This week we got the sad news that the great actress, Lynn Redgrave had passed away after a battle with breast cancer.
Though she had a long and illustrious resume, she is fondly remembered to Iron Leg habitues and their ilk as an icon of Swinging London as the star of ‘Georgy Girl’ and ‘Smashing Time’.
I’m reposting this track (from the ‘Smashing Time’ OST) in her memory, and because it’s a really amazing tune, an odd, one-off kind of thing that really ought to be heard.
I’m taking the rest of the week off to take care of some stuff, so I’ll see you all on Monday.
Illustration from the cover of the ‘Smashing Time’ OST
Listen – Lynn Redgrave – While I’m Still Young – MP3
This weeks ‘end of week’ post is coming a bit early on account of it’s a holiday and I’m taking the rest of the week off, on account of that’s how I roll on Thanksgiving.
The tune I bring you today is something I dug up onmy recent trip to the Berkshires.
I should start by informing you that the song you are about to hear is nothing less than a demented work of genius, and should be covered by a punk band (garage or otherwise) as soon as humanly possible.
The strangest thing of all is that ‘While I’m Still Young’ is basically a parody to start with, composed to be sung by Lynne Redgrave’s character ‘Yvonne’ in the 1967 film ‘Smashing Time’.
‘Smashing Time’ was always a touchstone of sorts back in the mod days, mainly because it was packed wall to wall with Carnaby Street type scenery, and that it provided an odd little snapshot of the short lived ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ fashion craze in the UK, AND (dig this) a cameo by no less a band than Tomorrow (Keith West, Twink, Steve Howe et al) as a band called the Snarks.
The main thrust of the film is Yvonne and Brenda (Rita Tushingham) heading into the big city in search of stardom, where the former, discovered as a “typical teen” is taken and injection-molded into attempted pop stardom by a cynical record industry.
Today’s selection’While I’m Still Young’ is the highlight of the soundtrack, with a bright, brassy 1967-centric vibe (as seen through the prism of middle aged showbiz types) and an absolutely insane lyric.
I can’t sing but I’m young
Can’t do a thing but I’m young
I’m a fool, but I’m cool
Don’t put me down
I don’t read but I’m young
I’m built for speed cause I’m young
I’m a fool, but I’m cool
I’m not a clown
Don’t give a fig if you don’t dig
That I’m around
I don’t walk but I’m young
I never talk cause I’m young
I won’t cry, if I die
While I’m still young
Yeah baby I’m so young
Yeah baby I’m still so young
The lyrics were written by English satirist/surrealist (and jazz singer) George Melly, and they’re really amazing. ‘While I’m Still Young’ reads like the long lost bridge between raw 1966 punk and snotty 1976 punk, all delivered through Lynne Redgrave’s shrill vocal, laid on top of a cool, sitar tinged arrangement.
I dig it a lot, and I hope you do too.
Have a great holiday and I’ll see you all next week.