21/8/14 – The Kinks – Autumn Almanac – 1967

THE KINKSAlthough this non-album single reached No.3 on the UK charts and is a classic Ray Davies melody and lyric, it remains low on the list of ‘famous’ Kinks singles. The slice of British life typified in this poetic vignette might have ‘spoken to me’ as a kid in the North of England in 1967 or perhaps I just liked the tune, but ever since I bought the single all those years ago, I always knew the words.

This period from mid sixties to early seventies had Ray Davies writing songs that defined the conciousness of a nation but it wasn’t just his lyric writing that impressed. Autumn Almanac was a special song, it didn’t really follow the verse chorus/verse chorus format of most songs, it’s a musical journey within the framework of a pop song. Listen to how many transitions the song goes through from beginning to end and it never sounds cluttered or overworked. It’s a skilful original Pop masterpiece – and yes like Itchycoo Park, I still have the original single on Pye. (Mister Pleasant on the B-side was covered by The Mission in 1990 on the Grains Of Sand album).

From the dew-soaked hedge creeps a crawly caterpillar,
When the dawn begins to crack.
It’s all part of my autumn almanac.
Breeze blows leaves of a musty-coloured yellow,
So I sweep them in my sack.
Yes, yes, yes, it’s my autumn almanac.

Friday evenings, people get together,
Hiding from the weather.
Tea and toasted, buttered currant buns
Can’t compensate for lack of sun,
Because the summer’s all gone.

Oh, my poor rheumatic back
Yes, yes, yes, it’s my autumn almanac.
Oh, my autumn almanac
Yes, yes, yes, it’s my autumn almanac.

I like my football on a Saturday,
Roast beef on Sundays, all right.
I go to Blackpool for my holidays,
Sit in the open sunlight.

This is my street, and I’m never gonna to leave it,
And I’m always gonna to stay here
If I live to be ninety-nine,
‘Cause all the people I meet
Seem to come from my street
And I can’t get away,
Because it’s calling me, (come on home)
Hear it calling me, (come on home)

Oh, my autumn Armagnac
Yes, yes, yes, it’s my autumn almanac.
Oh, my autumn almanac
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

Bop-bop-bopm-bop-bop, whoa!
Bop-bop-bopm-bop-bop, whoa!