Saturday, 21 September 2013

I took her to a supermarket. I don't know why, but I had to start it somewhere









Ah, another "fabulous at fifty" birthday happened this week (on Thursday) - the marvellous singer, songwriter and latterly BBC Radio 6 DJ Mr Jarvis Cocker!

Indubitably eccentric, Mr Cocker's blend of poetry and music has elevated him from the cynical world of BritPop in the early honeymoon days of Tony Blair and his "Cool Britannia" phase to something resembling an "indie icon" (in the vein of Morrissey or Ray Davies).

It is, of course, for the classic Common People for which he is forever applauded...



She came from Greece, she had a thirst for knowledge
She studied sculpture at Saint Martins College
That's where I caught her eye
She told me that her dad was loaded
I said, "In that case I'll have rum and Coca-Cola"
She said, "Fine"
And then in thirty seconds' time, she said

"I wanna live like common people
I wanna do whatever common people do
Wanna sleep with common people
I wanna sleep with common people like you"
Oh, what else could I do?
I said, "I'll, I'll see what I can do"

I took her to a supermarket
I don't know why, but I had to start it somewhere
So it started there
I said: "Pretend you've got no money"
And she just laughed and said, "Oh, you're so funny."
I said, "Yeah?
Huh, I can't see anyone else smiling in here
Are you sure

You wanna live like common people
You wanna see whatever common people see
Wanna sleep with common people
You wanna sleep with common people like me?"
But she didn't understand
She just smiled and held my hand

Rent a flat above a shop
Cut your hair and get a job
Smoke some fags and play some pool
Pretend you never went to school
But still you'll never get it right
'Cos when you're laying in bed at night
Watching roaches climb the wall
If you called your dad he could stop it all, yeah

You'll never live like common people
You'll never do whatever common people do
Never fail like common people
You'll never watch your life slide out of view
And then dance and drink and screw
Because there's nothing else to do

Sing along with the common people
Sing along and it might just get you through
Laugh along with the common people
Laugh along even though they're laughing at you
And the stupid things that you do
Because you think that poor is cool

Like a dog lying in a corner
They will bite you and never warn you
Look out, they'll tear your insides out
'Cos everybody hates a tourist
Especially one who thinks it's all such a laugh
Yeah, and the chip stains and grease
Will come out in the bath

You will never understand
How it feels to live your life
With no meaning or control
And with nowhere left to go
You are amazed that they exist
And they burn so bright
Whilst you can only wonder why

Rent a flat above a shop
Cut your hair and get a job
Smoke some fags and play some pool
Pretend you never went to school
But still you'll never get it right
'Cos when you're laying in bed at night
Watching roaches climb the wall
If you called your Dad he could stop it all, yeah

Never live like common people
Never do what common people do
Never fail like common people
Never watch your life slide out of view
And then dance and drink and screw
Because there's nothing else to do

Wanna live with common people like you
Wanna live with common people like you
Wanna live with common people like you
Wanna live with common people like you
Wanna live with common people like you
Wanna live with common people like you
Wanna live with common people like you, la la la la
Ooh, la la la la
Ooh, la la la la
Ooh, la la-la-la la-la
Oh, yeah


Facts about Mr Cocker:
  • After that notorious incident at the Brit Awards in 1995, when Jarvis bared his arse at the ludicrously posturing Michael Jackson on stage ([It was] "a form of protest at the way Michael Jackson sees himself as some kind of Christ-like figure with the power of healing", he said), with comedian Bob Mortimer acting as his solicitor he was released without charge.
  • When Pulp split in 2002 he briefly assumed the persona of “Darren Spooner”, fronting the avant garde electro duo Relaxed Muscle.
  • He fronted the wizard rock band in 2005’s Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
  • With French film director Michel Gondry and Belgian musician Arno Hintjens, he appeared in a surreal marketing campaign for Eurostar's sponsorship of the Olympics in 2012.
  • He wrote one of my all-time fave songs Walk Like A Panther for the All-Seeing Eye featuring Tony Christie (first featured here back in 2008).



Many happy returns to am avant garde superstar!

Jarvis Branson Cocker (born 19th September 1963)

3 comments:

  1. I never could stand him (or Pulp). That said, I must admit that I did like "Disco 2000" and both "This Is Hardcore" and "Common People" are pretty good songs. Had the whole Britpop thing not happened, I'm pretty sure I would have had more tolerance for Pulp - but as it turned out, for me, only Suede really managed to get past the Britpop stigma. Perhaps now I might be ready to appreciate Pulp a little more...

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    Replies
    1. They had some very good moments indeed, but I can't pretend to have ever been fanatical about Pulp. However Mr Cocker is a very talented chap, and I have rather warmed to him over the years (especially when he pricked that whole Jackson bubble)... Jx

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  2. I don't know who was more tasteless at the Brit's that year...

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