A Traveller’s Guide to Lost and Later Songs #7
For those who may appreciate some background detail, I offer below my workings.
#7 Something of the Night
Our Hallowe’en number and another of the Later songs, the only previous recording of this was a live rehearsal dated 18/12/2018 – https://on.soundcloud.com/VNeEW
Clearly influenced by our imminent descent into the underworld, this one could well have ended up on the Dark Carnival album had it been a little less late. Inspired by B-movies, Bela Lugosi, Vampira, Ed Wood, Nosferatu, “Monster Mash”, “Foul Owl on the Prowl” from “In the Heat of the Night” and, yes folks, the theme tune from “The Professionals”.
I wouldn’t imagine the lyrics require any elaboration, with one possible exception: for anyone unfamiliar with the Scots vernacular of “looking for a lumber”, this phrase is used to describe someone “out on the pull”. Of course, the versatility/ambivalence of the word may well become all too apparent the morning after the night before, should last night’s “lumber” turn into this morning’s “lumbered with”. It can be a confusing language, particularly nowadays when nuance has become so terribly unfashionable. I looked up “lumber” in both Oxford and Cambridge English dictionaries but its use as a singular noun (e.g. “Did ye get a lumber last night?”) receives no mention. That, of course, may well be a whole other story.
This song is, I am proud to say, a thoroughly reprehensible character (although clearly somewhat ridiculous). Like its fellow travellers, it was, at the time and for one reason or another, considered inappropriate. Maybe so. Or maybe it is, to paraphrase Lloyd Cole, inappropriate but much more fun.
This will be the one they remember us for.
Featuring bonus wolf howl.
(image – Vampira: © Dennis Stock/Magnum)