Friday, 9 November 2018

The United Kingdom of Song #10: Ipswich

The iffypedia page for Ipswich has a picture of Ed Sheeran on it. Maybe because he grew up in Framlingham, which is not too far away. It turns out though that he was born in the same place... maybe even the same hospital!... my son was born in: Halifax. But this post isn't about Ed Sheeran, you'll be glad to know... it's about Ipswich.

Brian Cant was from Ipswich. So is Richard Ayoade. Ralph Fiennes and Percy Edwards.

Musically, Alan Davies, the bassist from Hawkwind was from Ipswich. As was John Mayhew, the man who gave up his seat behind the drumkit in Genesis so that one Phillip Collins could sit there.

Steve Wright came from Ipswich too. The serial killer, not the DJ.

I've never been anywhere near Ipswich, but there are some very pretty pictures of it on the internet. It certainly doesn't look anything like Auschwitz. But the point Jarvis was making... evil people can come from anywhere: beautiful places and ugly ones.

It's weird listening to this song now: it's like he predicted Brexit ten years before it happened. Ladies and gentlemen, a prophet for our terrible times... Mr. Jarvis Branson Cocker.

"They want our way of life"
Well, they can take mine any time they like
Cause god knows, I know I ain't living right:
I'm wrong
Oh, I know I'm so wrong
So like the Roman Empire fell away
Let me tell you; we are going the same way

Ah, behold the Decline and Fall
All hold hands with our backs to the wall
It's the end,
Why don't you admit it?
It's the same from Auschwitz to Ipswich
Evil comes
I know from not where
But if you take a look inside yourself,
Maybe you'll find some in there

250 miles north next week, to a Lancashire town in need of a fair bit of repair...


  1. See also 'Nine Days' Wonder' by The Granite Shore. ' I would dance from here to Norwich in the rain, as long as scribes were there to chronicle my triumph and my pain, I’d sing the words you all grew up with outside Ipswich, if you’d all love me again...'
    You could also put that one in your back pocket for when you roll around to Norwich, although I can think of an even better namecheck for the Fine City™ from one of my own musical heroes.

    1. I have that album and it's definitely in consideration. I forgot the Ipswich mention though.


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