Tuesday, February 5, 2008


Listen to Dead End Street by The Kinks.

I'm going to lay off any heavy class-warfare analysis of this song. Suffice it to say, it's in there and it's pretty effective. Ray, as is his wont, makes the listener feel like he's right there in the room with the unfortunate subjects of his song ("What are we living for? Two-roomed apartment on the second floor" and "On a cold and frosty morning, wipe my eyes and stop me yawning" are particularly effective). What strikes me most about this song is Ray's use of food and drink to describe his protagonists' situation. "A Sunday joint of bread and honey" and "Boil the tea and put some toast on" are such vivid, yet economical ways of saying that they're down to eating bread and water. Also, I've often wondered if a "joint" of bread and honey (or jam, etc) is a common enough British phrase or if Ray was (again?) using drug lingo a la "blazin' on a sunny afternoon"? I'm sure he wasn't, but I kind of like to think of it in that way. I also like the thin veil Ray drapes over his songs when he is really writing about himself, and often his brother. As in "Two Sisters", this song seems to be a warding off of danger. I think you can hear the paranoia here--that this "Dead End Street" could easily be the one in which he and his brother live together, no doubt miserably.

Anyway, this song is a rousing call to arms and it gains considerable power from the ensemble yelling of "Dead End!", which Rasa was presumably part of.

Photo: Practice Space.


1 comment:

Laura said...

oh, please take that picture down