Thursday, February 08, 2024

Cleaners from Venus, "Denmark Street"

 So I've been listening to a lot of Cleaners from Venus lately--that being the name that poet/musician Martin Newell uses to record.  He's not prominent enough that his lyrics are consistently available online, so here's a song I've been sort of preoccupied with.  I don't know what "me, Queen Matilda, and Captain Ray" [Wray?] means, but I find it strangely evocative.  Anyway here, it is:

No Queen Matilda to ease the trials

Of Celtic drunks with broken smiles

Who miss their station by several hundred miles

Asking "where are the fields of Saint Giles?"

The street of starlets who stop to say

"I'm going to make it some day"

Where all the lepers got rich or ran away

Leaving me, Queen Matilda, and Captain Ray

In every window a song for sale

Whistled by the milkman can't fail

You get that hook line you find the holy grail

There's a check for you later it's in the mail

And David Bowie is on the way

The ambulance has gone today

But don't you worry I think he did okay

Now it's me, Queen Matilda, and Captain Ray

Some boy could have been me

Been apprehended by the CID

Looks old but he's twenty-three

Down Tin Pan Alley seeking sanctuary

There's music leaking from underground

Somebody's madness turned into sound

To get them dancing all over London town

This is rags into riches the wrong way round

Now Machiavelli drops by to say

Penny for your tunes boys eh hey

It's never happened in any other way

Not for me, Queen Matilda, and Captain Ray


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