“I go out on Friday night, I come home on Saturday morning”
I think this sums it up quite nicely for most of us. Besides topical references to a chip shop and Terry Hall’s accent to mark the story geographically, it’s so universal. Everybody (nearly) goes through a phase when their life revolves around the same dull debauchery. The drinking and dancing, the girl-watching, the late night snack attack and the inevitable end of the night; dodging puddles of spew on your early morning trek home, alone. Hall’s disaffected tone says more than his words do. It’s that ennui that settles in when things that used to be fun become routine, when the night out is a chore, when you go through the motions just because that’s what you bloody well do on a Friday night. Nobody’s celebrating anything. It’s an ode to party fatigue. And yet, dammit, someway, somehow the song’s wafting on some sad glamour. It’s not the cult of personality; I never thought The Specials were especially glamorous blokes. It’s just my own perversity at work that I find drunk, lonely boys appealing; and sad, lonely drinking romantic. I’m just attracted to broken-wing types, I guess. If you’re not on the same page after hearing the original, then I challenge you to listen to Nouvelle Vague’s cover. If anybody can convince you that wading through piss in the taxi queue is the height of romance and squalor, it’s those dreamy French gals.