• songfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • This was inspired by Damon Albarn's visit to Penrhyn castle, near Bangor, a Victorian stately home overlooking the Menai Strait towards Anglesey.

    Up in the tower that looks out to sea
    The pink dressing room bell
    Of the lady is ringing
    She looks from the shadows
    Out through the stained colours of old grass
    The sorrows of slate and sugar cane are hers

    Built in the 19th century, the property was mocked up to look like a Norman castle from 1066 using the inherited proceeds from slavery in Jamaica. Bassist Paul Simonon explained to Consequence of Sound that the building "came to represent misery to the local people of that town. Even today they have dark memories of it, this haunted building on top of the hill."
  • Damon Albarn got the song title, Lady Boston, from one of the numerous portraits adorning the castle walls. "There was a face which looked slightly detached," he told The Sun. "I was really drawn to her. The colour of her skin was subtly different. Maybe she came from the colonies and I'd like to know who she was."
  • The band returned to Penrhyn castle to record the finished song. It includes a Welsh-language refrain sung by the Penrhyn male voice choir: "Dwi wrth dy gefn," which roughly translates as, "I've got your back."

    "It has a sense of, 'We rely on each other,'" Albarn told The Guardian. "We live on this stroppy little island, and we need to talk to each other. But have we not just spent the last couple of years going round in circles?"
Please sign in or register to post comments.


Be the first to comment...

Stand By Me: The Perfect Song-Movie CombinationSong Writing

In 1986, a Stephen King novella was made into a movie, with a classic song serving as title, soundtrack and tone.

Leslie West of MountainSongwriter Interviews

From the cowbell on "Mississippi Queen" to recording with The Who when they got the wrong Felix, stories from one of rock's master craftsmen.

90210 to Buffy to Glee: How Songs Transformed TVSong Writing

Shows like Dawson's Creek, Grey's Anatomy and Buffy the Vampire Slayer changed the way songs were heard on TV, and produced some hits in the process.

Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of WayneSongwriter Interviews

The guy who brought us "Stacy's Mom" also wrote the Jane Lynch Emmy song and Stephen Colbert's Christmas songs.

Trucking Songs That Were #1 HitsSong Writing

The stories behind the biggest hit songs about trucking.

Billy Steinberg - "Like A Virgin"They're Playing My Song

The first of Billy's five #1 hits was the song that propelled Madonna to stardom. You'd think that would get you a backstage pass, wouldn't you?