Monday, 13 August 2012

Marillion 'Lavender'

Chart Peak: 5


The follow up to 'Kayleigh' made swift progress to reach Number 5 in September.

It also produced one of the more memorable Top Of The Pops performances of the era, although nostalgists should note that the presenters manage to get the title wrong both before and after the song. Admittedly, 'Lavender Blue' is the folk song on which this is based (it also seems to be the title of the 12" version, which might be what confused Mike Read) and that's apparently a deliberate ploy to reflect the childlike idealised vision of love that this song's about; that in turn is supposed to contrast with the more jaundiced view in 'Kayleigh'. It's the sort of high-concept idea that often puts me off prog rock (yes, I went there) particularly when it's parcelled out and sold out of context. And dropping in a reference to the not obviously child-oriented Joni Mitchell seems odd too.

It's actually not an unpleasant record to hear, and has the advantage of not having been as overplayed in the long run as their other Top 5 single (though it was apparently a big radio hit at the time). The biggest problem, apart from the secondhand nature of the best parts of the song, is the air of seriousness imparted by the production and Fish's vocal, which is hard to reconcile with the words "dilly dilly" in the chorus (I don't think calling somebody a dilly is an insult in Glasgow, which would have made an odd sort of sense).

Also appearing on: Now 5, 10
Available on: The Best Of Both Worlds

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