Saturday, February 25, 2012

1000 SONGS -DAY 180: SONG # 211

DAY 180: One of my favourite melancholic songs

Handbags & Gladrags: I came to know that song through the version that has been done by Rod Stewart on his first album "An Old Raincoat Won't Ever Let You Down" back in 1970 (with Ronnie Wood on guitar and bass). This is still one of my (1000) fav albums today, whatever might have become of Rod. The song was written by Mike D'Abo who had been the vocalist in Manfred Mann from 1966-1969, replacing Paul Jones. He was the singer on all the hits of the band during their "Fontana Years", including the recently featured "Quinn the Eskimo" (Dylan). And he was the voice of King Herod in the original recording of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Rock Opera" Jesus Christ Superstar (w/ Ian Gillan of Deep Purple as the voice of the Son of God). Originally, the song was recorded by Chris Farlowe of Colosseum fame. This is why some people think that it has been written by Farlowe. The song is also known because of its use as the title song of the British sit-com "Office UK", in a version arranged by Big George. I start with the lyrics, after that you will find the versions done by Rod Stewart (Mike D'Abo plays the piano on that one) and Chris Farlowe, followed by one of the recordings Mike D'Abo has done of his composition. For completeness' sake, I end with the rendering of the song by the Welsh band Stereophonics (that is nearest to Rod's version but sounds a bit kitschy in my ears - I think the orchestral arrangement on Rod's album to be far better).

Ever seen a blind man cross the road
Trying to make the other side
Ever seen a young girl growing old
Trying to make herself a bride
So what becomes of you my love
When they have finally stripped you of
The handbags and the gladrags
That your Grandad had to sweat so you could buy

Once I was a young man
And all I thought I had to do was smile
You are still a young girl
And you bought everything in style
But once you think you're in you're out
'Cause you don't mean a single thing without
The handbags and the gladrags
That your Grandad had to sweat so you could buy

Sing a song of six-pence for your sake
And take a bottle full of rye
Four and twenty blackbirds in a cake
And bake them all in a pie

They told me you missed school today
So what I suggest you just throw them all away
The handbags and the gladrags
That your poor old Grandad had to sweat to buy

Rod Stewart's Version (still my fav one):

Chris Farlowe

Mike D'Abo's version (interestingly enough, it is the one I like the least among those):


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