Song Lyric Sunday #27

What do I have in my archives in response to Jim Adams’ prompt for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday Challenge which is Colours – gotta be Golden Brown by The Stranglers.

I saw the band perform at The Hammersmith Odeon many moons ago. I distinctly remember walking into the foyer wearing my beige Burberry raincoat, carrying my briefcase (it was a week-night) into a sea of everyone else wearing black.

The Stranglers are an English rock band who emerged via the punk rock scene. Scoring some 23 UK top-40 singles and 17 UK top-40 albums to date in a career spanning five decades, they’re one of the longest-surviving bands to have originated in the UK punk scene.

Formed as the Guildford Stranglers in early 1974, they originally built a following within the mid-1970s pub rock scene. While their aggressive, no-compromise attitude had them identified by the media with the emerging UK punk rock scene that followed, their idiosyncratic approach rarely followed any single musical genre, and the group went on to explore a variety of musical styles, from new wave, art rock and gothic rock through the sophisti-pop of some of their 1980s output.

The Stranglers’ early sound was driven by Jean-Jacques Burnel’s melodic bass, but also gave prominence to Dave Greenfield’s keyboards. Their early music was also characterised by the growling vocals and sometimes misanthropic lyrics of both Burnel and Hugh Cornwell.

Sadly, founding keyboard player Dave Greenfield died on 3 May 2020 of COVID-19. On 10 June, the remaining bandmembers announced that they were working on mixing an album they had recorded shortly prior to Greenfield’s death. They also confirmed that their “Final Full UK Tour” which had been announced in January 2020 would proceed in Greenfield’s honour.

The band enjoyed major mainstream success with their 1982 single “Golden Brown” released as a 7″ single, on Liberty, in 1981 in the US and in 1982 in the UK .It was the second single from the band’s sixth album La folie. It peaked at No. 2 in the UK Singles Chart, the band’s highest ever placing in that chart.

The single was a top 10 hit around the world, including Australia. It was also featured in the film Snatch and is included on its soundtrack album.

There has been much controversy surrounding the song’s lyrics. In his book The Stranglers Song By Song (2001), lead singer Hugh Cornwell states:

Golden Brown’ works on two levels. It’s about heroin and also about a girl. Essentially the lyrics describe how “both provided me with pleasurable times.


The video for “Golden Brown” was directed by Lindsey Clennell. It depicts the band members both as explorers in an Arabian country and non-Arab Muslim countries (sequences include images of the Pyramids as well as the explorers studying a map of Egypt) in the 1920s and performers for a fictional “Radio Cairo”.

In addition to the Pyramids, the video is intercut with stock footage of the Mir-i-Arab Madrasah in Bukhara, the Shah Mosque in Isfahan, the Great Sphinx, Feluccas sailing, Bedouins riding, and camel racing in the United Arab Emirates. The performance scenes were filmed in the Leighton House Museum in Holland Park, London.

Lyrics: Golden Brown

Golden brown texture like sun
Lays me down with my mind she runs
Throughout the night
No need to fight
Never a frown with golden brown
Every time just like the last
On her ship tied to the mast
To distant lands
Takes both my hands
Never a frown with golden brown
Golden brown finer temptress
Through the ages she’s heading west
From far away
Stays for a day
Never a frown with golden brown
Never a frown with golden brown
Never a frown with golden brown
Never a frown with golden brown
Never a frown with golden brown
Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Jean Jacques Burnel / Brian John Duffy / Hugh Alan Cornwell / David Paul Greenfield
Golden Brown lyrics © Complete Music Ltd.

Challenge Rules

  • Post the lyrics to the song of your choice, whether it fits the theme or not. If it does not fit, then please explain why you chose this song.
  • Please try to include the songwriter(s) – it’s a good idea to give credit where credit is due.
  • Make sure you also credit the singer/band and if you desire you can provide a link to where you found the lyrics.
  • Link to the YouTube video, or pull it into your post so others can listen to the song.
  • Ping back to Jim’s post or place your link in his comments section.
  • Read at least one other person’s blog, so we can all share new and fantastic music and create amazing new blogging friends in the process.
  • Feel free to suggest future prompts.
  • Most of all, have fun and enjoy the music.

4 Comments on “Song Lyric Sunday #27

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