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Life of Colleen: Train in Vain

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Train in Vain
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-07-25 at 8:03 AM (Pacific)

the clash london calling

I was feeling a bit sentimental, as usual...it's funny, you come to understand those middle-aged people, once you become one of them. When I was a kid, the middle-aged folks still loved their 1950's rock and roll. It's understandable (admittedly, I understood it even when I was a kid): this music is beautifully stripped-down. If you want a sartorial analogy, it is akin to the perfect black and white outfit. Everything is there, but nothing in excess.

The Clash, "Train in Vain" (1979)

Not overly nuts about the video, if only because I am old enough to have experienced The Clash firsthand. Mick Jones is merely ten years older than I am. There was a collegial feeling between fans and group, not fan worship.

The nice touch is the predominance of black-and-white images--which, as I say, is not coincidental. Fashion is a phoenix which must periodically burn and be reborn. The minimalist 1950's style became 1970's bloat, before Elvis Costello showed up in a skinny tie and Debbie Harry wearing blonde hair, tights and a simple dress.

I think the next trend will be this kind of simplicity, not another round of Laboutins. (I'm not knocking your Laboutins; it's just a predication.)

You say you'll stand by your man
Tell me something I don't understand
You said you loved me, and that's a fact
And then you left me, said you felt trapped
Well some things you can explain away
But the heartache's in me till this day

You didn't stand by me
No not at all
You didn't stand by me
No way

All the times, you and me were close
I remember these things the most
I've seen all my dreams come tumbling down
I can't be happy without you 'round
So alone I keep the wolves at bay
And there's only one thing I can say

You didn't stand by me
No not at all
You didn't stand by me
No way

You must explain why this must be
Did you lie when you spoke to me?
Did you stand by me
No not at all

Now I got a job but it don't pay
I need new clothes, I need somewhere to stay
But without all these things I can do
Without your love I won't make it through
But you don't understand my point of view
I suppose there's nothing I can do

You didn't stand by me
No not at all
You didn't stand by me
No way

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