Wednesday, January 23, 2008

"On The 5.15" by Pete Murray

Funny how the things we actually do spend our lives talking about, like house prices, kids on the buses, smoking in pubs and the purgatory of commuting, never seem to find their way into our pop music. But there was a time, not sure when, when that wasn't the case. Can't get this tune, which comes from a cylinder, out of my head.


  1. Before the world went mad;

    It reminds me of the hocky-cokey for some reason

  2. Weirdly, when I tried to come up with pop songs that do talk about our everyday topics and moans the first one to come to mind was Grandmaster Flash's "The Message" (
    Not sure if Pete Murray was an influence though.

  3. Yeah it's strange "blue collar" life get's a fair shake but "white collar" not so much. In terms of office work theres:
    the day before you came by Abba, 9 to 5 by dolly (or sheena easton!), manic monday the bangles, Mathew and son by cat stevens and not much else. All the Art school types who form bands having spent their lives avoiding having a "normal life" don't want to write about it, shame really.

  4. Anonymous11:52 am

    Yes, bltp is right, musicians' careers start aged 18-22 generally and when you look back as a 40-something to yourself at that age, what did we know then? f-all.

    There a loads of 40 year olds out there who never quite made it who are writing songs that speak to us of the same age/lifestyle. I bet many are terrible but some are probably excellent and we'll never hear them.

    Only caveat is... just how interesting would a song be about getting into the area's 'good' school or the frustrations of a bus replacement service or the dilemma of fixed v tracker...

  5. Anonymous12:03 pm

    Actually I've just remembered three brilliant songs about middle age redundancy. 'Don't Give Up' by Peter Gabriel, 'You are not needed now' by Townes Van Zandt, and the magnificent 'Take your carriage clock and shove it' by Belle & Sebastian.

  6. Surely a good writer could make a song about a "replacement bus service" interesting and moving or just plain funny.

  7. Anonymous12:19 pm

    Yes bltp they could, but you'd be heading into Wood/Stilgoe/Shuttleworth territory. And 'comedy' songs are an automatic no-no.

  8. National Express by Divine Comedy ticks the right boxes for me. It's a funny song, but not a comedy song, I think.

  9. Nothing Ever Happens by Del Amitri, though now, with its talk of bachelors, typewriter covers, telex machines and needles on records, it seems incredibly dated.

  10. "A13: Trunk road to the sea" by Billy Bragg is funny without being Stilgoesque. National Express is another good example well spotted. Alot of them by your classic artists are in hating the "MAN" vein of Mr Clean, country house etc.
    Macca did Temporary secertary ( although going by the lyrics I think he might have got sacked for "ungentlemanly") behaviour

  11. Anonymous4:30 pm

    I'm checking this blog just before going home, and frankly the last thing I want to hear on my MP3 player on the way is, 'Woke up this mon'in', Then spent several hours updating my pupil forecasting methodologies.'

  12. Reading this yesterday I was thinking "wasn't there a song by Madness about the tedium and stress of commuting and office life". So this morning the answer came, unusually without the help of wikipedia*: Cardiac Arrest.

    * though I did google for the lyrics.