Happy Hour

Album: London 0 Hull 4 (1986)
Charted: 3
  • songfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • The song is a humorous but scathing look at life in the working man's world, which involved spending most evenings down the local pub. A "Happy Hour" is a promotional tool used by many drinking establishments when their prices are discounted.
  • The Housemartins were compared by many to The Smiths. However the Smith's guitarist Johnny Marr was not impressed. He complained that "'Happy Hour' was a complete rip-off of 'I Want The One I Can't Have', and they've nicked others too."
  • This was The Housemartins first Top 10 hit in the UK, which was a fair achievement for a band on an independent label. They went on to have 5 more UK Top 20 hits including a chart-topping a capella version of the Isley-Jasper-Isley song "Caravan Of Love." The Housemartins broke up in 1988, and Paul Heaton formed The Beautiful South the following year, which continued on in a similar vein. Meanwhile, bass player Norman Cook morphed into leading dance act Fatboy Slim.
  • When The Beautiful South was formed, Paul Heaton said that they weren't going to be The Housemartins: "If someone in the crowd shouts 'Do Happy Hour,' we'll go 'Right, that's one song fewer we're going to do tonight.'"
  • This song's popularity was helped by its claymation animated music video.
  • The title of the album London 0 Hull 4 refers to the band's home town of Hull in North England and is in the format of a football result. The songs reflected Paul Heaton's socialist viewpoint in that they were a reaction against what he saw as the South-East centric view of the right-wing Conservative government Britain had at the time. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Edward Pearce - Ashford, Kent, England, for all above
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments: 2

  • Dan from Bristol, United KingdomIt's not about working class people enjoying a night out at the pub among themselves. It's about going out with the boss during the yuppie revolution and having to absorb all that culture's bulls--t and materialism. "Where they open all their wallets and they close all their minds", and "they speak a different language" and putting up with the casual misogyny: "And he tells me that women grow on trees and if you catch them right they will land upon your knees."
  • Adrian from Crossville, TnBarenaked Ladies sample the chorus of this song in their cult hit "hello city"

    What a good place to be, dont belive them, they speak a different language and its never been happy for me.
see more comments

Chris Frantz - "Genius of Love"They're Playing My Song

Chris and his wife Tina were the rhythm section for Talking Heads when they formed The Tom Tom Club. "Genius of Love" was their blockbuster, but David Byrne only mentioned it once.

U2Fact or Fiction

How did The Edge get his name? Did they name a song after a Tolkien book? And who is "Angel of Harlem" about?

Trucking Songs That Were #1 HitsSong Writing

The stories behind the biggest hit songs about trucking.

Songs About MoviesSong Writing

Iron Maiden, Adele, Toto, Eminem and Earth, Wind & Fire are just some of the artists with songs directly inspired by movies - and not always good ones.

Country Song TitlesFact or Fiction

Country songs with titles so bizarre they can't possibly be real... or can they?

Chad Channing (Nirvana, Before Cars)Songwriter Interviews

Chad tells tales from his time as drummer for Nirvana, and talks about his group Before Cars.