Mudcat Café message #3161558 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #138137   Message #3161558
Posted By: GUEST,Alan Whittle
27-May-11 - 08:38 PM
Thread Name: Casey's last ride - meaning?
Subject: RE: Casey's last ride - meaning?
As someone said, the late wonderful Tony Capstick used to do this one.

It was a strange song for him to choose. Definitely an American setting - the choice of the word subway. Tony was a great fan of American songwriters though - he used to talk in glowing terms about Shel Silverstein. But his genius was definitely for trad. English/Irish. I can't remember how many times I requested him to do the Bonny Bunch of Roses - tore my heart out, every time.

Anyway he was attracted to this song with its funereal pace and its tale of urban hopelessness. It was perhaps a hint to us in the audience that despite brilliant witty introductions, and an ability for verbal riposte (Derek Brimstone once told me that Tony and Diz Disley were the quickest onstage wits he had ever encountered) that his life had some very dark corners.

I've often wondered if there is an ambiguity in the title. Is the last ride - the subway ride, or is it ride in a sexual sense? The man no longer desires the woman. She pathetically waits in the new stockings that once used to excite his interest, The loss of desire on his part is just one sympton of the alienation and general shutting off of the world. He can only spectate on his own decline, and his loss of interest in the world once so vital, but now driven deep underground and dying is like the half life that is possible for subterranean creatures.

The crowd flooding underground to make a living and claim a role and career in life, is a metaphor for everything he has driven underground and suppressed in himself - and now it has expunged in him the vitality that made relationships valuable.

A very dark song - not the sort for sunny personalities like me - but godammit - well written!