Lyrically Evocative (19)

The Beautiful South was a British group, popular from 1989 until they split in 2007. It was formed by two members of The Housemartins, Paul Heaton and Dave Hemingway. They used various female vocalists over the years, and had a small string of hits, mainly in the UK. A distinctive style, quirky songs and arrangements, and a very English feel brought them some success, and a large fan base. I used to enjoy their very different records, and although they never made it to the ‘big time’, they continued to release their songs on and off over those years. One song from their debut album in 1989 has always stayed with me. ‘A Song For Whoever’ is a gentle ballad that contains one of my all-time favourite lines in a song.
“I love you from the bottom of my pencil case”.

That took me back to my first big crush, at the age of 13. I was mad about a girl at school who sat next to me in some lessons. She knew it, and didn’t mind at all. But we were very young, and unsure of ourselves. One day, I bought her a random gift, a small coin purse with a fake rabbit’s foot attached. Too embarrassed to be seen handing it to her, I slipped it into my plastic pencil case, which was in the shape of a huge pencil. During a lesson, I got it from the bottom of that case, and placed it on her lap.

Twenty fours years after shyly handing over that gift, I heard this song, and it was like I was back sitting next to her. The power of music.
They didn’t know about my first big love in 1965 of course. It was written to thank the girls at the local radio station, for promoting their songs.
But that didn’t matter to me.

Here are the rest of the lyrics.

Song for Whoever
The Beautiful South.

I love you from the bottom, of my pencil case
I love you in the songs, I write and sing
Love you because, you put me in my rightful place
And I love the PRS cheques, that you bring
Cheap, never cheap
I’ll sing you songs till you’re asleep
When you’ve gone upstairs I’ll creep
And write it all down, down, down, down
Oh Shirley, oh Deborah, oh Julie, oh Jane
I wrote so many songs about you
I forget your name, I forget your name
Jennifer, Alison, Phillipa, Sue, Deborah, Annabel, too
I forget your name
Jennifer, Alison, Phillipa, Sue, Deborah, Annabel, too
I forget your name
I love your from the bottom of my pencil case
I love the way you never ask me why
I love to write about each wrinkle on your face
And I love you ’till my fountain pen runs dry
Deep so deep, the number one I hope to reap
Depends upon the tears you weep, so cry, lovey cry, cry, cry, cry
Oh Cathy, oh Alison, oh Phillipa, oh Sue
You made me so much money, I wrote this song for you
I wrote this song for you
Jennifer, Alison, Phillipa, Sue, Deborah, Annabel, too
I wrote this song for you
Jennifer, Alison, Phillipa, Sue, Deborah, Annabel, too
Oh Cathy, oh Alison, oh Phillipa, oh Sue
You made me so much money, I wrote this song for you
I wrote this song for you
Jennifer, Alison, Phillipa, Sue, Deborah, Annabel, too
I wrote this song for you
Jennifer, Alison, Phillipa, Sue, Deborah, Annabel, too
For you, for you
I wrote this song for you
I wrote this song for you

Songwriters: Dave Rotheray / Paul Heaton
Song for Whoever lyrics Β© Universal Music Publishing Group

And here they are, performing the song.

22 thoughts on “Lyrically Evocative (19)

  1. Well, that was certainly an unusual gift! I guess, since she was fated to become an “open lesbian,” you never really had a chance. The rabbit’s foot was doomedβ€”no chance of bringing you good luck. But at least you and the girl became friends.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think they had moments of real genius, Jude. Glad to hear you like them too. πŸ™‚
      (Julie thinks this song is silly. But then she never knew Barbara Harlow, the girl in my class. πŸ™‚ )
      Best wishes, Pete. x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I once got a Valentines Day card from a boy in my class in the last year of Junior school. I think he was so embarrassed when he was found out that he never spoke to me again even though we both went to the same Grammar school (different classes). A shame as I quite fancied him.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I never had a girlfriend at Junior School. Though ‘Mary’ tried to kiss me, when I was ‘Joseph’ in the nativity play. πŸ™‚
          I had two big crushes at comprehensive school. Only one came to anything, and that wasn’t much of anything, I assure you. The pencil case girl was always ‘the one who got away’.
          Best wishes, Pete.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Am glad he’s still going strong. Heard him talking on radio 2 yesterday afternoon and he’s such a nice humble kind of guy too. He’s doing well again singing with Jaquie Abbot who was in the BS with him, still writing great pithy lyrics too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I liked her a lot, Arlene. We remained friends until we left that school aged 17, but never dated, though we talked about the possibility. I met her 20 years later, at a school reunion. She had a powerful job, and was an ‘open’ lesbian, living with another woman. But she remembered the purse with the rabbit’s foot. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

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