Symbolic Forest

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Blog : Posts tagged with ‘The Clientele’


In which a song reminds me of Scotland

…is one of my favourite cosy, romantic songs. It’s by The Clientele, and it goes something like:

The taxi lights were in your eyes
So warm again, St Mary’s spires
The carnival was over in the rain
And on and on, through Vincent St
The evening hanging like a dream
I touched your faith*
And saw the night again

When I lived in Edinburgh, I thought it was a song about the city. After all, the Clientele did record one song almost definitely set in Edinburgh,** and it has both a St Mary’s Cathedral (with distinctive spires)*** and a Saint Vincent St. Glasgow, though, has both too.

And in your arms, I watch the stars
Ascend, and sleep
The loneliness away for a while
Your fingers wide and locked in mine
I kiss your face, I kiss your eyes
Until they turn to me and softly smile

Edinburgh or Glasgow, I wish I was up in Scotland this weekend. I’m sure I will be again soon.

* Until writing this post, I thought it said “I touched your face”. Listening very carefully just now, for the first time I realised it’s actually “faith”.

** A B-side called “6am, Morningside”

*** Actually, it has two St Mary’s Cathedrals, just to confuse people. One of them, the Episcopalian one, has three distinctive spires that are a major city landmark, especially when you look down the length of Princes St. The Catholic one, on the other hand, is tucked away inconspicuously behind a shopping centre.

Saint Marys' Spires (and other lyrics)

In which the city makes me think of music

Of course, in the end we didn’t discuss Festival stuff at all, just drank ate and gossipped. After that, we wandered round the New Town looking for ideal places for our next Picnic (next Saturday), and looking in people’s front windows.

Notes on Thai food: if you see small purple chili-shaped things, that is what they are. Do not chew them, or your mouth will be irradiated.

As we walked around the New Town in the dusk, it started to rain. That part of the city in the rain always makes me think of Clientele songs, so as we walked I was humming softly to myself. The rain got heavier, fluming down the gutters of the steeper streets. At the corner of Queen Street and Dublin Street, the gutters were overflowing and pouring over the pavement and downhill in a rippled sheet.

We popped into a late-opening bookshop to think up cunning incentives to get people to come to the picnic. We went to a bar and dripped on the floor. Everyone else looked too stylish for me to feel comfortable in my sensible outdoor raincoat.