Come Back To Camden

Posted on September 27, 2007

Obsessively playing in repeat-mode for the whole morning is the exquisite Come Back To Camden, by that most tortured of geniuses, Morrissey.

The whole You Are The Quarry album is close to utter brilliance, but some songs stand out from among the others. In fact this one is, for me, the quintessential Morrissey song. A gut-wrenching ballad about a poor soul who has lost all hope of love (and, therefore, of happiness) and is resigned to remember that which he has lost “for evermore”.

This kind of song could easily get away from the singer and turn into some sort of Celine Dion-like piece of overly-sentimental garbage, but not with Morrissey, oh no. As usual, he pulls it off in great style and is able to bring all of those poor, wretched, tortured soul kinds of feelings to bear and make it all work like a charm. This, to me, is Morrissey at his finest.

And then there’s also the fact that lines such as “Drinking tea with the taste of the Thames, Sullenly on a chair on the pavement” or “Under slate grey Victorian sky” fill me with such a sweet sense of nostalgia that I cannot help but feel a desperate longing to get back to dear old London (so yes, the song is incredibly effective as far as I’m concerned, I do feel like going back to Camden. And no, I’m not English and I’ve never lived there). :-)

And now I do hope you forgive me the futility (you will, this is my weblog, remember?), but I really feel like transcribing the lyrics of this soul-tearing ballad.

There is something I wanted to tell you,
It’s so funny you’ll kill yourself laughing
But then I, I look around,
And I remember that I am alone,
For evermore

The tile yard all along the railings,
Up a discoloured dark brown staircase
Here you’ll find, despair and I,
Calling to you with what’s left of my heart,
My heart,
For evermore

Drinking tea with the taste of the Thames,
Sullenly on a chair on the pavement
Here you’ll find, my thoughts and I,
And here is the very last plea from my heart
My heart.
For evermore

Where taxi drivers never stop talking
Under slate grey Victorian sky,
Here you will find, despair and I
And here I am every last inch of me is yours,
For evermore

Your leg came to rest against mine,
Then you lounged with knees up and apart
And me and my heart, we knew,
We just knew,
For evermore

Where taxi drivers never stop talking,
Under slate grey Victorian sky
Here you’ll find, my heart and I,
And still we say come back,
Come back to Camden

And I’ll be good, I’ll be good, I’ll be good, I’ll be good

Isn’t it just amazing that we have songs like this in our lives?