SotD79 - Gerry Rafferty


Inspired by our series of articles looking back at music released 30 years ago, Jimmy Hunter takes a step further back in time to give us a Song of the Day 1979. This week, he does give a hoot about Night Owl...

Now and then, a song or an artiste comes along and you instantly connect with them and or their music. As soon as I heard Baker Street I knew I was hooked. His following singles may not have had the same commercial success but you can't bank on that - this one, however, shone brightly. If I appear a little disjointed in the following comments it's because this, for me, is a very poignant record.

I listened to the lyrics of this week's choice - Night Owl by the late and amazingly talented Gerry Rafferty - and they resonated with me hugely, clearly for different reasons. I was going through an "odd phase": what was life to be like? I was 14 and different and these lyrics spoke volumes to me, and made me very, very determined.

Right from the off the melody that's the backbone of the track hooks me in. It takes its time though - there's no rush. You get a chance to settle into it and then the intro moves into the main track and Gerry sings:

"Night comes down and finds you alone,
in space and time of your own"

And that's me. I've always thought this song to be about temptation and mine was a very different kind to Gerry's and it's the sublime musicality that carries you through the story; and it kind of gives you permission. Kind of. Permission to do what though?

I've spent years going through this amazing man's back catalogue and what I've found is that everything is as unique as he was. We lost Gerry a few years back - he took his own life. For me that was a painful loss especially given the circumstances and many, many things about his lyrics came back to me - this song being prime among them.

So, dear reader, this song is clearly very personal to me but I ask you to listen, all the way through, and remember / imagine a very different time and to immerse yourself in what I consider to be a superbly constructed and crafted single.



Image - Amazon