My favourite song of all time

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My favourite song of all time (by Elbow) was recently replaced by another song (by Elbow).
Yep, they’re that good.

Great Expectations, by Elbow

This song is beautifully written, played, and sung. Those who know me are aware that I’m not a lyrics man, but if I had a favourite lyricist, it would be Guy Garvey. His lyrics evoke real, down to earth feelings because he doesn’t use clichés, opting for descriptions of situations we’ve all been in and can relate to directly. His lyrics are simply great, and on some tracks, perfect.

Great expectations is no exception. The lyrics (to me) describe a deep and lengthy, but imagined, love affair with a woman on a bus — his bus — culminating in a made-up wedding. A long standing infatuation with regularly encountered stranger.

Turn your speakers or headphones up a couple notches (don’t worry, the song’s pretty mellow) and give yourself five minutes without distraction to listen. As you listen, read through the lyrics below.

===== Lyrics =====

And if it rains all day
Call on you I’ll call on you
Like I used to
Slide down beside and wrap you in stories
Tailored entirely for you
I’ll remind you
We exchanged a vow
I love you I always will

A call girl with yesterday eyes
Was our witness and priest
Stockport supporters club kindly supplied us a choir
Your vow was your smile
As we move down the aisle
Of the last bus home
And this is where I go
Just when it rains

Blinking and stoned
Rain in your hair
You only smoke ’cause it’s something to share
Singing bring on the night
To have and to hold
The sodium light turning silver to gold

Spitfire thin and strung like a violin, I was
Yours was the face with a grace
From a different age
You were the sun in my Sunday morning
You were the sun in my Sunday morning
Telling me never to go
So I’ll live on the smile
And move down the aisle
Of the last bus home
And if you’re running late
This is where I’ll go
Know I’ll always wait


Great Expectations, by Elbow, from the album Leaders of the Free World.
My favourite song of all time.

Buy it from iTunes