The Kinks A Well Respected Man

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The Kinks A Well Respected Man

The Kinks A Well Respected Man

Pop Rock

In general, the phrase “well respected man” is a positive compliment. However, in Kinks’ lead singer Ray Davies added zing to the meaning of that designation with his satirical vignette of upper class hypocrisy in the song “A Well Respected Man.”

Following his 1965 U.S. tour, Davies went for a vacation at a British luxury resort in Torquay, Devon. The resort was populated with upper class Brits, some of whom managed to offend Davies by taking a dim view of the pop star from a working-class background. His response was to write a song taking a shot at the British class system.

Although the melody is in the English music hall style (light, simple and bouncy) the lyrics are  a scathing indictment of British class consciousness. The song tells the story of an upper class gentleman whose life seems perfect to the world, but is actually filled with frustration and corruption. Ray Davies succeeded in creating one of the first satirical and funny rock songs mocking the establishment, as well as exposing the British upper class for its self-satisfaction.

“A Well Respected Man” reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1965, and remains one of the band’s most popular and best known songs. It is one of four Kinks songs included on The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s list of the 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll along with “You Really Got Me,” “Waterloo Sunset,” and “Lola.” The song was also released on their 1965 album Kinkdom.

In 1965 Petula Clark recorded a French version, “Un Jeune Homme Bien,” which was released in France and Canada in 1965. The song is featured in the 2007 film Juno.

The Kinks formed in Muswell Hill, North London, England, and were one of the influential bands of the British invasion era. They were brothers Ray and Dave Davies, Peter Quaife, and Mickey Willet. They had numerous lineup changes over the years and toured and performed for many decades.

Here are the lyrics to “A Well Respected Man” by The Kinks:

” ‘Cause he gets up in the morning,
And he goes to work at nine,
And he comes back home at five-thirty,
Gets the same train every time.
‘Cause his world is built ’round punctuality,
It never fails.

And he’s oh, so good,
And he’s oh, so fine,
And he’s oh, so healthy,
In his body and his mind.
He’s a well respected man about town,
Doing the best things so conservatively.

And his mother goes to meetings,
While his father pulls the maid,
And she stirs the tea with councilors,
While discussing foreign trade,
And she passes looks, as well as bills
At every suave young man

‘Cause he’s oh, so good,
And he’s oh, so fine,
And he’s oh, so healthy,
In his body and his mind.
He’s a well respected man about town,
Doing the best things so conservatively.

And he likes his own backyard,
And he likes his fags the best,
‘Cause he’s better than the rest,
And his own sweat smells the best,
And he hopes to grab his father’s loot,
When Pater passes on.

‘Cause he’s oh, so good,
And he’s oh, so fine,
And he’s oh, so healthy,
In his body and his mind.
He’s a well respected man about town,
Doing the best things so conservatively.

And he plays at stocks and shares,
And he goes to the Regatta,
And he adores the girl next door,
‘Cause he’s dying to get at her,
But his mother knows the best about
The matrimonial stakes.

‘Cause he’s oh, so good,
And he’s oh, so fine,
And he’s oh, so healthy,
In his body and his mind.
He’s a well respected man about town,
Doing the best things so conservatively.”

For more songs by The Kinks: “You Really Got Me,” “Sunny Afternoon,” and “Tired of Waiting for You.”

For More Golden Oldies Music                                

The Daily Doo Wop Rec Room has daily featured doo wop music, rock and roll hits, R&B, or rockabilly songs that werewere hits during the first era of rock and roll (that is, from about 1952 until the British invasion in 1964). After a song is featured, it then goes into the juke box. You are welcome to listen to any of the 40+ selections there. Every weekend, there is a Golden Oldies Juke Box Saturday Night, and the juke box is full of song requests from the 1950s and 1960s.

Please click here for the Daily Doo Wop YouTube channel, to which you can subscribe. Thank you for stopping by The Daily Doo Wop. Hope you enjoyed “A Well Respected Man” by The Kinks.

3 Comments

  1. […] If you are interested in reading about and listening to other songs by The Kinks, please click here for “Sunny Afternoon,” “You Really Got Me,” and “A Well Respected Man.” […]

  2. […] I you are interested in reading about and listening to other songs by The Kinks, please click here for “Sunny Afternoon,” “Tired of Waiting for You,” and “A Well Respected Man.” […]

  3. […] For other songs by The Kinks: “You Really Got Me,” “Tired of Waiting for You,” and “A Well Respected Man.” […]

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