So….this one opens with a ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba refrain that Julian Cope would have been proud of.  It then has the little burst of jingly-jangly guitar that will have you bursting with joy before the blackest of tales unfolds.

Albert Parker played with trains
The centre of his life
His junctions and his signal box
Took precedence over his wife

He strokes the tiny rails
And took care of the little station
Rarely saw his family
And knew nothing of the state of the nation

In his tiny railway room
He spent most of the day
A pity his wife with the promise of bed
Could not drag him away

Oh, No, Albert Parker
Your future is getting very much darker

The Albert Parker life rattled on
Night and day and night
Obsessed and staring in his dream
He never saw the sunlight

This went on until one day
His wife could stand no more
She grabbed the old garden hammer
And broke in through the door

Oh, No, Albert Parker
Your future is getting very much darker

She smashed his little junctions
His gradients and his trains
She smashed every single piece
Into bent and twisted remains

Now Betty stood cracked and shaking
And driven completely insane
Albert was still slowly sobbing
As a hammer demolished his brain

Oh, No, Albert Parker
Your future is getting very much darker

Goodbye, Albert Parker, Goodbye.
So long, farewell, bon voyage.

mp3: Gol Gappas – Albert Parker

I’ve got this one, which was released in 1986, courtesy of it being track 4 on disc 4 of the Scared To Be Happy retrospective box set. From the accompanying notes:-

“Another mysterious el Records signing by Mike Alway, Gol Gappas were named after a popular Indian snack.  They issued just two singles. The ‘Dinner With Nougat’ 12″ EP boasted the whimsical, Robin Hithcock-ish psychedelia of ‘Albert Parker’ and the vaguely Mary Chain-like fuzziness of ‘Saint Lucy’. Second single ‘West 14@ was more straightforward yet poignant pop. Its B-side, ‘Roman’, was remixed for a French-only single (backed again by ‘Albert Parker’) on Vogue in 1987.  Amazingly, ‘Dinner..’ was issued as a CD EP in Japan. The band were formed by singer Nick East and guitarist Colin Roxborough, both previously with Hounslow post-punk outfit Scissor Fits (for whom Alway was an occasional writer), who released two singles back in 1978/79.”

As it turns out, the Saint Lucy track was included in the Cherry Red C87 box set:-

mp3 : Gol Gappas – Saint Lucy

The C87 booklet adds the snippet that Saint Lucy is a tribute to a medieval, Sicilian virgin who allegedly married God.

So there you have it.


2 thoughts on “SOME SONGS MAKE GREAT SHORT STORIES (Chapter 49)

  1. I read the lyrics prior to listening to the song and was pleasantly surprised
    at the contrast between the two. Great post, JC – after all, who doesn’t like
    a model train set?

  2. Already thinking of an ICA of fictional folks with regular names whose lives went a bit off the rails (or worse):

    Albert Parker
    Tracy Jacks
    David Watts
    Arnold Layne
    Waldo Jeffers
    Richard Cory
    Eleanor Rigby
    & co.

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