Cool For Cats

Album: Cool For Cats (1979)
Charted: 2

Songfacts®:

  • Chris Difford half sings, half narrates this in a cockney accent as if down his local pub telling stories to his mates. It depicts a typical young British male who dreams of a more exciting life but struggles along as best he can.
  • The only Squeeze singles to be sung by lyricist/rhythm guitarist Difford are this and 1989's "Love Circles." Glenn Tilbrook, who writes the music, sings lead on most of their songs, although Paul Carrack took the mic on "Tempted." Difford had no idea he was going to sing this song when he wrote the lyrics for it.
  • The title is a reference to the UK TV series Cool for Cats, which ran from 1956 to 1961. In the September 1979 New Music magazine, Chris Difford explained: "I don't know if you're familiar with the phrase 'Cool For Cats,' but it was the first rock 'n' roll television show in England during 1959. That's where the album and single title originated - I just worked it into some personal experiences within the lyrical content."
  • The "Sweeney" in the second verse was a police TV show very popular among young British males in the late '70s.
  • In 1992, the song was re-released in the UK after it was featured in a British TV commercial for milk. This time it charted at #62. (Get more in our interview with Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford of Squeeze.)

Comments: 4

  • Sbw from London, United KingdomWandsworth - refers to the prison of the same name

    Give the dog a bone - refers to having sex with an unattractive woman
  • Brad from Sydney, AustraliaI remember being on holiday on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia as a 15 year old kid, and was amazed that a British lad I met knew all the lyrics & sang it really well!
    Now, almost 30 years later, I still love it and often sing along to it while watching the original clip on DVD. I wonder where that British lad is now?
    Brad Parry, Culburra Beach, Australia.
  • Zabadak from London, EnglandThis record was famously released on pink vinyl in the UK. Little known, some copies were pressed on red vinyl and they are the more valuable copies.
  • Paul from Leeds, EnglandThe "Sweeney" referred to in the song was the name of a British TV Cop show from the 70's but it was also the nickname of Scotland Yard's Flying Squad, it was cockney rhyming slang: "Sweeney Todd = Flying Squad"
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