Saturday, 15 October 2011

GUEST SPOT # 20 - Roddy Frame - Small World

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Roddy Frame - Small World (2002)

The second of this weeks guest spots goes to 'er indoors, Sophie. A fabulous and moving song which reminds us of some pretty tough times. Made worse now, by the fact that what Roddy was singing about wasn't what we thought. An easy mistake to make, we've all done it...Still there are those Star Wars references! If any of you have misinterpreted any lyrics then let us know in the comments!!

The North Circular, Halloween and Roddy Frame

For a couple of exhausting years, I worked for Lidl, the discount retailer. As a District Manager, I clocked up thousands of miles a year, travelling across London and the South East, visiting stores and carrying out various duties at the regional head office, located on the industrial banks of the Thames in Kent.

Part of the role involved covert operations:  following lorries delivering to stores at night (to ensure goods weren’t offloaded halfway) and testing the security of the warehouse by walking in, taking a case of (very cheap) whiskey and seeing if anyone stopped to challenge us.
This was all endorsed by the Powers That Be and, although I did experience a slight frisson from this pseudo-foray into the criminal underworld, it largely involved spending cold and lonely hours in various dodgy locations in my trusty Passat, wishing I was tucked up bed at home.

And so I found myself after one such late visit, on the North Circular, near Barking I think. A grim stretch of road at the best of times but truly bleak at midnight on the 31st October after another 18 hour day.

I was listening to the radio and this song came on. I’d heard it before and loved it so much that I bought the album, Surf, which is still one of my favourites.
It contains the line “floating in a car, past the gates of Must Destroy Dot Com”. I always thought this must be a US company as I had never heard of them before but imagine my surprise when, at the very point Roddy was singing the words, I glanced to my right and saw a large warehouse with these words emblazoned on the side!
As it was, the song’s lyrics really summed up the loneliness I felt during that time and that night, which was coincidentally Halloween , they took on new significance – Spooky!!
It gave me great comfort and I like to think that some friendly spirits were watching down on me, seeing me safely home without falling asleep at the wheel.

Before writing this post, I googled Must and can only find one reference to a document disposal business but no evidence it still exists.
Then I thought I’d check the lyrics of the song. Turns out, Roddy and I were singing completely different words...Gutted.

Sorry love, you thought I wrote what?
Anyway, the album is brilliant – his lyrics are gorgeous, although I think my version of Small World is much better...

Roddy Frame - Small World

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GUEST SPOT # 20 - Roddy Frame - Small World
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15 October 2011 at 08:20

Great story, great song, 'excuse me while i kiss this guy', should be 'excuse me while I kiss the sky'...I was sort of dissapointed, but Jimi kissing blokes, its not right, is it?

15 October 2011 at 09:11

I love this song and remember it all well but don't worry about not getting the lyrics right, I think I've done worse. For years I thought the chorus to Enya's Orinoco Flow was 'save the whale' and not the stupid and correct 'sail away'. The truth was a bitter blow during my pseudo hippie days.

15 October 2011 at 10:15

This is a fabulous song from a fabulous album. 'Surf' is quite probably in my all time top 10 albums ever. Roddy Frame is an unsung genius. I'm so glad someone else loves it too.

18 October 2011 at 19:40

I've never heard this before and coupled with you're story of a desolate and lonely drive home Soph, they go hand in hand. I didn't catch the Star Wars references so must make sure I listen a few more times!

Lyrics I think I'm not alone in getting wrong would be from "The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight" by REM. Born in Jamaica! I was really disappointed when a radio DJ solved the mystery of the lyrics once when I was in the car with my dad. Sometimes you just don't want to know!

18 October 2011 at 20:38

the very first line of the song goes 'laser beams set to stun'..etc

Billie Jean for me too...'but Chad is not my son'(but the kid is not my son) I was glad this time when I found out as I was nonplussed by the name and it made more sense.