A Bit Like You And Me Radio

May 30, 2012

Magna Carta - Romeo Jack (1969)

Having been performing for over thirty-five years, this London group first got together in April 1969 surrounding musician Chris Simpson. Simpson, after attending college and before forming the group, was working odd-jobs while doing gigs at night. He once had the pleasure (and luck) to open for Cream. That night, Eric Clapton hadn’t brought any guitar picks with him and Simpson gave him his. As a means of gratitude, Clapton allowed Simpson to use Cream’s stage gear. Simpson recalled that Clapton “came out with a beautiful lady and danced to our set.”

Written by Simpson, this song comes from the group’s debut album, Magna Carta / Times of Change. Besides Simpson, who was on guitar and vocals, it featured Lyell Tranter on guitar/vocals and Glen Stuart on vocals. The album didn’t reach the success of their next release, Seasons, but still went silver (sold over 60,000 copies).

EDIT: Lyrics completed by Peter from Peter's Power Pop. Thank you!

album art

Magna Carta - Romeo Jack (1969)

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Lyrics:

The wind blows the ashes of summer
And pulls at a torn paper face on the hoarding
And a marmalade cat with dark mangled ears
Slips through the fence without speaking

This was my world, alone
Football and marbles and coming home late if you dare
I look at the face in the mirror
I know it so well
But I don't know at all

And the child books are weary
Faint on the shelves
And the things that were precious
Now dusty

This was my yesterday
And the friends that I knew have all gone
Now, and now
Now is the time
For the leaving

In the corner, she sits by the fire
And seeks for the words that somehow elude her
And a yesterday face with the Kitchener mustache
Looks down, faded brown, from the mantelpiece

This is her world alone
A blue cotton dress
And the man on the cross on the wall

"Oh, why must you go?" were the words that she found
"There's a job with a paperback firm
Five minutes away and the pay is real good
And the prospects get better, they say"

"How can I tell you now?
'Goodbye' must be all I can say"
Now, and now
Now is the time
For the leaving

Now, and now
Now is the time
For the leaving

4 comments:

  1. Howdy, Zolland.

    I've had a listen to the song, and I think these would be the correct lyrics (with a few explanations afterwards):

    ----------------------------------

    The wind blows the ashes of summer
    And pulls at a torn paper face on the hoarding
    And a marmalade cat with dark mangled ears
    Slips through the fence without speaking

    This was my world, alone
    Football and marbles and coming home late if you dare
    I look at the face in the mirror
    I know it so well
    But I don't know at all

    And the child books are weary
    Faint on the shelves
    And the things that were precious
    Now dusty

    This was my yesterday
    And the friends that I knew have all gone
    Now, and now
    Now is the time
    For the leaving

    In the corner, she sits by the fire
    And seeks for the words that somehow elude her
    And a yesterday face with the Kitchener moustache
    Looks down, faded brown, from the mantelpiece

    This is her world alone
    A blue cotton dress
    And the man on the cross on the wall

    "Oh, why must you go?" were the words that she found
    "There's a job with a paperback firm
    Five minutes away and the pay is real good
    And the prospects get better, they say"

    "How can I tell you now?
    'Goodbye' must be all I can say"
    Now, and now
    Now is the time
    For the leaving

    Now, and now
    Now is the time
    For the leaving

    ----------------------------------

    HOARDING: A hoarding is a temporary fence around a building. (Definition here.)

    CHILD BOOKS: It sounds more likely to me that there would be children's books that are faint on shelves.

    KITCHENER MOUSTACHE: Named after Lord Kitchener, whose moustache was instantly recognisable to the British in the 19th century due to his face being used for the "Your Country Needs You!" armed forces recruitment drive.

    GOODBYE: It sounds like "Goodbye" to me (and it makes the most sense given the song's subject matter).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, thank you! That's the most informative and helpful comment I think I've ever received. And the fact that you gave reasons for your edits is great. Everything you said makes perfect sense. I'm definitely going to change them to your version and I'll be sure to leave your comment up so you receive the credit. Thanks again!

      Delete
    2. You're more than welcome, Zolland. I was happy to be able to help.

      Delete
  2. In an idle moment I remembered this song from my long-ago teens, put the first two lines in Google and this page appeared! Many thanks for posting it.

    ReplyDelete