“Next Door Neighbor” – Ray Davies


If I had to pick my favorite songwriter it would be a tough task, but Ray Davies (formerly of The Kinks) would be my choice.  Over the past 50 years he has built a catalogue of songs which is amazing and he is still going strong as he approaches 70.  Most recently, his solo work which only started when he was in his early 60s has been better than ever.  I encourage anyone who is fan of rock music to go out and buy any random Kinks CD and I guarantee you will like it.  What I especially like about Ray is that you feel like you take the journey of life with him as an artist and as he ages and changes the music and lyrics reflects this.  Since he is few decades older than me, I feel like a musical pathway has already been laid out for me.

I also encourage you to see him live while you still can.  I’ve seen many acts over the years and no one touches his stage presence and comfort level in front of an audience.  It is clear he is doing what he was meant to do.  I also think you’ll find that if you dig into the lyrics a bit, that he often has something important to say and some of it will resonate with you on a personal level.  I’ve chosen a fairly recent song from a solo record, “Next Door Neighbor,” to illustrate this point.  Have a nice weekend!

Mr. Jones, my next door neighbour
I feel I’ve known you all my life
I haven’t seen you for a while now
How’s the family? How’s that beautiful wife?
I hope your dreams were not forgotten
And you’ve become downtrodden

Get your health together
Get your wealth together
Get yourself together
Jones, you were my next door neighbour

Mr. Brown, you’re so ambitious
You ran off with an Essex blond
You’ve broke the bank to keep two women
You’re over extended, now it’s all gone wrong
Now you’re right back where you started
Still, you shouldn’t be broken hearted

Get your mind together
We can still climb together
A step at a time together
Brown, your world was turned upside down

I know it’s not the same
And everything changes
But behind front doors people think that they can hide
We win and lose, we laugh and cry
Live and learn, at least we try
Oh, give it a try

Ba ba ba, together
Ba ba ba, together
And we can go miles together
All of my next door neighbours

Get your style together
Put a smile together
And we’ll go miles together
All of my next door neighbours

Mr. Smith, another story
I wonder what became of him?
They say he threw the telly through the window
He went bizerk and jacked the whole world in
They say he may have hit rock bottom
Still, he went out with a bang and so he is not forgotten

We had our tiffs together
Our rows and our rifts together
But let’s learn to forgive together
Smith, you were my next door neighbour
Jones, you were my next door neighbour
Brown, you were my next door neighbour

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About robined

Ed Robinson is an Executive Coach, Management Consultant, Teacher, Writer and Music Lover.
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