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Another Day

Discussion in 'General' started by SteveT, Jun 28, 2012.

  1. SteveT

    SteveT Gracing the Bahamas in see through pyjamas

    From a Guardian blog by Peter Beaumont

    I blame my Dad for the Roy Harper thing. I don't know where it came from – perhaps from one of the record companies he had started taking photographs for – but he had, somewhere along the line, acquired a copy of the live double album from 1974 Flashes from the Archives of Oblivion, in which Harper performed with the late composer David Bedford's orchestra.

    It was the album cover that intrigued me in the first place: Harper on the cover stark-bollock naked. And in those days I was a little chary of my father's tastes. He had taken me to listen to the avant-garde jazz saxophonist Lol Coxhill – another of Bedford's collaborators – who as a teenager I found challenging. But when I listened to the Harper album, several songs stood out – Highway Blues, Me and My Woman and South Africa. But of all of them there was one that made the hairs stand up on my arms – Another Day.

    Originally recorded at Abbey Road for his 1970 album Flat Baroque and Berserk, even decades later it still strikes me as one of the most poignant and beautiful songs, a regretful ode to a lost love encountered once again, full of thwarted possibilities that the singer acknowledges but refuses to grasp. Others have covered the song, including This Mortal Coil, and Kate Bush and Peter Gabriel. But none better Harper's original version, which Harper himself believes to be one of the "best love songs I wrote".

    Another Day is a short song – a story of a recollected affair in the domestic setting of his past lover's home. "The kettle's on, the sun has gone/ Another day," Harper sings, prefiguring the idea that whatever happens the time for second chances has long past; that there can be no magic in this encounter. "She offers me Tibetan tea on a flower tray/ he's at the door, she wants to score/ She dearly needs to say – I loved you a long time ago."

    It is a song full of regrets on both sides seen through the prism of memory, about things that should have been said but were not. Desires, including for children, that never came to pass. There is a suggested moment when it seems the old passion is being rekindled – but instead it is a kind of flashback that leads to a weary rejection, the entire unravelling of the story accompanied by Harper's quietly percussive strumming.

    And at the song's end, even the possibility for words runs out as the former lovers stand with the ghosts of their former selves awkward between them.

    Although Harper's beautiful, angry and sometimes passionate songs – at first celebrated by the likes of Led Zeppelin – fell into a quiet obscurity for a while, these days he is name-checked at almost every turn by artists such as Bonnie "Prince" Billy and Fleet Foxes.

  2. aspwatterson

    aspwatterson The Unknown Soldier


    ....and poignantly, uncoincidentally perhaps, when Roy was asked in interview about any regrets he'd harboured over the years, he said letting his first marriage slide. But I suppose the summer of love being twenty one again had lots of temptations which seemed quite naturally normal in that bygone era... one of those days in England with the corner shop that sold us almost everything...

    One of my favs which I've been singing in my head recently at work is These Last Days..absolutely beautiful. On a par with 'There are places I remember all my life' by dear John Lennon.

    A :biggrin:
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2012
  3. NoCelebrity

    NoCelebrity Aye lad, I knew you had it in you

    More than Another, Please!

    It dropped more than a few tears at the Legends DVD taping too...

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