Sunday, November 18, 2007

Pencil Skirt

Different Class’ second song introduces the “sex-as-great-leveller” leitmotif that would garner the album a fair amount of notoriety. Here, Jarvis serves as a woman’s secret lover, and he revels in the wrongness of their act. For all its arch theatricality, this is a classic cheating song. Maybe some brave country singer will get around to covering it one day. The song’s finest moment comes in the third verse: “If you look under the bed, then I can see my house from here.” I’ve no idea what this literally means, but I think it’s alluding to the other Big Theme of the album – class. The narrator is probably poorer than the woman he’s addressing, and he’d rather not be reminded of that. The whole affair might be his way of trying to forget it.

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