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Elbow — Scattered Black and Whites
Album: Asleep in the Back
Avg rating:
7.1

Your rating:
Total ratings: 536









Released: 2002
Length: 5:21
Plays (last 30 days): 1
Been climbing trees I've skinned my knees
My hands are black, the sun is going down
She scruffs my hair in the kitchen steam
She's listening to the dream I weaved today

Crosswords through the bathroom door
While someone sings the theme-tune to the news
And my sister buzzes through the room leaving perfume in the air
And that's what triggered this

I come back here from time to time
I shelter here some days

A high-back chair, he sits and stares
A thousand yards and whistles marching-band
Kneeling by and speaking up
He reaches out and I take a massive hand

Disjointed tales that flit between
Short trousers and a full dress uniform
And he talks of people ten years gone like I've known them all my life
Like scattered black and whites

I come back here from time to time
I shelter here some days
I come back here from time to time
I shelter here some days
Comments (27)add comment
Saw Elbow several years back. When they came out, a person in the audience kept yelling 'Scattered Black and White'. Guy handled the person very well and told him 'We'll get to it'. When the time came Guy told the person - "Ok, announce the song". The person worked his way up front and said something about how much the song meant to him. Just made the evening that much better. Class act, these guys.
 Webarian wrote:
Goosebumps
Beautiful work
 
Agreed. Goosebumps. There are only a handful of tunes that give me goosebumps. Another was just added to that list. Cannot believe I heard this song for the first time today.
 prs wrote:
I stop whatever I'm doing to listen to this track - and finish wiping the tears from my eyes everytime - Thank you Elbow
 
Every. Single. Time.

As I've noted below I lost my mom to Early Onset Alzheimer's and this song rips me wide open with every listen. In a good way.
Goosebumps
Beautiful work
I stop whatever I'm doing to listen to this track - and finish wiping the tears from my eyes everytime - Thank you Elbow
 SpinyNorma wrote:
Guy's voice and lyrics are the audio equivalent of giving yourself a hug
 
That made me smile.
Guy's voice and lyrics are the audio equivalent of giving yourself a hug
 fdillinger wrote:
Great Elbow song.
 
But not the "best" song on that album which is... Newborn.

I bought the album for the Newborn track alone.
 memoryboxer wrote:
Such an exquisite song. The first couple of times I heard this I enjoyed the melody but didn't pay much attention to the lyrics. Closer listening stopped me in my tracks and reduced me to tears, having lost my mother to Early Onset Alzheimer's. Now I can't listen without tearing up, drawn to memories of my mom as she unraveled, mistaking me for my brother, losing the ability to recognize my father despite 40 years of marriage. Garvey's lyrics can range from pub thumping raucousness to deeply romantic, and in this his poetic embrace of the agonies of watching our "Aging P's" is truly beautiful.
 
Lovely post, friend.  I've walked that path with my old Mum myself and it burns for a long time afterwards.   Probably always.

I hope I'll always be able to shelter in her memory, until I forget her myself ...
So wonderfully nostalgic, this track. Always puts a lump in my throat.
Such an exquisite song. The first couple of times I heard this I enjoyed the melody but didn't pay much attention to the lyrics. Closer listening stopped me in my tracks and reduced me to tears, having lost my mother to Early Onset Alzheimer's. Now I can't listen without tearing up, drawn to memories of my mom as she unraveled, mistaking me for my brother, losing the ability to recognize my father despite 40 years of marriage. Garvey's lyrics can range from pub thumping raucousness to deeply romantic, and in this his poetic embrace of the agonies of watching our "Aging P's" is truly beautiful.
What a gorgeous song. Sweet memories of childhood, while visiting with his grandfather. Beautiful and heart-breaking.
c.

edit: I found Guy Garvey's own words on 'songmeanings.com' site. What a class act.

"when my dear old grandad ted (last of the men in hats) was near the end i did a shift looking after him in the care home. he was a storyteller and that evening he jumped mid tale(due to a coughing fit) between child hood and his army years. the two stories both involved the words "best friend" and it made me realised that story telling is a way of keeping memories alive. the author jonathan franzen used the phrase "hard-wiring neural connections"
when i was stuck for something to write i used to throw a bunch of photos at the floor. see people from different circles or even eras stood next to each other. this song keeps grandad ted alive as long as people like your good selves want to know more.
lots of love. guy garvey x"
Great Elbow song.

Moved from an 8 to a 9 after spending more time pondering the lyrics.

Beautiful song about recapturing childhood, feel like I know his Dad (And he talks of people ten years gone like I've known them all my life), his sister (buzzes through the room leaving perfume in the air), and his Mom (She scruffs my hair in the kitchen steam, She's listening to the dream I weaved today)

love Elbow. thanks RP.
A perfect encapsulation of the nostalgia for one's childhood... simply beautiful!

Also, the lyric near the end of the song is 'like scattered black and whites', not 'I scattered black and whites'
daytime dreamy  : )
 annieb63 wrote:
Beautiful!
 
Amen, sister.  What a voice, and a very suitable song to show it off.
Beautiful!
 
More than 3 notes would help to keep aural interest, ye tyke. Another soporific sedative from the Elbow boys {#Sleep}. I've heard that Elbow is used for general anaesthesia during open heart surgery...
Gifted people.  Beautiful music.
Wow, how did this one get away from me?  Thanks, Bill!
Thanks Bill!! I have never heard this one, please play it every day!!!
Likin' it.
 

Beautiful Lyrics.
One of the few Elbow songs I still love and it's never been played!{#Lol}