks may not have ever gotten passed that line...

    It kind of reminds me of a movie I really loved called A Good Woman, based on a play by Oscar Wilde from 1892 called Lady Windermere's Fan. In the movie at least, I found myself really wanting to judge one of the characters for what appeared to be going on, but nothing was what it seemed to be. It was a beautiful example of how a certain perspective, only having a certain view of proceedings, can taint your judgement of those things ... Anyway, it is a period piece, so maybe not everyone's cup of tea, but I really enjoyed it for the way it made me look at the characters, and even moreso, the way it made me look at myself.

    The very next section could clear it up somewhat, but we are cynical, and judgemental by nature, so there is a certain "yeah right mate" kind of feeling initially.
    "I'm not a flasher in a raincoat,
    I'm not a dirty old man"
    We could as listeners take this at face value, and instantly change our perspective of the song.... "Oh, okay, this isn't what I thought it was", but like I say, we have more of a tendency to revert to "yeah right mate! f......g pervert!"

    We could take the line "Come To Daddy" as being exactly that. This guy is a Father.... but we have become so twisted as a society, that we lean towards "who's ya daddy little mama" type of thinking, because that is what we have been being fed for decades.

    The next verse starts with "pretty little legs, I want to draw them", and he goes on to express the beauty he sees in this little girl, and how she is a work of art, who should be dressed up accordingly. The idea of the "spangles" drives this point home. This person wants to dress her up, in a manner befitting her artistic beauty.... he is not out to steal her innocence.
    The Degas Ballerina line may seem quite sinister to those with a working knowledge of the way things were for Ballerinas in the late 1800's, but again, that isn't the reference here. Degas Ballerinas were an expression of beauty and innocence, and probably the art Degas is best known for.... what the "abonnes" were up to in the back room, aren't much to do with the paintings....

    The next section is where the heartbreak should set in, but Ray chose to leave it somewhat ambiguous, and in so doing leaves the listener a little lost for context. the problem being that so much of what has led to this point has suggested to the listener that this is a song about a pedophile of some description.... and in our society now, where very many men are afraid to be anywhere near children, due to the implications and judgements, it isn't surprising that this is where we sit with this.
    "Little girl don't notice me
    Watching as she innocently plays."
    The judgement = stalker, pedophile
    "She can't see me staring at her
    Because I'm always wearing shades."
    The judgement = you pig, trying to hide from sight
    "I follow her around for hours and hours.
    I'd take her home, but that could never be"
    Judgement = you should be executed, you pervert!....

    Here's the kicker though.
    "She's just a substitute
    For what's been taken from me."
    Surely at some point folks heard, read that line and wondered where we were with this....
    To be honest, before I did my research on this, I had assumed that it was some kind of reference to enjoying seeing the innocence of this young girl, after having innocence taken from him in some manner.....

    What is this damn song about?
    This is a song about a divorced Father spending time with his daughter on a Sunday, the one day a week he gets to see her ... That's why he says he wishes he could take her home. That's why he follows her around for hours and hours. That's why he can't take her home.... because he doesn't have custody .... just that one day a week. That's why he thinks she is so beautiful. That's why he would like to draw her, because it is the only time he can see her, except for those Sundays.....
    I reckon Ray intentionally sets up the first verse in the way he does, to lead us down the garden path, so to speak. Ray is messing with our heads, and intentionally leaving the meaning of this song wide open to interpretation. The two extremes of what this looks like, and what it is are absolutely enormous.

    What Ray has said
    “I originally had put in a line that said something like “Sunday parents with their kinds knowing they’re just alone” which made it obvious that it was about someone who was divorced and only had his kid on a Sunday. So I left it out because I wanted to leave the song ambiguous. I think ambiguity is a good tool, a good weapon I used it in songs like ‘Waterloo Sunset’. And I think it just about works because it says “I’m not a flasher in a raincoat.” One of the reasons they’re not putting it out as a single in England is because the BBC has said there’s a flasher in a raincoat, but it says “I’m not a flasher.” So it does sound like a pervert to begin with, but I think it does work in the end and you realize what the song’s about.”

    The story goes that as an avid runner, Ray would spend a lot of time running through the parks of, I assume, various cities around the world, or perhaps it was during his stint in New York.
    He noticed on Sundays that these parks were filled with part-time Fathers, trying to make a special day with their children

    Ray Davies told Creem: "It's a good song. It's a sad song. And I'd love it to be a single. I wouldn't care if it bombed and died a death because I believe in that song so much."

    This song is incredibly sad and beautiful when taken in context, but out of context it is disturbing and well beyond creepy...
    I completely appreciate why Ray did it the way he did, and I think if thought about closely when looking at the lyrics, it does actually reveal itself, but in a way the way he has written it is synchronistic to the idea of The Village Green Preservation Society, as it uses ideas that have changed so much in our modern era, that our modern perspective instantly sees this song as a perverse abomination, but in a more innocent time, it would likely be seen a lot differently.

    Personally I reckon this could be seen as an all time classic, if Ray had slightly altered the first verse.
    Walking in the park, rather than jogging... Jogging seems like a specific thing one is doing, and the double meaning would still stay intact. .... and "all the little girls" pared down to the singular would hold context through the song, and yet still have that kick in the guts effect when we realise what he is actually singing about, and how we jumped to a conclusion before the cards were revealed.
    I also think that the last verse makes complete sense, when one understands the context, but it's still a little vague if you don't. I would have liked that last verse to twist the knife in our judgmental hearts.....
    Those changes would still have the effect that the song works so well with, but being such a .... horrible topic to misinterpret it as, I think a more direct reveal would have given this song a huge impact.

    Musically this is beautiful.

    Yet again we open with the drums..... I can't remember if every song on here starts with the drums, but certainly most of them do.

    We have this gentle flowing track that flows along beautifully.
    Ray delivers a vocal that really does suit the actual context of the song, but in the alternate interpretation it is incredibly creepy ... and so I guess suits that as well.

    I have misunderstood this track for years, and that is probably the problem I have with it.
    I like ambiguity, I think, as Ray says, it is a very effective tool... and weapon, but for a song that can and will be easily misinterpreted as something atrocious, I really would prefer the reveal to be more direct.

    When people who really pay attention to what they're listening to, or watching, get something like this that really tests their inner person, how they respond to things, and all that kind of thing, the artist can have a huge impact on the way they see things. A huge impact on them knowing themselves.... gives them tools, or lessons, that help them to make adjustments in themselves that better the world.... If every person made themselves a 2% better person each day, the change in the world as a whole would be enormous.

    I fear the world has become too cynical, as a whole, to really recover from it.... but there have been a lot of awful people. We have all, to varying degrees, been guilty of being those awful people, at some point or another, in one way or another, but I think the negative is overemphasised, particularly in media, where salacious and gratuitous stories help boost ratings and get more interest ..... and so we are constantly bombarded with negativity and the beauty seems to have all but vanished, but only on the TV ...... there is still plenty of beauty and love, but it apparently doesn't make "good" news...

    Anyway, knowing the context, this is a completely heartbreaking song, and quite beautiful.
    Not knowing the context, this is a disturbing song and quite uncomfortable.

     
  9. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

  10. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    ‘Spangles’ isn’t a reference to fancy attire but to a brand of boiled sweet available in the UK from the 50s to the 80s.. and that by the 90s (after being discontinued) had become a by-word/cliched referential for 70s childhood nostalgia in UK culture. (Check out that packaging!) In the context of this song it’s playing on the creepy ‘want a sweetie little girl’ undertone: note how Ray changes it to ‘Candy’ in the Rockapalast clip to make the line more accessible outside the UK:

    Spangles (sweets) - Wikipedia
     
  11. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scotland
    An excellent write up Mark! Despite the analysis, I still find the lyric slightly disturbing, but I enjoy the music.
     
  12. Fortuleo

    Fortuleo Used to be a Forum Resident

    First, I’m frustrated because @Martyj's take on Back to front seemed very promising, and we only had a glimpse of it. I like his idea that it’s about the band itself, in which case the ending (“Well then, I'll have to do it all over again!”) really sets things up for Art Lover : Ray’s self-aware attempt at writing one like he used to back in his "golden" days… And so he does.

    Like a lot of us, my relationship with Art Lover has known various phases. At first, it was an immediate highlight, a fantastic melody, probably Ray’s best since Schooldays, tender and sweet, perfectly delivered in a renewed cockney eighties accent. The keyboard/marimba hook (all but lifted by Black's 1987 mega hit Wonderful Life), the changes of meter, the structural idiosyncrasies, the little reggae guitar fills paving the way to the return – once more – of the Waterloo Sunset staccato rhythm, the come back of ravishing ooohooohs backing vocals, the show-stopping climax ("She's just a substitute For what's been taken from me"), the last chord/key change (“I’ve learned to appreciate you the way art lovers do”) in the end that reinvents the whole harmonic foundations… I was hooked.

    Of course, a few listens in (I’m talking thirty years ago, now), I started noticing Ray’s creepy affectation on the “come to Daddy” phrase. Hmm… could it be that…? Oh… I see.

    So I looked at the lyrics and tried rationalizing. “Of course it doesn’t mean that it’s a pedophile song”. Of course not. So what is it, then? A song about a pedophile? A Nabokov-type song from the point of view of a pedophile? And now we’re entering what I call “the zone”. The moment when a conversation won’t be possible anymore because some people will (understandably) react more strongly than others and won’t allow any space for discussion.

    But at this point, of course, there’s a twist in the song. In the end, ta-daa !, it was about a father who lost his daughter. Because of divorce, or maybe even because of death (which would explain the "substitute" line). We're now getting this image of a sad and lonely father, sitting there in a stupor, contemplating his loss. Some will argue it's a simple heart wrenching portrait of a pathetic figure.

    Still… Ray wouldn’t call it “Art Lover” and wouldn’t sing “Come to daddy” the way he does if he didn’t want to make it something else, something more, something disturbing. Indeed, he admitted as much in the Creem interview, stating he was going for "ambiguity". But why would he want that kind of ambiguity, in the first place? If it's about a poor father, does this ambiguity really make the song better? I mean, if it was a third person song, the twist would work perfectly: people see what appears to be a creepy pervert on a bench looking at their children, they're appalled but then realize he’s no pervert after all. Ok, this would work well enough. But that is not what Ray went for. Perhaps the first person is there to show that the guy himself feels he could be seen as a pervert and is super self-conscious, almost paranoid, about it. Or… or after losing his kid, he has developed a weird unhealthy obsession. Not sexual, no, he thinks, but still quite disturbing…

    Or perhaps… perhaps his wife left him because of just that : because he’d developed this unhealthy obsession about his own little girl. This would be my interpretation of choice, I think, and the most disturbing of all… In my opinion, Ray doesn’t only look for “ambiguity”, he tackles a very heavy subject and wants to go all the way. I do think it’s one of his great, great, eighties songs, the childlike fairy tale / Merry go-round melody adding either a little tenderness or a lot of creepiness, depending on your take on the lyrics. But in my opinion, to really appreciate the song for what it is, you’ve got to embrace the fact that it’s not just a walk in the park with a normal unlucky guy who misses his daughter. It's the portrait of a disturbed mind, tormented, probably delusional and not 100% lucid anymore. Maybe dangerous, or maybe not… But that uncertainty is in itself dangerous, isn't it ?
     
  13. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scotland
    Damn, that makes the lyric even dodgier!
     
  14. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    This is a great song but I think Ray is almost being too clever for his own good here and overdoes the ambiguity - I can almost see the mischievous glint in his eye. It's certainly a very audacious lyric, even if the UK wasn't quite in the grip of the kind of paedophilia panic that it was in the noughties. I think Ray had been coasting a bit on this album so far but this song is a winner in every department.
     
  15. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    Location:
    London
    I don't have a problem with songs written from the point of view of unpleasant or despicable characters - I'm a Lou Reed fan after all - so even if there wasn't a poignant subtext to this song it wouldn't have bothered me.
     
  16. stewedandkeefed

    stewedandkeefed Came Ashore In The Dead Of The Night

    I have always thought of "Art Lover" as a top tier Kinks song though I am certainly aware of why this song gives some people the creeps. Ray would go jogging in Central Park and see the divorced fathers with their kids on their one day of the week together. I guess when a song says "I'm not a flasher in a raincoat", it raises some alarm bells but I always took that literally (and it suggests Ray knew others would have a bit of difficulty with the lyrics to this song). Obviously, the image of a grown man attracting a young child with promised candy is going to bother some people. But I do think it is a song that is the result of Ray's people watching in the park and how he came to make it a song about loss - it is a portrait of a man who goes to the park to watch the young children because he is there to reflect on how his own life has led him to a feeling of loss - the loss of his children from daily contact due to divorce. I doubt I would feel so strongly about the song if Ray had not included a sense of the "creep factor" in the lyrics. There is a sadness to this song that makes it stand out to me. Probably first heard it when it was played on SNL and I would have a soft spot for this song from then on. I really like the version on The Road.
     
  17. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Cheers mate. Never heard of them

    [​IMG]
     
  18. ARL

    ARL Forum Resident

    Location:
    England
    "Art Lover"

    This was the track that most attracted me on this album early on - although all the hard rock stuff is fine, it was nice to have something a bit different with none of that in it, something a bit more classic Kinks-sounding. But the lyrics are of course somewhat uncomfortable. In terms of the imagery, portraying a Sunday afternoon in the park is quite appealing - but what is going on there? I had generally concluded that it was about a father who had lost his own daughter for whatever reason - probably divorce, and was ruefully observing other happier families in the park. But the "art" aspect does add another, possibly less innocent aspect to it.

    In the end I just settle for enjoying the prettiness of the song while at the same time not being entirely comfortable with the lyrics.
     
  19. croquetlawns

    croquetlawns Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scotland
    Yep, that's pretty much how I approach it!
     
  20. Zerox

    Zerox Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    I have been waiting for this song to come up!

    This is one of my favourite Kinks songs and I think Ray judges the tone perfectly, playing with our preconceptions and prejudices.

    For a start, the drums are suddenly restrained, in marked contrast to the rest of the album; then we have the marimba hook, an innocent sound with a child-like simplicity to the melody. Well, it's all being set up perfectly for the depraved pervert in the park to enter the scene, isn't it? He even protests his innocence, the swine! "I'm not a flasher in a raincoat", "I'm not going to snatch you from your mother..." Yeah, right...and where are the puppies you want to show her, huh? "Come to daddy"...ah, at least it's not "you can call me 'uncle'"...

    So it's all going well, establishing this monster in waiting...and then we get the deft touch of detail that RD is so good at..."and I'll give you some Spangles"...fantastically specific reference to a UK sweet (not particularly expensive, typical frugal Ray!), which I'm pretty sure had me snorting with laughter the first time I heard it and was maybe my first alert to all not being as it seemed with the song's theme.

    And it continues to build, the music charming and the pit of guilt being dug ever deeper, until we get to that pivotal line, "I'd take her home but that could never be/She's just a substitute from what's been taken from me."

    As has already been noted by my esteemed fellow forumites, that throws the perspective. Suddenly, our predator is a victim (maybe he brought it on himself but for whatever reason he's out of the former family home with limited or no access to his kids...I don't buy the idea that his wife chucked him out for being a potential paedophile), who tries to fill that gap in his life by arguably a most innocent form of voyeurism. It is heart-breaking.

    Personally, I think a song which can take you from one such extreme to another cannot be viewed as anything other than a masterclass in writing. The music absolutely matches the subject, with the denouement of "I've come to appreciate you the way art lovers do/And I only want to look at you" receiving a wonderful chord change which distinguishes it from the rest of the song, emphasising its importance.

    This song is art and I love it.
     
  21. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    [​IMG]

    I agree with @Fortuleo that despite the song’s primary text being about an estranged Dad, it also definitely quite deliberately plays with the creepier element.. in one way as outlined in Marks write up, to put the audience on the back foot and make them question their assumptions (in a display of Ray’s songwriting artfulness) but also on another more prosaic level (pretty much entirely in the live performance tbf) it’s an opportunity to lean into a hammy bad taste UK archetype of the time: think Keith Moon as Uncle Ernie: in the 60s 70s and 80s that’s about how seriously this subject was taken in UK culture: a sordid nudge nudge joke, in an environment that allowed the likes of Jimmy S*vile to operate as the now oft repeated phrase goes 'in plain sight'. It’s to Ray’s credit (although of course we’d expect nothing less of a writer of his calibre) that he gives the song and character infinitely more depth than that, but at the same time he’s not above intentionally playing off that stereotype.

    And I do think that ultimately his use of that kind of additional creepy element, that for better or worse for the listeners sensibilities, gives the song even more power than had it solely been about a father.. the fact that you're kept in doubt (or at the very least with the shadow of that darker interpretation hanging in the background) throughout means that when Ray delivers that killer denouement/resolution (which in this case I'd say was the melodic turnaround/lyrical resignation on 'I've learnt to appreciate you the way art lovers do'.. he manages to perform the ultimate songwriting sleight of hand and make you stop yourself and think 'did I just empathise with a monster'???? I remember years ago reading a review of GTPWTW where the writer lamented that 'this was such a nice sounding song, why did he have to make it about this subject?' like Ray should have inserted harmless lyrics about a cricket match or a rainy day and we could all pretend it was 1968 again, but that totally misses the point and diminishes what Ray and The Kinks can be about. Despite surface appearances this is not comfortable listening, and nor is it meant to be. What it is masterful. thoughtful songwriting from someone at the very top of his game. 'He lost it after 1972': er no. This song is exhibit A against that.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2022
  22. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glasgow
    This Four Seasons song from their 'Genuine Imitation Life Gazette' album covers a similar subject, without the creepy element:

     
  23. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Certified dinosaur, who likes physical product Thread Starter

    Another song handling the idea of the father separated from his kids, but without the Ray twist...
    Weddings Parties Anything - Father's Day

     
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  24. pyrrhicvictory

    pyrrhicvictory Forum Resident

    Location:
    Manhattan
    Art Lover

    WNEW-FM DJ Dan Neer (Dan-O) on his radio interview with Ray: ‘You play roles, Ray, like Art Lover, sort of a benign lecher?’ ‘No, no, no,’ Ray avers, in his pillow-talk voice, that soft and delicate voice important people employ, knowing those around them are hanging on every word. ‘It’s about sad divorcees with their kids for the weekend, trying to be Santa Claus and everything else all at once...but I wouldn’t put the other side of it past me.’
    ‘Benign lecher’ becoming, and for many years, an in-joke between our tight circle of friends. One friend seriously considering it for his band.
    I like this song in all its different incarnations but my go to is the re-mix on The Songs of Ray Davies, which maintains that old Kinks charm. A weary 60’s vocal, what sounds like Ray’s stabbing piano playing, Mick’s drums recorded to perfection. I wish this version had been released. So many bands, not just the Kinks, lose that charm when the mask gets put in place, or the makeup gets applied in order to align with what is expected of the band and their image. Many of the layers of production are unnecessary, maybe as a defense mechanism. Like in ‘real life’, when we disguise our true feelings, for fear of embarrassment or being misunderstood. Or maybe all the bells and whistles are for selling a truckload of records. Probably more that.
    Anyway, it heartening to see Ray can still pen a great lyric, with subtext, subtlety, and bathos.
     
  25. fspringer

    fspringer Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York City
    Art Lover: I loved this at the time, Ray's patented ambiguity, but it feels way too heavy-handed now. Obviously, the "substitute" line towards the end makes his intentions clear as a heartbroken father/divorced husband. But he lays the subertfuge leading up to that line on way too thick. Whether it's the heavy-handed lyrics or the whispery/faux romantic croon he uses in his vocals. It's not a bad idea to place the song in a newer context, where stuff like this just doesn't work.

    I know my Dad's generation (WW II), the concept of the parish priest or over-zealous coach getting a little too friendly with the kids was sort of quietly understood or shunted aside. This is the angle Ray is working on the song, that old, very odd acceptance that there were perverts and pedophiles amongst us, and you just had to teach your kids to be careful around them, like swimming around a shark at the beach instead of getting out of the water. I can imagine this song falling flat on its face with younger folks, and in this case, they're right. Even with my sense of historical context and how things were back then, this hasn't aged well.
     

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