Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Down On The Corner

I've been thinking a lot about corners since watching "The Wire". The cops describe their progress in combatting drug dealing in terms of corners cleared. The young dealers look forward to the day when they can have their own corner. There's a whole episode in series four called "Corner Boys". That's how the school refers to those who are destined to slip into a life of crime. The series that David Simon did before "The Wire" was called "The Corner".

Creedence Clearwater Revival had a song called "Down On The Corner". The opening line of Tom Waits's "Jersey Girl" goes "got no time for the corner boys, down on the street making all that noise". Miles Davis made a whole album called "On The Corner". I've got a wonderful old record by the Isley Brothers called "Love Put Me On The Corner". (Matter of fact, it's here.)

The Corner is obviously the embassy of the sovereign state of Uptonogood. We have venues over here that perform a similar function but they're not usually corners, possibly because the high rises that were knocked down in Baltimore years ago still cling on here. So our corner boys have to make do with the pavement outside off-licences, near bus stops or in the immediate environs of fried chicken outlets. Which is nothing like as musical.


  1. "So I was hanging down the shopping parade, with my bunch of mates.."


    "Love don't smile on the bus stop boy..."


    Yep. You're right. Not nearly as musical!

  2. Anonymous10:49 am

    Take song, swap a US location to a UK one - easy jokes ahoy.

    Born in Solihull
    I wish they could all be Wolverhampton girls
    And of course, Rammstein with We're All Living in Birmingham

    I'm sure it's possible to sing about the UK without sounding comic...

  3. We had the "hole in the head gang" who use to hang out at the "Bottle Bank" this was in Surrey though.
    Also is the "corner" just down from the "dark end of the street"?

  4. Anonymous7:07 pm

    I believe Gordon Brown has just issued a statement that 'going forward' he intends be ' ... tough on corners, tough on the causes of corners.'

    In fact, I'm further reliably informed he fully intends to clamp down on 45 degree angles in general.

    You heard it here first.

  5. Anonymous12:34 am

    You forgot Johnny Marr & the Healers take on it... I previously raised this very same track in your 'what does Nickel Creek's 'Speak' sound like, it's driving me mad' thread some considerable time back. It wasn't the right answer then either......

  6. Hold on a minute though, don't forget the venerable Lindisfarne:

    and don't get me started on Amen Corner. Or Alexis.

  7. Anonymous10:06 am

    Think the importance is due to the American obsession with laying out their streets in a Grid System.