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83. Richard Hawley – Coles Corner

02/10/2009

83

In the liner notes to his debut album, Richard Hawley describes Coles Corner as the place in Sheffield where couples arrange to meet, reckoning “there must be so many people in this world who are alive because a love bloomed there”. He seems aware of this as he sings, the idle speculation deepening his sadness that there isn’t a girl there now with whom he can live out his romantic dream. But away from the heartbreak, compounded by the old Dickensian idea of feeling most alone when surrounded by a city’s worth of people, Coles Corner plays more like a love song to Sheffield itself than to any individual: Hawley’s take is “Hey, Sheffield, you’re cold and dark, but among your people might be someone I could fall in love with”. He savours his home town’s rough edges, although with his plea to “hold back the night/cherish the light” he clearly doesn’t want the place to become any more hostile and new – the love for the old-fashioned is written all over the sleepy, Strangers in the Night shuffle that shapes the song. The orchestration admittedly has an element of pastiche to it, but alongside Hawley’s vintage croon and lovelorn lyrics, the result is still a gorgeous record.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. simon permalink
    04/10/2009 12:54 pm

    i didn’t know this song before you posted it…like it a lot

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