Saturday, 27 March 2010

We do our best endeavours to keep our doobries clean



Ten years ago today, the world of music lost a unique talent. Mr Ian Robins Dury was an unexpected arrival on the music scene at the height of the punk era, arriving as he did as a pub singer fresh from art school, with songs with lyrics that actually made sense! Disabled by polio as a child, he struck a distinctively unusual figure, all wobbly and wielding his walking stick as a prop - part Bill Sykes, part decadent dandy.

It was with his lyrical talents however, adeptly served by the uber-talented Chaz Jankel's music, that he rose above the crowd and became the "national treasure" we all remember so fondly. New Boots And Panties is even today (quite rightly) regarded as a masterpiece, and regularly features at the upper end of "all-time best album" ratings. Mr Dury's hits are all instantly familiar - Sex and Drugs and Rock'n'Roll, What A Waste, Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick, Reasons To Be Cheerful, Pt. 3 among them. Whenever they come on the jukebox, generations later even people who weren't around at the height of his success will immediately sing along. How to choose between them, however?

I am particularly fond of this one, with all its subtlety:


However, this is undoubtedly my all time favourite.


You're not Bridget Bardot, I'm not Jack Palance.
I'm not Shirley Temple by any circumstance,
Or Fred Astaire

You're not Sidney Tafler, I'm not Dirk Bogarde.
I'm not very stylish, and you're not avant garde,
Or Lionel Blair

We're as common as muck.
Bon chance, viel glück, good luck
Where bold is beautiful, we don't give a damn
Luvva duck, we're as common as muck.

You're not Victor Hugo, I'm not Patience Strong,
I'm not Rodney Rygate or Yvonne Goolagong.
Shirley Abicair, Oh!

I'm not Nellie Melba, you're not Nellie Dean
We do our best endeavours to keep our doobries clean
Because we care!

We're as common as muck.
Buona fortuna, vayas con Dios, Good luck!
Where bold is beautiful, we don't give a damn.
Luvva duck, We're as common as muck.

We're as common as muck.
Bon chance, viel glück, Good luck!
Where bold is beautiful, we don't give a damn.
Luvva duck! We're as common as muck.


And just by way of a perfect tribute, here is the wonderfully weird Nina Hagen with her version of Mr Dury's most successful number:


Jools Holland's biography of Ian Dury

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