Tuesday, 10 May 2011

WRITING ADVICE - LEARN FROM LYRICS Elbow - 'Lippy Kids'




Lippy kids on the corner again.
Lippy kids on the corner
begin settling like crows.
Though I never perfected the simian stroll
the cigarette senate, it was everything then.

Do they know those days are golden?
Build a rocket boys!
Build a rocket boys!

One long June, I came down from the trees.
And kerbstone cool
You were freshly-painted angel.
Walking on walls
stealing booze and hour-long hungry kisses
Nobody knew me at home anymore.

Build a rocket boys!
Build a rocket boys!
Build a rocket boys!

Lippy kids on the corner again.
Lippy kids on the corners
begin settling like crows.
And I never effected that simian stroll.
No

(whistle)

Do they know those days are golden?
Build a rocket boys!
Build a rocket boys!

One long June, I came down from the trees
And, kerbstone cool
You were freshly-painted angel.
Walking on walls
stealing booze and hour-long hungry kisses
Nobody knew me at home anymore.


And nobody knows me at home anymore.
Build a rocket boys!
Build a rocket boys!

Elbow’s success came late. Their popularity grew from One Day Like This a song that must have more than a nod in Twilight’s direction.
Elbow’s lyrics always rejoice in the details. 
In the track, Lippy Kids, the band captures the unconscious highlights of youth being young:
        gathering on corners
        perching, unwanted, on walls
        the "simian stroll" of teenage boys
        kerbcool over kerbappeal

Lippy kids, still young enough to walk on walls but old enough to revel in kisses that last so long the flavours change.

"Do they know these days are golden?" 
"Build a rocket, boys!"

I have to agree with Guy Garvey: if the days are golden enjoy every moment of spending them wisely - invest in the components you will need to make sure you can build a rocket and blast off to somewhere you really want to go.

What advice would you give to a Lippy Teen?
I tend to go with "Don't forget to do 'some' work."

5 comments:

  1. You're right about the detailed lyrics in this one. I've always loved a line from another song on this subject "Striking matches just to watch them burn." It so captures that sense of youth, hanging out with nothing to do.

    I'd also tell those lippy kids not to wait until they're in their twenties to chase their dreams...by then there are too many other peers who've already caught the good ones.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I thought that perhaps when he talked about June and coming down from the tree it was later in life than the boys gathered on corners like crows, partly because the harmony texture changed there.

    But I like your interpretation of the lyrics.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I always told my son 'Enjoy life, but keep one eye on the future'. Only now he keeps telling me 'I wish I had tried hard when I was at school'.
    Bless him, he's only 23 yrs, but they never listen until it's too late. At least he's still young enough to try hard now.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Jennifer
    The striking matches lyric is a great one - the fast and furious brightness of youth :)
    Chasing every kind of dream cannot start too young.

    Hi Angela
    I think he is linking the thought of childish play (adventurous and literally climbing the trees) being played off against the idea of maturing to the point of evolution to a semi-wild thing.

    Hi Jamara
    Enjoy life is great advice. Clawing back is easier when so little time has passed. But I think you are right to say that it is never too late to learn :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hehehe I love the lyrics. My advice is that they should enjoy it and stop wishing to grow up. :-)

    ReplyDelete