A Bit Like You And Me Radio

September 21, 2016

The Who - A Quick One, While He's Away (1966)

As Pete Townshend explained in his 2012 autobiography, Who I Am, he and his band, The Who, were in need of about ten minutes worth of songs in order to have enough material for their second album. Being the group’s only songwriter at the time, Townshend went to work. What was eventually created was a sort of “mini-opera.” The song is broken up into six parts and tells the story of a woman whose significant other has been gone for “nigh on a year.” Her friends set her up with another man, Ivor the Engine Driver, whom she eventually sleeps with. When her significant other finally returns, she’s overwhelmed with guilt, admits to her infidelity, and is ultimately forgiven. The six parts are:

I.“Her Man’s Been Gone”
II.“Crying Town”
III.“We Have a Remedy”
IV.“Ivor the Engine Driver”
V.“Soon Be Home”
VI.“You Are Forgiven”

That story, according to Townshend, was loosely based on his own childhood. When young, Townshend was sent by his parents to live with his grandmother, Denny. Denny lived near a train station and would often bring random men home. Although unclear on the details, Townshend is relatively sure that one or more of these men abused him- memories which he blocked out at a young age. The “twin girl” mentioned in the song, in real life, was Townshend’s imaginary friend.

The final part of the song, “You Are Forgiven,” was Townshend’s way of forgiving everyone involved in his childhood drama: his parents for abandoning him with his grandmother; his grandmother for bringing strangers into her home; and ultimately, himself. Townshend stated in his autobiography that when he performed the song live, he would always go into a wild frenzy, striking his guitar as hard as he could, when each “you are forgiven” was sung.

According to John Entwistle, The Who's bassist, "We wanted to put cellos on the track but [record producer] Kit Lambert said we couldn’t afford it. That’s why we sing 'cello, cello, cello, cello' where we thought they should be." The "mini-opera" idea became an obsession to Townshend, inspiring him to write the rock opera Tommy.


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The Who - A Quick One, While He's Away (1966)

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Lyrics:


Her man’s been gone
For nearly a year
He was due home yesterday
But he ain’t here

Her man’s been gone
For nigh on a year
He was due home yesterday
But he ain’t here

Down your street, your cryin’ is a well-known sound
Your street is very well known, right here in town
Your town is very famous for the little girl
Whose cries can be heard all around the world

We have a remedy
You’ll appreciate
No need to be so sad
He’s only late

We’ll bring you flowers and things
Help pass your time
We’ll give him eagle’s wings
Then he can fly to you

We have a remedy
We have a remedy
We have a remedy
We have a remedy

We have a remedy?
We have!

Little girl, why don’t you stop your crying?
I’m gonna make you feel all right

My name is Ivor
I’m an engine driver

I know him well
I know why you feel blue
Just ‘cause he’s late
Don’t mean he’ll never get through

He told me he loves you
He ain’t no liar; I ain’t either
So let’s have a smile for an old engine driver
So let’s have a smile for an old engine driver

Please take a sweet
(Take a sweet)
Come take a walk with me
(Walk with me)
We’ll sort it out
(Sort it out)
Back at my place, maybe
(Back at my place, maybe)

It’ll come right
You ain’t no fool; I ain’t either
So why not be nice to an old engine driver?
Better be nice to an old engine driver
Better be nice to an old engine driver

We’ll soon be home
We’ll soon be home
We’ll soon
We’ll soon, soon, soon be home

We’ll soon be home
We’ll soon be home
We’ll soon
We’ll soon, soon, soon be home

Come on, old horse

Soon be home
Soon be home
Soon
We’ll soon, soon, soon be home

We’ll soon
Soon, soon, soon be home

We’ll soon be home
Soon be home

Dang, dang, dang, dang, dang, dang, dang, dang

Cello, cello, cello, cello
Cello, cello, cello, cello
Cello, cello, cello, cello
Cello, cello, cello, cello
Cello, cello, cello, cello
Cello, cello, cello, cello

I can’t believe it
Do my eyes deceive me?
Am I back in your arms
Away from all harm?

It’s like a dream to be with you again
Can’t believe that I’m with you again

I missed you and I must admit
I kissed a few and once did sit
On Ivor the Engine Driver’s lap
And later, with him, had a nap

You are forgiven
(You are forgiven)
You are forgiven
(You are forgiven)
You are forgiven
(You are forgiven)
You are forgiven
(You are forgiven)
You are forgiven
(You are forgiven)
You are forgiven
(You are forgiven)
You are forgiven
(You are forgiven)
Forgiven
Forgiven
Forgiven
(You are forgiven)
Forgiven
Forgiven
Forgiven
(You are forgiven)
Forgiven
Forgiven
Forgiven
(You are forgiven)
Forgiven
Forgiven
(You are forgiven)
Forgiven
(You are forgiven)
Forgiven
(You are forgiven)

(You are forgiven)

(You are forgiven)
You are forgiven
(You are forgiven)
You’re forgiven

August 31, 2016

Aphrodite's Child - Babylon (1972)

This Greek group first came together in 1967 and began as a backing band named “Vangelis and his Orchestra” after their lead member and multi-instrumentalist, Vangelis Papathanassiou. Although it wasn’t a smooth process, the band left their home country of Greece, which was under a newly formed dictatorship, and recorded their first album (End of the World, October 1968) in Paris, France. Their second and third albums were recorded in London, England. It was during the recording of their third album, 666, when the band members began to find new, separate interests and come apart from one another. The band’s lead vocalist, Demis Roussos, for example, had become more interested in pursuing a solo career. Vangelis, on the other hand, had begun recording scores for television documentaries. He, too, would pursue a solo career and became renowned for his electronic music. Vangelis also worked on numerous film scores, most notably winning an Oscar for his score for the film Chariots of Fire. Although you may not recognize the name, you’d probably recognize the main track. By the time of 666’s release in June 1972, the band had already broken up.

The song heard below is the second track on the band’s final album, 666. It was written by Vangelis Papathanassiou and had lyrics contributed by Costas Ferris. Although it sounds live, the crowd noise was layered behind the song. Lyrically, the song introduces the apocalyptic theme found throughout the album. Although not a chart-topper when released, the album is now considered a classic, as well as one of the first concept albums.

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Aphrodite's Child - Babylon (1972)

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Lyrics:

Fallen, fallen, fallen
Is Babylon the great
Space is getting bounded
Time is getting late
Getting late

Masters fall and wonder
People rise and wait
Fallen, fallen, fallen
Is Babylon the great

You don't need a coin
I don't have to shine
We don't know the reason

But, I need you madly
And you need me too
And we need each other
Need each other
Need each other

Fallen, fallen, fallen
Is Babylon the great
Space is getting bounded
Time is getting late
Getting late

Masters fall and wonder
People rise and wait
Fallen, fallen, fallen
Is Babylon the great

You don't need a coin
I don't have to shine
We don't know the reason

But, I need you madly
And you need me too
And we need each other
Need each other
Need each other

August 24, 2016

Little John and The Monks - Black Winds (1965)

The original lead singer of this band, Tom Davis, was born in Scotland, but moved to Klamath Falls, Oregon in 1963. There, he started a band called The Nomads which were soon offered an opportunity to audition with Jerden Records in Eugene, Oregon. Once in Eugene, Davis was solicited by a teenager-attracting nightclub owner to front a new band. Davis accepted the offer and the band he joined became the one featured today, who are not to be confused with the similarly named band of American GIs stationed in Germany.

The song heard below, written and sung by Tom Davis, was recorded in November 1965 but possibly not released until 1967. Information is difficult to find. The track was the A-Side of the only single the band ever put out, and it was backed on the B-Side with a cover of “Needles and Pins.” Although the song was never given the proper push needed to make a dent on the charts, it’s hard to imagine the radio stations of the day would have been comfortable playing its dark lyrics.

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Little John and The Monks - Black Winds (1965)

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Lyrics:

Black winds, take this soul of mine
Take me to the dark below
Lord, I want to die
In the night, I killed my love
Black winds, take away my life
Oh, Lord, let me die

Now, there was a girl I loved
Caught her with another man
Killed them both with my knife
Now the black winds blow
Black winds, take away my life
Oh, Lord, let me die

Now, I could hear the same things
That broke my heart
Yes, she did
Things that she said
Only to him

I pulled my knife
And crying her name
I stood before them
And now their blood
Lies on the ground

Black winds, take this soul of mine
Take me to the dark below
Lord, I want to die
In the night, I killed my love
Black winds, take away my life
Oh, Lord, let me die

Oh, Lord, let me die
Let me die