Songs You May Have Missed #440

batt

Mike Batt: “Railway Hotel” (1977)

In an unprecedented bit of second-guessing/heeding the opinion of a friend, I pulled the Justin Hayward cover version of this song from this space in favor of songwriter Mike Batt’s original. A bit less polished a singer, perhaps, but he seems a little more emotionally invested. And that’s usually worth more than a pretty voice.

The song itself achingly conveys the sweet sadness of new love forced to blossom on rough terrain.

Since this song was written by an Englishman, translation of a few words will be helpful, which I’ll now do with the help of my English-to-American dictionary:

Convector: a heating unit, usually referred to by Americans as a radiator.

Mains: of or relating to utility distribution

Savoy: a posh London hotel

(Posh: elegant, fashionable)

I think that’s enough to go on. Enjoy…

convector

Convector

We went to the room and we bolted the door,
The bass from the jukebox was coming through the floor,
And out through the walls we could still hear the roar of the trains.
Was this all the comfort we got for our sins?
No candles, no waiters, no soft violins?
A dirty electric convector plugged into the mains.

I had wanted much more for the first night with you,
But the railway hotel was the best I could do.
I knew the Savoy would have  suited you well,
But the best I could do was the railway hotel.

Away in the sky were the lights of a jet,
Burning in the night like a slow cigarette.
The lamp in the street threw a soft silhouette on the wall.
And though it was crumbling and rundown and dead
A chair and a sink and an old single bed,
The love we began and the things that we said, I recall.

I had wanted much more for the first night with you,
But the railway hotel was the best I could do.
I knew the Savoy would have suited you well,
But the  best I could do was the railway hotel 

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