Sheffield: Sex City (song)

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Lyrics

Intake, Manor Park, The Wicker, Norton, Frechville, Hackenthorpe, Shalesmoor, Wombwell, Catcliffe, Brincliffe, Attercliffe, Ecclesall, Woodhouse, Wybourn, Pitsmoor, Badger, Wincobank, Crookes, Walkley, Broomhill

Candida: "I was only about eleven when this happened. We were living in a big block of flats with a central courtyard. All the bedroom windows in the building opened onto this court, and sometimes in the middle of the night, in that building it sounded like a mass orgy. I may have been only eleven, but no-one had to tell me what all that moaning and yelling was about. I'd lie there mesmerised, listening to the first couple. Invariably, they'd wake up other couples, and like some kind of chain reaction, within minutes the whole building was fucking. I mean, have you ever heard other people fucking, and really enjoying it? It's a marvellous sound. Not like in the movies, but when it's real. It's such a happy, exciting sound."

The city is a woman
bigger than any other
Oh, sophisticated lady
Yeah, I wanna be your lover
not your brother
or your mother, yeah

The sun rose from behind the gasometers at 6:30 AM, crept through the gap in your curtains and caressed your bare feet poking from beneath the floral sheets. I watched him flaking bits of varnish from your nails trying to work his way up under the sheets. Jesus, even the sun's on heat today, the whole city getting stiff in the building heat.

I just want to make contact with you, oh, that's all I wanna do
I just want to make contact with you, oh, that's all I wanna do
Oh

Now I'm trying hard to meet her
but the fares went up at seven
She is somewhere in the city
somewhere watching television
Watching people being stupid
doing things she can't believe in
Love won't last 'til the next instalment
10 o'clock on Tuesday evening
And the world is going on outside
The night is gaping open wide
The wardrobe and the chest of drawers
are telling her to go outdoors
He should have been here by this time
he said that he'd be here by nine
That guy is such a prick sometimes
I don't know why you bother really

Oh babe
Oh, I'm sorry
but I...
I just had to...
make love to every crack in the pavement
and the shop doorways
and the puddles of rain
that reflected your face in my eyes

The day didn't go too well, too many chocolates and cigarettes, I kept thinking of you and almost walking into lampposts. Why is it so hot? (Peace Garden, yeah) The air coming to the boil, rubbing up against walls and lampposts trying to get rid of it. Old women clack their tongues in the shade of crumbling concrete bus shelters. Dogs doing it, in central reservations, and causing multiple pile-ups in the centre of town. I didn't want to go in the first place but I've been sentenced to three years in the housing benefit waiting room. I must have lost your number in the all-night garage and now I'm wandering up and down your street calling your name. In the rain. Whilst my shoes turn to sodden cardboard.

Jarvis: Where are you?
Candida: I'm here
Jarvis: Where are you?
Candida: I'm here
Jarvis: Where are you?
Candida: I'm here
Jarvis: Where are you?
Candida: I'm here
Jarvis: Where are you?
Candida: I'm here
Jarvis: Where are you?
Candida: I'm here
Jarvis: Where are you?
Candida: I'm here
Jarvis: Where are you?...

Oh, that's all I wanna do

I'm still trying hard to meet you
but it doesn't look like happening
'cos the city's out to get me
but I won't sleep with her this evening
Though her buildings are impressive
and her cul-de-sacs amazing
She's had too many lovers
and I know you're out there waiting
And now she's getting into bed
he's had his chance, now it's too late
The carpets screaming for her soul
The darkness wants to eat her whole
Tonight must be the night it ends
Tomorrow she will call her friends
and go out on her own somewhere
Who needs this shit anyway?

Oh listen. I wandered the streets the whole night trying to pick up your scent, writing messages on walls. And the puddles of rain reflected your face in my eyes

We finally made it... on a hilltop at 4 AM. The whole city is your jewellery box. A million twinkling yellow street lights. Reach out and take what you want. You can have it all. Jesus, it took a long time. I didn't think we were going to make it. So bad during the day, but now snug and warm under an eiderdown sky. All the things we saw: everyone on Park Hill came in unison at 4.13 AM and the whole block fell down. The tobacconist caught fire and everyone in the street died of lung cancer. We heard groans from a T-reg Chevette: You bet, you bet, yeah. Yeah...(all I wanna do) And tomorrow... you're gonna... you're gonna... you're gonna... That's all I wanna do.

Oh, I was trying hard to meet her
but the fares went up at seven
She was somewhere in the city
somewhere watching television
Watching people being stupid
doing things she can't believe in
Love won't last 'til next instalment
10 o'clock on Tuesday evening
Oh, the world was going on outside
The night was gaping open wide
The wardrobe and the chest of drawers
were telling her to go outdoors
He should have been there by that time
He said that he'd be there by nine
The guy is such a prick sometimes, yeah

Oh, babe, I wanna... I wanna to tell you that there's nothing... nothing to worry about because we can... we can... we can... we can... get it together. Oh yeah. Oh... Oh... we got it together tonight... didn't we?... You said we did, yeah... we made it... we've got a hope, yeah.

Sleeve notes

The morning after My Legendary Girlfriend. Trying to get things done but ending up on a tour round the fleshpots of Sheffield in a T-reg Chevette. Wybourn, Brincliffe, Intake - All these places really exist and maybe these adventures still happen there - I wouldn't know; I don't live there anymore.

Jarvis' comments

From Mojo, February 2003:

Sometimes you write a song and you can't think of a tune but you like the music. So that's a cue for me to write a long stream of whatever, a few grunts and a little bit of singing at some point. It's OK, but it could have been done better. We got some good bass on it though 'cos this Rasta guy Zeebee, the house mixer at Island, was smoking a lot of dope and got that bass turned up.

Was I actually having sex? Probably wasn't, actually, 'cos when I first came down to London my girlfriend went away for a year. You might think, young man in London at college? Gotta be getting some shagging. But for some reason I didn't really get it on. Sex isn't really written about much except in very clich├ęd or caricatured terms, rather than as a part of everyday life.

Notes on lyrics

The passage read by Candida at the start of the song is taken from My Secret Garden, a book of women's sexual fantasies, compiled by Nancy Friday and published in 1973. (View the page.)

Alternative versions

Sheffield: Sex City (instrumental)

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Page last modified on October 30, 2011, at 09:44 PM