Parklife
by Blur

Album: Parklife (1994)
Charted: 10
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  • Lyrics
  • The spoken word lyrics were performed by the British actor Phil Daniels, who was also in the video. Damon Albarn originally tried doing the verses but couldn't get into character, so guitarist Graham Coxon suggested Phil Daniels as the band were big fans of his film, Quadrophenia. Coxon recalled to The Guardian July 16, 2012. "At the line 'There was a piece of my heart,' Phil said, "Should I drop the 'h'? If I pronounce it, it'll sound more adorable." We didn't want to use a forced mockney accent, so he pronounced the 'h.'"
  • In the August 2005 issue of Q magazine, Damon Albarn explained: "London Fields (a novel by English writer Martin Amis) inspired Parklife. That book changed my outlook on life." Bassist Alex James said, "The first time Damon played Parklife to me I was certain that it would be big. It was one of the most complete things I'd ever heard."

    Food Records (their record label) co-owner Dave Balfe was not so enthusiastic: "When I first heard the demo without Phil Daniels, I thought that the chorus was brilliant but it was such a rubbish verse. I thought it was fairly tedious and the talking verses were not hit single material as far as I was concerned."
  • Blur Guitarist Graham Coxon played the saxophone on this track. He was a saxophonist when he first met Albarn, but this was the only time he played sax for Blur. He recalled to The Guardian: "I play a bit of the German national anthem on saxophone in the 'vorsprung durch technik' line. It's a very comedic song, a knees-up. Oasis were accused of being Chas'n'Dave, but we weren't far away ourselves."
  • What sounds like breaking glass was drummer Dave Rowntree smashing a plate.
  • Originally, Albarn was to sing the whole song and Daniels was going to recite a poem over a song called "The Debt Collector." However, it ended up becoming an instrumental as Albarn couldn't come up with a poem he liked, so Daniels was asked to narrate the verses of this instead.
  • The song and video won numerous awards in England. It went nowhere in the US.
  • Parklife was Blur's breakout album in England. They never hit it big in the US.
  • Coxon told The Guardian that the song was "about the park class: dustbin men, pigeons, joggers - things we saw every day on the way to the studio [Maison Rouge in Fulham]. It epitomises what Blur were about - having fun and doing exactly what you want to do."
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Comments: 10

  • Mariana from Buenos Aires, Argentinathat's true, the song is much too british for a yankee to like it. one of the best '90s songs ever!
  • Dana from Buenos Aires, ArgentinaAnd please..."America" is a continent...US, USA, EE UU, there are a lot of ways to call their country....Im from Argentina, and i agree with Rico...All the capital cities are almost the same around the world...And the life is very similar too, although we speak different languages...The best band ever...
    Dany, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Seb from Atmore, AlIm american..and EXTREMELY big blur/gorillaz/good bad and queen fan....so dont say "AMERICANS" ....yeah..we're all the same about as much as you are...and FYI..my stepmom is british.....but i would have still liked it even if she wouldnt have shown it to me...
  • Mo from Newark, NjOh this song has a very retro British sound to it. I can definitely imagine a group like The Hollies , Dave Clark 5 , or The Byrds singing this.
  • Brian from Fullerton (the Paris Of Oc), CaAh, not all Yanks are completely clueless. Several of us were appreciative to hear Phil Daniels in the song because we were big fans of the film Quadrophenia.

    When you hear "I don't wanna be the same as everybody else. That's why I'm a Mod, see? I mean, you gotta be somebody, ain't ya, or you might as well jump in the sea and drown," you kind of remember such a voice.

    The actor who portrayed Chalky - Philip Davis - was seen last year in a PBS production of Zadie Smith's White Teeth. And Ray Winstone is still at it. Mea culpa for diverging off the subject.
  • Rico from Melbourne, AustraliaOne of the greatest blur songs ever. I am Australian and agree this is quintessentially british, however I think it sums up the mood of the day, and was a good future prediction of all of the stupidity we go through today. I dont really have any grounds for this, yet I am an emotional person and as such speak my mind.
  • Leanne from Crawley, EnglandSuch a great song, that sums up Britian, Americans literally have NO taste at times.
  • Martin from Guildford, EnglandQuite right Amanda, they don't. I have a mate called John who i always take the mick out of for getting intimidated by the dirty pidgeons
  • Tom from Trowbridge, EnglandThis song does seem quintessentially British, so I guess that's why it didn't do well in America.
  • Amanda from Ipswich, EnglandTop top tune. You Americans don't know what you're missing!!!
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