Wednesday Weeper of the Week: “Jolly Comes Home” by SqueezePosted: April 1, 2015
Anybody who knows me knows that I take it personally when an artist or band I love doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. Which is why I’ve been singing the praises of Squeeze for about 30 years or so now to anyone who would listen, to the point where I’ve probably done them a disservice by annoying the would-be fans of the band that I was attempting to cultivate.
In the UK, they achieved well-deserved popularity and acclaim in the late 70’s and 80’s, but Squeeze pretty much only nabbed the acclaim part here in the US, with the exception of long-lasting radio staple “Tempted” and quasi-novelty hit “Hourglass.” If you don’t know them, you’re missing out on the incredibly catchy songwriting of Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford, songwriting which combined killer pop hooks with a wry sensibility and ingenious wordplay.
If you do know them, it’s also possible you bailed out on them as the 80’s dragged on and their albums waned in quality a bit from the high water mark of 1981’s East Side Story. That’s a shame too, because the work was still fine, even if it didn’t reach those heady peaks of the early days. In particular, I’m fond of 1993’s Some Fantastic Place, an album which reunited the band with “Tempted” singer Paul Carrack and brought aboard longtime Attraction Pete Thomas on the drums.
As someone who’s always been drawn to the sob stories in song, I’m especially partial to “Jolly Comes Home” from that album. One of Difford’s chief songwriting themes has always been the unromantic underside of supposed domestic bliss, and “Jolly Comes Home” waxes eloquently in that vein. Meanwhile Tilbrook delivers a tender melody and sings the stuffing out of it, the whole package embellished by lovely strings.
Squeeze deserved better even in their prime; this post-prime song is probably unknown to any but diehards like me. So I envy the loyal readers of this blog who get the chance to discover this song for the first time today.
(E-mail me at email@example.com or follow me on Twitter @JimBeviglia.)