The Village Green

I was paging down through the 3000 odd songs that my iTunes stores, looking for an album to play. I had spent the weekend in mid eighties Prog Rock land with the first three Marillion albums. I wanted something different tonight and settled on “The Village Green Preservation Society”, an album, recorded at the height of sixties reaction against society, which as the title suggests sings the praises of the joys of English life:

We are the Village Green Preservation Society
God save Donald Duck, Vaudeville and Variety
We are the Desperate Dan Appreciation Society
God save strawberry jam and all the different varieties
Preserving the old ways from being abused
Protecting the new ways for me and for you
What more can we do
We are the Draught Beer Preservation Society
God save Mrs. Mopp and good Old Mother Riley
We are the Custard Pie Appreciation Consortium
God save the George Cross and all those who were awarded them
We are the Sherlock Holmes English Speaking Vernacular
Help save Fu Manchu, Moriarty and Dracula
We are the Office Block Persecution Affinity
God save little shops, china cups and virginity
We are the Skyscraper Condemnation Affiliate
God save Tudor houses, antique tables and billiards
Preserving the old ways from being abused
Protecting the new ways for me and for you
What more can we do
God save the Village Green.

From another track on the album:

Out in the country,
Far from all the soot and noise of the city,
Theres a village green.
Its been a long time
Since I last set eyes on the church with the steeple
Down by the village green.
Twas there I met a girl called daisy
And kissed her by the old oak tree.
Although I loved my daisy, I saw fame,
And so I left the village green.

I miss the village green,
And all the simple people.
I miss the village green,
The church, the clock, the steeple.
I miss the morning dew, fresh air and Sunday school.

And now all the houses
Are rare antiquities.
American tourists flock to see the village green.
They snap their photographs and say gawd darn it,
Isn’t it a pretty scene?
And Daisy’s married tom the grocer boy,
And now he owns a grocery.

I miss the village green,
And all the simple people.
I miss the village green,
The church, the clock, the steeple.
I miss the morning dew, fresh air and Sunday school.

And I will return there,
And Ill and daisy,
And well sip tea, laugh,
And talk about the village green.
We will laugh and talk about the village green.

The Kinks are the greatest chroniclers of Englishness that the world of Pop music has ever had; horribly under appreciated by the world at large, but brilliant in their own idiosyncratic way – which seems a fitting metaphor for being English.

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Published in: on 15 December, 2008 at 19:13  Leave a Comment  

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