30DSC: My Favourite Song

Day 1 of the 30 Day Song Challenge. Today, my favourite song.

Pulp – Common People

There’s something about Common People. It has a quality to it which is as shining as it is hard to pin down. I struggle to say exactly why I like it, but like it I do. I would though, wouldn’t I?

Music can be many things. It can be the pair of hands that rub your shoulders after a hard day at work. It can hold your hand when you’re feeling lonely; play with you when you’re having fun; be the shoulder you cry on when your heart is empty. It can be something you dance to, or something you listen to. For me, Common People has that rare distinction of being both a catchy pop tune and a lyrically meaningful piece of social commentary.

Let’s declare my interests here. I’m a bit of a leftie; a lot of a leftie actually. A big ol’ socialist, I was always going to love a song with lyrics like:

You’ll never live like common people,
you’ll never do what common people do,
you’ll never fail like common people,
you’ll never watch your life slide out of view,
and dance and drink and screw,
because there’s nothing else to do.

This a song which artfully dismisses the pretentious middle class kids who slum it up for a bit and think they have a grasp of poverty and disadvantage. It’s a song which is cheery despite dealing with desperation. If there’s one song which captures the zeitgeist of ’90s Britpop without getting all po-faced about it, it’s this.

Com’mon people, give it a listen.


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March 2011
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