Friday, January 25, 2013

1979: I'm only here to please you

Yes, it first hit the charts in 1978, but it was around this time in 1979 that this song was on heavy rotation. I loved it then as I love it now.

I found myself singing it in the shower this morning - I'm word perfect, obviously. It's one of those songs that I inexplicably find quite moving, and I especially like the bits where the controller - who to me will always be Stan Harvey from Crossroads - does the responses. I heard it on the radio recently and was horrified to note the West Midlands accent had been swapped for an American one. Is it Brummie-ist, perhaps?

What strikes me about this song when over-thinking it, is how quick it all happens. Bear with. His 'girl' left him in the middle of a fight 'last night', and made her home pretty rapidly at 83 Royal Gardens. She must have been staying with a friend - flats don't get rented in a matter of hours, not in that neighbourhood anyway. Perhaps she wanted her post forwarding or something, because it's good of her to tell him where she was going. She obviously didn't want him out of her life altogether, hence calling the taxi the next day. She secretly hoped he'd be her driver. Either that or she hoped to flee the country and that taxi was for Birmingham Ringway. I bet she had a pink nylon nightie in her suitcase.

So what was the row about? How he should give up the taxi driving and find a more lucrative career? That she'd asked him time and again to put those shelves up and she'd finally snapped? She encountered resistance when trying to get to grips with his wardrobe? I imagine she was on her way to being a high-flyer and found they were moving in different directions. She needed security and long-term prospects, neither of which he could provide. He clearly loved her more than she loved him, but was clearly far too needy. He should have tried his hand at singing instead. Princess Anne was reportedly a fan, and if it's good enough for Anne, etc.

Anyhoo, what does it remind me of? Nothing much really. Making 'drinking chocolate' in the low-lit kitchen, knowing it would be bedtime in about half an hour (9.30 for me in those days, and sometimes these days too, but this time it's out of choice and necessity). Yes, we were all cupping hands in those days.

My parents came to stay recently and asked if we had any hot chocolate or Horlicks or even Bournvita. My response was no, because we weren't 75 years old. Then I remembered how I made those and others for myself way back when, but mainly I think it was a bedtime delaying tactic. I've not even thought about such beverages since, unless I've in Austria or somewhere chocolate-appropriate. It wouldn't occur to me to make or order them otherwise. I'm too busy tanking down the wine.

Anyway, after perhaps the dullest post this blog has ever seen - and, lets face it, there's some stiff competition, sit back and imagine you're avoiding 83 Royal Gardens too, though I'm going on Google maps shortly in an effort to track it down.


  1. God, I remember this well, though I haven't though about it in years. I found it really depressing at the time - I think I assumed he was about to kill himself.

    I always was a bit over-analytical.

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