Our House


Oh look, another ode to the joys of domesticity and family life. This one with a bit more of a, shall we say, madcap flair. No soppy earnesty for Camden lads. Just good old fashioned row house living. I think we all know this one; it’s Madness’s biggest hit. And honestly, it’s a very cute song. Not everyone can relate to row houses and ugly living room wallpaper, but most of us have family memories we look on fondly. Even not coming from the best circumstances, there’s still nostalgia for the chaos of childhood. Not that nostalgia is at play here at all; that would be corny. Family life is chaotic and absurd, we live with it because it’s what we have and we’re used to it. That’s not a postcard sentiment, but it’s true to life. Madness and the rest of the ska revival documented a particular slice of British life (working class, with all that it entails), which for us over here in the U.S.A. may have looked very exotic and even charming, but which wasn’t really the most glamorous or tourist bureau friendly or very nice to actually experience. And there was quite a bit of anger, and feelings of disenfranchisement, that came out in relatively harmless forms like the creation of punk  culture, and in terrible forms like the National Front. So, really, it’s a bit unusual, but also very nice, to hear an upbeat and happy ode to plain everyday living, the universal basics of a contented life, even in a decrepit row house.

 

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