SOME SONGS ARE GREAT SHORT STORIES (Chapter 37)

This one is a sad short story.  The country-style tune propelled the single all the way to #4 in 1981.   It was the third, and thus far last, time the last time Squeeze would enjoy a Top 10 hit in the UK.  The parent album, East Side Story, is one of my all-time favourites from any era.  I’ll get round to praising its merits sometime in the future.

She unscrews the top of her new whisky bottle
And shuffles around in her candle-lit hovel
Like some kind of witch with blue fingers in mittens
She smells like the cat and the neighbours she sickens
The black and white T.V. has long seen a picture
The cross on the wall is a permanent fixture
The postman delivers the final reminders
She sells off her silver and poodles in China

Drinks to remember I, me and myself
And winds up the clock and knocks dust from the shelf
Home is a love that I miss very much
So the past has been bottled and labelled with love

During the wartime, an American pilot
Made every air raid a time of excitement
She moved to his prairie and married the Texan
She learnt from a distance how love was a lesson
He became drinker and she became mother
She knew that one day she’d be one or the other
He ate himself older, drunk himself dizzy
Proud of her features, she kept herself pretty

Drinks to remember I, me and myself
And winds up the clock and knocks dust from the shelf
Home is a love that I miss very much
So the past has been bottled and labelled with love

He, like a cowboy, died drunk in a slumber
Out on the porch in the middle of summer
She crossed the ocean back home to her family
But they had retired to roads that were sandy
She moved home alone without friends or relations
Lived in a world full of age reservations
On moth-eaten armchairs, she’d say that she’d sod all
The friends who had left her to drink from the bottle

Drinks to remember I, me and myself
And winds up the clock and knocks dust from the shelf
Home is a love that I miss very much
So the past has been bottled and labelled with love

Drinks to remember I, me and myself
Winds up the clock and knocks dust from the shelf
Home is a love that I miss very much
So the past has been bottled and labelled with love
The past has been bottled and labelled with love
The past has been bottled and labelled with love

mp3: Squeeze – Labelled With Love

The b-side saw the band offer their own take on the then-popular Stars on 45 things that had been flooding the charts that year.

mp3: Squeeze – Squabs on 45

And yes, I know I featured both these songs back in 2017, but in my defence, I wasn’t offering up the lyric as an example of a short story.

JC

 

6 thoughts on “SOME SONGS ARE GREAT SHORT STORIES (Chapter 37)

  1. I don’t think I’ve heard this song since the time of it’s release. That lyric certainly paints a picture – I doubt I’d have noted that at the time.

    My next comment is prompted by a current TVV series. Why didn’t REM cover this?

  2. Just reading Chris Diffords autobiography at the moment – it’s a great read .Just got to the making of the first lp and the challenges of working with John Cale

  3. Almost forgotten in terms of retrospectives of the time, unless it’s to point out Jools Holland on piano, Squeeze songs are always worth returning to. And I couldn’t agree more about East Side Story – the perfect midpoint between “Cheeky South London Wide Boys” and “Grown Up Serious Artists”. Look forward to the posting about it.

  4. One of their great story songs, alongside Up The Junction. Their mate Elvis Costello covered a similar lyrical theme in American Without Tears.

  5. Had a great evening watching Squeeze (supported by Heaven 17) last November. The songs and the performance of them are always quality, but the banter and anecdotes between them make it special.

  6. Great track from a great LP. Always been partial to ‘Messed Around’. Glad to know they’re still in business.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.