Friday, 9 September 2011

Back to the Eighties

With unemployment approaching 15% in a dismal summer  it feels like the early 80's again in Dublin. One of the few positives of that era was the music - or maybe it's just seemed that way to this impressionable 17-year-old. The soundtrack to my studies was music from local bands on Dave Fanning's great radio show. With the exception of U2 they're all long gone and mostly forgotten, but thanks to this post on the excellent culture site Come Here To Me! I've been listening again to The Blades.

I think their best song was "Downmarket":  it captured the sombre mood of that time and place in three rocking minutes of guitars and horns. Sadly the lyrics probably ring true for many in the "black and white and grey" downmarket Dublin of 2011.




Downmarket
In an unfamilar bed
In a unfamiliar room
There’s a throbbing in my head
I’ve succeeded I presume


Everything’s black and white and grey
Living from day to day to day
I suppose I can’t be choosy, when there’s not too many choices
With the problems of the nation
I’m not waiting at an airport
I’m not waiting at a station
I’m standing at a bus stop. Downmarket. Downmarket.


On a rainy afternoon
On a gambling machine
Same old jukebox, same old tune
It’s hard to break this old routine


Everything’s black and white and grey
Living from day to day to day
It’s a fatal resignation, when there’s nothing left to hope for
In a hopeless situation
I’m not waiting at an airport
I’m not waiting at a station
I’m standing at a bus stop. Downmarket. Downmarket.

- Paul Cleary, 1981

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