For What Is Chatteris Without You In It?
August 26, 2012
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This is a song by Half Man Half Biscuit. It appears on the album, ‘Achtung Bono’.
The description of Chatteris (a place in Cambridgeshire) sounds very much like Horbury, where I live.
By HMHB standards, this is one of their more melodically sophisticated songs.
The lyrical sophistication, and the surrealism, are, of course, ever-present.
What we get is a commentary on what goes on in Chatteris, super-imposed on a love-song about the difference between the narrator and his putative love. This is nothing more nor less than the economic potential difference between Liverpool and Cambridge.
And it is genius. This is motivated by the same forces that shaped “I Want To Hold Your Hand”, and “Nowhere Man”. The fact that the originators of this intellectual property have not earned as much money as their predecessors is merely an accident of history.