earworm: The Go Betweens – “The Wrong Road”

I’ve been listening to a lot of The Go Betweens in the last few days. Prompted by the post over on Toppermost. Although this song doesn’t actually feature in the article……

“The Wrong Road” written by Grant McLennan was first heard on the LP ”Liberty Belle and the Black Diamond Express” in March 1986.
Its a dark melancholy tale with dense lyrics that possibly relate to their early years in the UK. The first verse and chorus will give you a flavour for the overall feel of the song.

“A trader in furs living in exile
Boy, what a kook, look at that passport
Stale bread and paper without privilege
If you live here learn the language

When the rain hit the roof
With the sound of a finished kiss
Like a lip lifted from a lip
I took the wrong road ’round”

“We lived in London for almost six years. I shared a dark flat with a painter and then a comedian. The painter was obsessed with grey. The comedian loved Tommy Cooper. This song fits somewhere between these two things” – Grant McLennan

Grant McLennan died suddenly of a heart attack in 2006 and less than a week later Roddy Frame gave a live performance of “The Wrong Road” at The Queens Hall in Edinburgh on 12 May 2006. A touching and poignant tribute to someone he knew well from their Postcard Records days.


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