Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Kinks- "Come Dancing"

The Kinks first became well known during the first British Invasion of music groups during the 1964-1965 era, with hits such as "You Really Got Me," and "All Day and All of the Night," and "Tired of Waiting for You."  In 1970, they again hit on both sides of the Atlantic, with "Lola."  Although the Kinks continued to make music, and continued their popularity in the U.K., they largely disappeared from the U.S. charts during the '70s.

Then in 1983, after an absence of many years, the Kinks joined in the Second British Invasion of the U.S. music charts, and had a big hit with a wonderful song called "Come Dancing." "Come Dancing" was a sentimental gem of a song which tenderly recalled times past. According to Wikipedia:

 The song is a nostalgic look back at childhood memories of its writer: the Kinks' frontman Ray Davies, remembering his older sister going on dates to the local Palais dance hall where big bands would play. The lyrics tell how the Palais has been demolished and his sister now has her own daughters who are going on dates.
"Come Dancing" is a tribute to Davies' sister Rene who bought him his first guitar, with the song's lyrics affording Davies' sister a happy life denied her in reality. Living in Canada with her (reportedly abusive) husband, the 31-year-old Rene was visiting her parental home in Fortis Green at the time of Ray Davies' thirteenth birthday — 21 June 1957 — on which she surprised him with a gift of the Spanish guitar he'd tried to persuade his parents to buy him. On the evening of the same day, Rene — who had a weak heart as a result of a childhood bout of rheumatic fever — suffered a fatal heart attack while dancing at the Lyceum ballroom.
Its a sweet song, and a great song for a comeback by the Kinks onto the American airwaves.


  1. This is my favorite Kinks song, and I was just playing it the other day. Didn't know the story behind the song, however; how sad!

  2. Pam- Indeed, its a sweet sentimental song. And its one I can relate to, as someone given to nostalgia and sentimentality over things past.

  3. Me too, Lazlo--my mother said ballrooms were all over the place in her day, and it was a very common way to meet your future husband or wife. My aunt met her first husband at one such dance place in the Boston area just after WWII.

  4. Pam-- You know, I regret seeing something nice, which was once a part of one's life, pass into non-existence. It almost seems as if things get more crass as time goes on, and lot of the charm of the past is lost. But, I guess people said the same things before, too!