Monday, April 12, 2010

ROYP Revisited

Rain On Your Parade isn't my favourite Duffy track.
There, I said it.

Following that bombshell, another little secret: when sorting my ultimate Duffy playlist on my mp3 player, I deliberately missed out ROYP. It is the ONLY officially released Duffy track I omitted.

In truth, maybe it disappointed me (when I got the Deluxe cd and its booklet confirmed it) that the lyrics are "And I'll keep raining raining, raining over you". In my opinion "reigning over you" would have been a cleverer lyric, and when the presenters on the radio stations (and listeners who called in to comment about it) mocked it for sounding like Duffy had an embarrassing approach to toilette, my imaginary response to them was, "It's reign as in rule, not rain as in water. It's word play. Why do you suppose that Duffy's lyrics are so basic?". But it's a good job the repost was only imaginary, otherwise I would have had to literally eat my hat upon receiving the cd booklet.

But it's not just the rainy lyrics which put me off the song. The video (showing Duffy strutting in a black jacket and wearing not much else apart from too much make-up) didn't suit her. Of course that's just my opinion. But the attitude of the song felt so unnecessarily vitriolic (vitriol is no sin when there is reason behind it) and without subtlety or sweetness (either one or the other always features in Duffy's other songs, don't you think?).

My disappointment at the song was mostly wrapped up in feelings that could only be understood when the song first started being played on radio and performed on TV in late 2008. Duffy's change throughout 2008 seemed to culminate in the ROYP performances: shorter skirts (even though it was winter!), too much bright red lipstick, and too many of the TV performances - in a bid to emulate the official video no doubt - featured canned sound while Duffy strutted west-end-musical-style on a podium in her black jacket, fishnets and high-cut knickers.... It was a move away from the innocent soulful 60s style (featuring real music, not canned) us Duffy fans were used to.

That said, this performance of ROYP in a sense won me over. Not to the extent that I ever play the official release, but this version of the song did actually make it on my playlist:

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