Wednesday, November 4, 2009

No one can penetrate me

Ray Davies first foray into East Indian music was See My Friends, the A-side of a 45-rpm single released by The Kinks in July 1965. It coupled a haunting melody with a simple, sad lyric whose subject of loneliness would be explored more fully in 1967 with Waterloo Sunset.

Fancy from 1966's Face To Face uses an even more exotic instrumentation and melody. The first verse is accompanied by two acoustic stringed instruments (guitar & ?), then at the 0:55 mark percussion instruments come aboard. No other song in the Kinks Kanon sounds at all like it. The lyrics are more difficult to decipher. Mr. Davies becomes opaque, and in the process tells us more about human nature in one short stanza than a lesser songwriter could with an entire LP.

"My love is like a ruby that no one can see,
Only my fancy, always.
No one can penetrate me,
They only see what's in their own fancy, always."


Who Am Us Anyway? said...

Thanks for the great back2back Kinks posts – god they’re both great!

Fancy is indeed sui generis (always wanted to use that) for the kinks and if there were a Mister Pleasant List of Brilliant Yet Unique Kinks Experiments, I would also nominate Dave's Death of a Clown: The old fortune teller lies dead on the floor … nobody NEEDS fortunes told anymore. The trainer of insects is crouched on his knees … frantically looking for runaway fleas. Dylan would have sung THAT if he’d thought of it.

Holly A Hughes said...

I'm amazed that there are some Kinks fans who say they don't like "Fancy" because it's so "muddy." Hunh? Surely that's the point! That woozy, swirling texture is so easy to get lost in, I love it.

These albums are so full of great songs, you and I may NEVER overlap on which tracks to write about!