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mandag den 6. januar 2020

"What the fuck's he writing about?"

‘Art Lover’ fra The Kinks-pladen ’Give the People What They Want’, der så dagens lys i 1981, er én af de sange, som ved første gennemlytning kan være svær at holde af. Der er intet galt med arrangementet, men hvad er det for noget svineri Ray Davies, har gang i? Teksten er ikke bare lummer, men fuldstændig usømmelig. Det var dén dengang, og jeg tør slet ikke tænke på, hvordan ‘Art Lover’ vil blive modtaget nu om dage. Handler det om en stalker på jagt efter mindreårige piger? På overfladen måske? Ray Davies måtte dog ud at forklare, at sangen handler om en fraskilt far, som kun har forældremyndighed over sin datter en gang om ugen.

I et interview med amerikanske Creem Magazine fra december 1981, fortalte Davies:

“I had great trouble when I first ran through that song in the studio with the guys. I gave them a chord sheet, and they were really pissed off by this time because we'd already done something like 15 tracks. They said, "Oh fuck. He's not going to do another track!" And I said, "Just play the chords." I looked at their faces when we did the playback. First of all, they were just worried about what they were playing. The second playback, they listened to the words, and they looked like "What the fuck's he writing about?" I originally had put in a line that said something like "Sunday parents with their kids knowing they're just alone" which made it, obvious that it was about someone who was divorced and only had his kid on a Sunday. So I left it out because I wanted to leave the song ambiguous. I think ambiguity is a good tool, a good weapon I used it in songs like "Waterloo Sunset". And I think it just about works because it says "I'm not a flasher in a raincoat." One of the reasons they're not putting it out as a single in England is because the BBC has said there's a flasher in a raincoat, but it says "I'm not a flasher." So it does sound like a pervert to begin with, but I think it does work in the end and you realize what the song's about.”

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