Song of the Day: Pulp – “Common People”

On this day in 2014, this track was voted by listeners of BBC Radio 6 Music in the UK as the greatest Britpop anthem, ahead of “Bittersweet Symphony” by The Verve and “Don’t Look Back in Anger” and “Wonderwall” by Oasis. It’s a personal favorite of mine and in my mind one of the best songs of the past three decades (Pitchfork once named it the No. 2 song of the 1990s, behind only Pavement’s “Gold Soundz”). The song tells the tale of a well-off woman who thinks it would be a cute idea to live her life like one of the “common people” and tries to hook up with a common man, to which he replies “Rent a flat above a shop/Cut your hair and get a job/Smoke some fags and play some pool/Pretend you never went to school/But still you’ll never get it right/’Cos when you’re laid in bed at night/Watching roaches climb the wall/If you call your Dad he could stop it all/You’ll never live like common people/You’ll never do what common people do/You’ll never fail like common people/You’ll never watch your life slide out of view, and dance and drink and screw/Because there’s nothing else to do.” It was covered by William Shatner (produced by Ben Folds, featuring Joe Jackson), in unique, memorable, and rocking fashion..


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