Wednesday, June 5, 2013

"45 45's until I'm 45" (#42/45)


Good morning loveys,

another classic for you today, which, I'm sure, you all know by heart and love without reservation.

There ain't many songs whith lyrics as disturbing and frightening as this one, I always thought. What I didn't know so far is that I'm not alone in thinking so, in fact there are people who are even more disturbed than I am ....as this thread shows:

I heard 'Down In The Tube Station At Midnight' by The Jam for the first time in years the other day, and was horrified to find that I could sing along to all the lyrics. It also occured to me for the first time ever that if our narrator IS down in the tube station at midnight, isn't it a bit strange for his wife to be "lining up the cutlery, polishing the glasses and pulling out the cork" at that late hour?
-- Andrew L (andrewlittlefiel...), February 1st, 2002 1:00 AM.Also why on earth has he decided to go to a pub a half hour away from the tube? -- Tom (ebro...), February 1st, 2002 1:00 AM.Also why on earth has he decided to go to a pub a half hour away from the tube? Not really, he could have been meeting friends in south east London. -- N. (nickdastoo...), February 1st, 2002 1:00 AM.Also why on earth has he decided to go to a pub a half hour away from the tube? Because he is Paul Weller = because he is a thicko. -- Nicole (ndwillet...), February 1st, 2002 1:00 AM.Is it possible he is at the destination station, rather than the embarking one, as Tom assumes? The only thing that makes me think not is that he's faffing around buying plums in vending machines, which he surely wouldn't be doing if he was almost home and worrried about his curry going cold. -- N. (nickdastoo...), February 1st, 2002 1:00 AM. Did tube stations at any point have plum vending machines? -- Tom (ebro...), February 1st, 2002 1:00 AM.I don't know. This part puzzles me. -- N. (nickdastoo...), February 1st, 2002 1:00 AM.it would have been even longer than half an hour too. back in the day were not last orders EVEN EARLIER! -- Alan Trewartha (alantrewarth...), February 1st, 2002 1:00 AM.Maybe he did that thing where you fall asleep on the tube and end up going all the way to the end of the line and then have to come back again? I of course have never done this but know people who have snoozed past Finsbury Park, ended up in Walthamstow and gone bouncing backwards and forwards on the Victoria line for much of the night. -- Emma (emmaluvscak...), February 1st, 2002 1:00 AM.Hang on a minute. I've just realised that at no point in the song does he even say he has been to the pub. Tom has just projected his own life onto Weller's protagonist. He's probably just been working really late at the office. No, hang on, this is the 1970s and that kind of thing didn't happen. OK, he's been shagging his secretary in some grotty hotel room. -- N. (nickdastoo...), February 1st, 2002 1:00 AM.Now you are projecting YOUR life onto the song, N.. -- Edna Welthorpe, Mrs (edna_welthorp...), February 1st, 2002 1:00 AM.

isn't it a bit strange for his wife to be "lining up the cutlery, polishing the glasses and pulling out the cork" at that late hour?
The only plausible reason I can think of for this is that the narrator is an observant Jew and he's heading home for Shabbat dinner (which doesn't start until after sundown, which would place this scenario around early summer). That would explain the wine as well...but still, that would place dinner no later than 9:30 pm or so. (It would have to be Kosher curry takeaway in this scenario.)mike a, Thursday, 2 September 2004 19:25 (8 years ago) Permalink
 
Also, the lyrics never say it's bubbly. The wife could be pulling the cork off some cheap jug for all we know. Maybe that works better with the curry, I'm no culinary expert.ccconor, Thursday, 2 September 2004 19:25 (8 years ago) Permalink
 
It could be fizzy wine? Perhaps a sparkiling shiraz?
the music mole (colin s barrow), Thursday, 2 September 2004 20:15 (8 years ago) Permalink
 
Mike - microwave?? This is the 70s. They were largely the preserve of the catering industry at that time, in the UK at least. Also, the lyrics never say it's bubbly. One would assume it was once from the line "The wine will be flat and the curry's gone cold". I suppose he could just be generally moaning that his wife will have bought unsparkling wine again.Alba (Alba), Thursday, 2 September 2004 20:39 (8 years ago) Permalink
and cold curries. That would be a raita and... what other cold curries are there?
the music mole (colin s barrow), Thursday, 2 September 2004 20:43 (8 years ago) Permalink
 
the curry's cold because it's been lying next to his unconscious body since midnight.sexyDancer, Thursday, 2 September 2004 20:50 (8 years ago) Permalink
 
It's a fucking riduculous idea to be taking home curries on the Tube anyway. Hasn't he seen those signs about no smelly food?Alba (Alba), Thursday, 2 September 2004 20:57 (8 years ago) Permalink
 
Maybe that's why he got beat down.sexyDancer, Thursday, 2 September 2004 20:57 (8 years ago) Permalink
 
Hang on - I suddenly understand the whole thing! He hasn't been on a tube at all - he's just popped out for a take away and used the underground station subway as a short cut. That's why it's only a distant echo of trains. Alba (Alba), Thursday, 2 September 2004 20:59 (8 years ago) Permalink
 
Maybe the plum is on a fruit machine. But then what tube stations have fruit machines?Billy Dods (Billy Dods), Thursday, 2 September 2004 21:00 (8 years ago) Permalink
 
OK, that explains everything except the plum vending mystery.Alba (Alba), Thursday, 2 September 2004 21:00 (8 years ago) Permalink
 
I don't know. It was the 70s. Things were weird.Alba (Alba), Thursday, 2 September 2004 21:01 (8 years ago) Permalink
 
The curry would've got cold long before he arrived home. This is midnight in London! I hope they have a microwave. Not that it matters now.the music mole (colin s barrow), Thursday, 2 September 2004 21:06 (8 years ago) Permalink
 
There's no sodding microwave. Why won't you listen to me? I'm bored with this whole stupid thing.Alba (Alba), Thursday, 2 September 2004 21:07 (8 years ago) Permalink
 
Could have been worse - he could have been attempting to unobtrusively chaperone a fish supper onto the night bus.
Neil Willett (Neil Willett), Thursday, 2 September 2004 21:12 (8 years ago) Permalink

The above are just excerpts, reading the whole thread made my day, believe me!

But enough of that, here's one of the finest songs of our time, your number forty-two, friends. Enjoy:

 
Polydor - POSP 8 (1978)

Cheers,

Dirk

3 comments:

The Robster said...

Yes, great song, but that comments thread is just hilarious!

Swiss Adam said...

brilliant Dirk, fucking brilliant.

Lee Thacker said...

Only just discovered yr blog - loving the countdown tracks - great stuff - I'm sure Peelie would approve!