Is there life in Anfield?

If they’re ever going to leave a time capsule of old Britain, this song [1982, reissued 1984] should be in there [the clean version] as ‘culturally significant’ and not just for the lyrics.

Didn’t say ‘culturally enriching’ or ‘culturally improving’ – it certainly captured not just the times but regional and class differences.

For a start, Alexei Sayle was a Scouser [with that name?] a comfortably off Marxist you’d find in Islington, were he in London.  His type has wrecked Britain, so there’s the first bit of aggro – reactions to him and to the song have been less than fullsome, shall we say.

Commenter:

He often affected a working class accent in order to hide his privileged background and did all he could to make/keep himself affluent in stark contradiction to his marxist beliefs.

Yep, but ee can’t half play the bongos, dance and move for a fat man.

And the song is a piece of p*** taking of London and the Cockneys, as they used to be, which Cockney commenters do not appreciate in the least. All sorts of invective are thrown:

That Jewish lunatic, Alexie Sayle.

And:

A scouser takin the p*** out of cockneys … that Cortina’s hub caps went inexplicably missing after the video shoot.

As you look at that bit of London in the clip too, it’s not today, is it? Not with that demographic in the bus queue. Nice blonde bird in the queue too.

Commenter:

My mum was in this video lol. Blonde woman at bus stop fur coat. What a shit claim to fame.

Another:

How things have changed in such a short time. look at how nearly everyone was white only 32 years ago. Go to the same area now and it looks like a different place.

There are so many things in the song – that bus for a start, the Mark III Cortina was a feature. ‘Them locks are easy, ‘ was apparently not so on the model at that point of the song.

Commenter:

Those locks weren’t so easy. On that particular model it was easier to do the boot then kick the back seat through.

Someone said it was a mockery of 1980s Thacherite consumerism.

Influences? Someone wrote:

Looking back at this clip now I think I know where Harry Hill got the idea for his act.

And:

Now we know where Harry Enfield got his ideas for the Loadsamoney song!

Sayle’s almost a take-off here of Madness and the ska revolution in dress and dance.

Commenter:

Tight backing track, as well – sounds a bit like the Blockheads; is it?

Sounds very like it to me, was thinking that. My two favourite lines [all lines repeated]:

I keep tropical fish, in me underpants

And:

He stuck his head in a dustbin 
And ran through the launderette

Creasing myself laughing at some of the ‘facts’ put forward:

This song would only be 1:44 long if he stopped saying everything twice.

And one quite interesting:

The car salesman is Jonathan Ross’s father.

Not a lot of people know that.

Not a lot of people care.

Last thing is something only a linguist would note. Coming out of Essex and swamping London in general was this estuary English with the glottal stops and truncated aitches. What characterised it was how aggressive and in yer face it was, not unlike Glaswegian a la Rab C. Nesbitt.

Wo’ you lookin a’, eh?  He covers that with the ‘Ere, want a brown ale?’ while shoving his face in that of the conductor. Oi, u better read this post by the way or I’ll kick the c*** outa ya.

So, not a pleasant experience, this song but culturally significant all the same.

Commenter:

This is how the world will end.

4 comments for “Is there life in Anfield?

  1. penseivat
    July 24, 2016 at 11:18 am

    I once had the misfortune of watching a live show with Alexei Sayle in it (given free tickets). Would hesitate to call him a comedian, in fact, I’ve had more laughs cleaning the chip pan!

    • July 24, 2016 at 12:26 pm

      One lives and learns.

  2. Stonyground
    July 24, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    On the subject of pisspoor car security. In the summer of 1981, I worked in the garage at Butlins Filey. The garage had accumulated a pretty big collection of car keys from I know not where. It was a pretty regular occurrence for one of the happy campers to lock their keys inside their car. One of us would be dispatched with our key collection and would pretty much always be able to open the car with them. As I recall, Fords were the worst, I think that they only had about five different keys at the time.

    • July 24, 2016 at 8:59 pm

      It’s a wonder people retained their cars for as long as they did.

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