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Robyn Hitchcock — Sinister But She Was Happy
Album: Moss Elixir
Avg rating:
6.6

Your rating:
Total ratings: 810









Released: 1996
Length: 3:55
Plays (last 30 days): 2
She was sinister but she was happy
Basically she was the Jeanne Moreau type
Sinister but she was happy
Sinister but she was always pleased to see you
And her living words
Were her dying words
She said "Yeah."

She was sinister but she was happy
With a cheery smile and poison blowpipe
Sinister but she was happy
Like a kind of spider half-inclined to free you
Her lopsided grin made it so hard to win
She said:
"Alright you are -- and your promises
Are just promises -- but a sinister little
Wave of a hand goes a long, long way
In these troubled times."

She was sinister but she was happy
And you can't say that of everybody can you?
Sinister but she was happy
Like a chandelier festooned with leeches
And she rolled along
Till she came on strong and she said:
"Alright you are and your promises
just are promises -- but a sinister little
Wave of a hand goes a long, long way
In these troubled times."
Comments (109)add comment
Is this song about a left handed hand job?
I've seen him play in concert here and there over more than 30 years. Always a pleasure. Covid-19 put his US tour on hold and so I have to wait until October to see him at Jammin' Java in Vienna, Va. I thought seeing him play at the Kessler Theater in Dallas four years ago was super because it is such a small place but Jammin' Java is even smaller and so he'll practically be in your lap no matter where you sit at the Java.
 the_jake wrote:

Make a fine candlelight dinner into an experience. 
What would be served at such an event?
 

Black pudding and blood sausage?
Giving a high rating for using 'festooned' in a tune.
I wonder what Robyn has against words that rhyme...
Pure brilliance....
Now on my list of songs to be played at my funeral, along with Zappa's 'Fine Girl'.  Free bar afterwards
 fredriley wrote:
"Like a chandelier festooned with leeches" - that's an image that'll linger long in my imagination... ;-)
 
Make a fine candlelight dinner into an experience. 
What would be served at such an event?
I do love Hitchcock. A unique musician.
 Larry_Rosenow wrote:
Thought it was a John Lennon song I had never heard....still I am not disappointed.
 

 
Me, too. Still, Hitchcock is a singular talent and presence. Nice song.
          Destra Sinistra
Left to wander, right to wonder.
 bubink wrote:
Andrew Bird/John Lennon mash up?

 
I think of him as Syd Barrett/Paul McCartney
cool. haven't heard this in ages. 
What's that chorus sound like?
I dated her once. 

What was I thinking?  
 fredriley wrote:
"Like a chandelier festooned with leeches" - that's an image that'll linger long in my imagination... ;-)

 
Yeah, that one woke me up and made me listen...
This song is top-shelf.
Andrew Bird/John Lennon mash up?
"Like a chandelier festooned with leeches" - that's an image that'll linger long in my imagination... ;-)
Larry_Rosenow wrote:
Thought it was a John Lennon song I had never heard....still I am not disappointed.
 
I think the phrasing, lilt at the end of some lines, vocal timbre, and reverb overkill sound a LOT like the late Mr. Lennon's voice and technique.  Not that I'll judge Mr. Hitchcock by that; he'll have to stand on his on merits.
Westerbergy. Or is Westerberg Hitchcocky...?
Voice sounds very much like John Lennon.  Song style very much different than - very nice.
A slightly more normal song from Robyn :)
do love his lyrical ideas. 
Just saw RH a few days ago. Fantastic show.

I'd love to hear Madonna of the Wasps here occasionally. Just such a fantastic song. Or some of his new album--which is also terrific.

Everybody in my church loves this song...
 
Love this
YES!!
more robyn, please!
 Larry_Rosenow wrote:
Thought it was a John Lennon song I had never heard....still I am not disappointed.
 
 
It doesn't sound like a John Lennon tune to me; it has a very different phrasing and tempo than Lennon's work.  This sounds more influenced by traditional British or Celtic folk music.  It is a good tune.
Never heard this stuff played anywhere.  Always loved his music (quite prolific) and not sure how I found about it in the pre-internet era.  
Three thumbs up 

More Robyn!!!!!

Soooo glad to hear him. RP does not play him enough. PLEASE play more.


 

marvelous...  love it...


Thought it was a John Lennon song I had never heard....still I am not disappointed.
 
...this is outstanding...


Everybody in my hotel room loves this song...

 

 Misterfixit wrote:

We've got leeches in me breeches,
Festooned loons swimming to the Moon;
Life is a chandelier
Bling and blink and wink and then fall;
Flip the switch on the wall.
 
See this one too... Sitting Still by REM

Weird.
I liove them both

 haljordan wrote:
"Right, well, we've got these leftover words here we need to get rid of."
"What do you have?"
"We've got 'chandelier', and 'leeches' (kind of gross) and, let's see...oh and 'festooned'. What do you think?"
"I'll see what I can do." 
 
We've got leeches in me breeches,
Festooned loons swimming to the Moon;
Life is a chandelier
Bling and blink and wink and then fall;
Flip the switch on the wall.


have i really rated this with 9 the last time i heard it here? what a shame!!
up to 10 now. sorry for the mistake.
Vastly underrated artist!


Man, this song is cool...  love it...

 
 haljordan wrote:
"Right, well, we've got these leftover words here we need to get rid of."
"What do you have?"
"We've got 'chandelier', and 'leeches' (kind of gross) and, let's see...oh and 'festooned'. What do you think?"
"I'll see what I can do." 
 
Some of my best friends...
"Right, well, we've got these leftover words here we need to get rid of."
"What do you have?"
"We've got 'chandelier', and 'leeches' (kind of gross) and, let's see...oh and 'festooned'. What do you think?"
"I'll see what I can do." 
Got to see him perform this in Hoboken, NJ few years back, and Deni Bonet came on and played violin - outstanding!



absolutely awesome song...  love it...

 
From one of my favorite solo Robyn Hitchcock records. I'd love to hear Bill play some of his work with The Venus 3. That last one was excellent.
In a way,that reminded me of The Wonder Stuff, with the violin and acoustic guitar.
That Master Robyn - he's not for everyone, obviously, but I love his stuff both solo and with The Soft Boys.

 Cynaera wrote:
I love that wild violin beginning, and then the vocals... definite 8, but the more I listen, the more I love it, so...........{#Sunny}
 

This song is one of my rare 10s...  love it...




 More_Cowbell wrote:
I think Robyn Hitchcock's music is in the vein of Sid Barrett.  Brilliant and under rated.
 
Robyn is Syd meets McCartney. Brilliant melodic stuff, but weird at times.
I love that wild violin beginning, and then the vocals... definite 8, but the more I listen, the more I love it, so...........{#Sunny}
No it´s not his best song. It´s not even one of his best songs....
Which doesn´t mean that it´s not a GREAT song. But I´m in a critical mood today and give only 9 pts.


Robyn Hitchcock by ~MrTim
©2007-2010 ~MrTim

Robin Hitchcock at Wychwood Festival 2007



Yeah, this is a great song...  love it...

 


This song is soooo cool...


I think Robyn Hitchcock's music is in the vein of Sid Barrett.  Brilliant and under rated.
 donmatthews wrote:
I really liked the instrumental introduction, thought this would be something really special... then the guy started singing and it became just another fair-but-not-wow song
a pity
 
My thoughts exactly
 jmce wrote:

But Suck squared = 2 Suck for Suck in {0,2}.
 

Yes.  The proof is left as an exercise for the reader.

I've seen Robyn a few times, both solo and with The Soft Boys - all in the past decade - excellent performances each time, I thought. He's also quite humble and seemed happy to talk the next day when we ran into him in a local record store.....





love it...




This song is soooo good for the ears...


Amazing segue from Sophie Solomon. {#Clap}
 Exene wrote:


Brilliant!! I love Robyn. I miss Robyn. Where is he? I would dearly love to hear his "Airscape" on RP...
 
I just saw him this past Friday at Antone's in Austin with his latest band the Venus 3 with Peter Buck playing backing guitar.
 veloceleste wrote:
Sarah Palin?

She was sinister but she was happy
And you can't say that of everybody can you?
Sinister but she was happy
Like a chandelier festooned with leeches
And she rolled along
Till she came on strong and she said:
"Alright you are and your promises
just are promises — but a sinister little
Wave of a hand goes a long, long way
In these troubled times."

 
Sounds alot like my ex-wife grouch...

 veloceleste wrote:
Sarah Palin?

She was sinister but she was happy
And you can't say that of everybody can you?
Sinister but she was happy
Like a chandelier festooned with leeches
And she rolled along
Till she came on strong and she said:
"Alright you are and your promises
just are promises — but a sinister little
Wave of a hand goes a long, long way
In these troubled times."

 

Brilliant!! I love Robyn. I miss Robyn. Where is he? I would dearly love to hear his "Airscape" on RP...


Cool!


"Hitchcock's musical and lyrical styles have been influenced by his appreciation of Bob Dylan, John Lennon and Syd Barrett. Hitchcock's lyrics are an essential component of his work and tend to include surrealism, comedic songs, characterizations of English eccentrics and melancholy depictions of everyday life. His themes include what many psychologists view as the roots of modern neurosis - namely, death, sex and eating. (Recognising this theme, he released an EP in 2007 called 'Sex, Food, Death and Tarantulas'.)"



Sarah Palin?

She was sinister but she was happy
And you can't say that of everybody can you?
Sinister but she was happy
Like a chandelier festooned with leeches
And she rolled along
Till she came on strong and she said:
"Alright you are and your promises
just are promises — but a sinister little
Wave of a hand goes a long, long way
In these troubled times."

I really liked the instrumental introduction, thought this would be something really special... then the guy started singing and it became just another fair-but-not-wow song
a pity

trekhead wrote:
Man. I thought HOLY DEVIL was the lead-in for this tune! Good combo, Bill! :clap:
Jupp Great segue, And a good title. =)
Man. I thought HOLY DEVIL was the lead-in for this tune! Good combo, Bill! :clap:
Memories from back in the day as an underground DJ. :cool:
This guy is really interesting...
SaintAwesome wrote:
He needs to drop the John Lennon imitation. I like the music... but it needs to go somewhere more.
My son walked into the kitchen, and said "Is this the Beatles?". My wife said, "Nah, too much acoustic guitars for the Beatles. John isn't that complex!" Me chokin on my hash browns with laughter! Cool song. Voice reminds me of the Church. 7 for now.
Helchat, is this about you? Sinister, but happy?
Funniest thing: I just watched the recent film of The Manchurian Candidate and didn't realize til the credits that Robyn Hitchcock played Tokar. Hmm.
Zoink! There it is! This seque cements it... I was at ACL fest watching the Decemberists and I told my companion, "man, that singer reminds me of Robin Hitchcock". Glad to see Bill hears the connection too.
handyrae wrote:
I was really liking this until he started to sing. Not that the singing/lyrics are bad or anything, just that they're not that special.
Hmm, strangely I agree. I was really into the music. Wonderful musician.
I was really liking this until he started to sing. Not that the singing/lyrics are bad or anything, just that they're not that special.
Rafter101 wrote:
C'mon, what's with the math? Suck x Suck = Suck Squared. Suck + Suck only equals 2Suck.
But Suck squared = 2 Suck for Suck in {0,2}. :biggrin:
Good tune.
Carly wrote:
Love the instrumental work in the background. I'm interested to know what it's like in his other songs -
Primarily his instruments are acoustic/electric guitar based- with the Egyptians - Bass & Drums. The guitar work is always amazing, the lyrics mostly surreal, and the The Eqyptians are pros!
Love the instrumental work in the background. I'm interested to know what it's like in his other songs -
crockydile wrote:
...a chandelier festooned with leeches? --Metaphor quota exceeded: Terminating--
Really! The next time I see a chandelier, I know EXACTLY what I will be thinking. Ugh. :eek:
...a chandelier festooned with leeches? --Metaphor quota exceeded: Terminating--
He needs to drop the John Lennon imitation. I like the music... but it needs to go somewhere more.
Rafter101 wrote:
C'mon, what's with the math? Suck x Suck = Suck Squared. Suck + Suck only equals 2Suck.
Thanks for the mathematics tutorial, I appreciate it. I guess I only know 'suck' when I hear 'suck' :doh:....peace :sunny:
crowhog2000 wrote:
Excellent! Suck + Suck = Suck squared! It beats sucking solo, eh? :eh: :yawn:
C'mon, what's with the math? Suck x Suck = Suck Squared. Suck + Suck only equals 2Suck.
Helchat wrote:
Shoot, I missed hearing this song! And what a great title! :roflol:
You didn't miss anything remarkable believe me
beag wrote:
Robyn's got a new album out on which he teams up Gillian Welch!
Excellent! Suck + Suck = Suck squared! It beats sucking solo, eh? :eh: :yawn:
Shoot, I missed hearing this song! And what a great title! :roflol:
kazuma wrote:
Same here. Amazing sequencing.
I agree that they blended well, but I could tell the point at which the new song started becuase it stopped sucking. :tongue:
trekhead wrote:
..Again, could NOT tell where the previous tune ended....
Same here. Amazing sequencing.
Same guitarsound James McMurtry has got in Levelland! I like it. Nice, open atmosphere, but penatatrive just the same.
On this album...Tim Keegan made some great backup vocal support and the violin is Demi Bonet
..Again, could NOT tell where the previous tune ended....
Robyn's got a new album out on which he teams up Gillian Welch!
Excellent violin playing.... :hearteyes:
Ah, Robyn is a god. But this is not him at his best.
cycleman wrote:
The best might have been the live (all 80 of us) at the filming of Storefront Hitchcock (NYC). If you have not seen him live rent this video(if you can) made by J. Demme.
I am so jealous !!!
Oh how I love Robyn. I don't hear him everyday. How wonderful! He's so beautiful.
Sound a lot like John Lennon
la-hove this song!
Robyn is the best....he channels the best of Syd, John Lennon and other greats. I've seen him at least 7 times from Hoboken, to London in early 80's (accoustic 3-some-Trams of Old London wow!) The best might have been the live (all 80 of us) at the filming of Storefront Hitchcock (NYC). If you have not seen him live rent this video(if you can) made by J. Demme. Go RP!!!!!
Reminds me of Wire, quirky too... Nice song!
Best song title I have heard in a long time....
Tying up the room with his insect-like sound waves, I think that Robyn uses his nervous flesh control better than most robot songsters every time the earth goes around the sun once or twice.
Now it has been a long, long time since I heard any radio station play Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians. Robyn Hitchcock has often been criticized for being too quirky. I rather think this is his strength.
All Robyn\'s pieces similar to this are like passionate love songs in an alternate universe that only shares some of its idiosyncratic idioms with ours.
I understand exactly what Ryan O\'Rourke is saying but disagree.