3 July 2007

Worship

"A Portrait of Ann" 1957
One of Lowry's favourite images. He was photographed several times with this picture just happening to be in the camera's gaze. Who was she? Perhaps a metaphor for his late mother.
Below there's the lyrics of a minor hit in the UK in 1978 - just two years after Lowry's death. Some awkward lines but don't you think that it's quite refreshing when popular songwriters shelve their obsession with romantic love? Lowry was perhaps the most unlikely subject for a pop song.
MATCHSTALK MEN AND MATCHSTALK CATS AND DOGS
(Burke / Coleman)
Brian & Michael - 1978
He painted Salford's smokey tops
On cardboard boxes from the shops
And parts of Ancoats where I used to play
I'm sure he once walked down our street
Cause he painted kids who had nowt on their feet
The clothes we wore had all seen better days.
Now they said his works of art were dull
No room, all round the walls are full
But Lowry didn't care much anyway
They said he just paints cats and dogs
And matchstalk men in boots and clogs
And Lowry said that's just the way they'll stay

And he painted matchstalk men and matchstalk cats and dogs
He painted kids on the corner of the street with the sparking clogs
Now he takes his brush and he waits outside them factory gates
To paint his matchstalk men and matchstalk cats and dogs
Now canvas and brushes were wearing thin
When London started calling him
To come on down and wear the old flat cap
They said tell us all about your ways
And all about them Salford days
Is it true you're just an ordinary chap

And he painted matchstalk men and matchstalk cats and dogs
He painted kids on the corner of the street with the sparking clogs
Now he takes his brush and he waits outside them factory gates
To paint his matchstalk men and matchstalk cats and dogs
Now Lowries hang upon the wall
Beside the greatest of them all
And even the Mona Lisa takes a bow
This tired old man with hair like snow
Told northern folk its time to go
The fever came and the good Lord mopped his brow

And he left us matchstalk men and matchstalk cats and dogs
He left us kids on the corner of the street with sparking clogs
Now he takes his brush and he waits outside them pearly gates
To paint his matchstalk men and matchstalk cats and dogs "A Manufacturing Town" 1922 - Here the figures are more anatomically correct. His matchstick men style is just starting to emerge.

10 comments:

  1. I always loved that song when i was younger :)

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  2. YP, I know this isn't a comment on the intriguing Mr Lowry, but how do you manage to get several neatly centred and non-overlapping photos into one post??

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  3. Yes pol "When I Was Younger" is a lovely song...
    Mopsa... Judging by your picture you are a canine person. The strategic placing of pictures in blogposts is a high level skill that cannot be conveyed in a mere comment box. It takes years of dedicated practice through trial and error. However for a fee of £125 if you drive up to Sheffield I shall train you up in these higher level blogging techniques.

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  4. YP - you are a meanie - and after offering me a psychiatrist's diagnosis too.... (Mopsa goes off to sulk).

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  5. I AM A NON SMOKER!
    Made me chuckle when i read your comment this morning!

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  6. cricky. was it that long ago? but full marks, you've got the lyrics. A*

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  7. I remember that song...

    The woman looks like an Egyptian pharoah's missus.

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  8. Lilly5:11 pm

    hi yorkshire - you guessed right... i came here with work, and then fell in love with a yank. been here so long i sound like a yorkshire yank. :)
    love your blog

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  9. I loved that song too. And no more comments about age, you!!

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  10. Staids7:55 pm

    G'Day from Australia, 39 Years old, Left England at 10, 1980.

    Been looking for this song ever since. Thanks you very much, you made my year!


    Regards, Staids.

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