Kinks – A Well Respected Man

Musically this is a sing-along song but the lyrics are full of social satire and anger. The Kinks record company Pye did not release this song in the UK at the time because they wanted harder songs like “You Really Got Me.” It was released in other countries and peaked at #13 in the Billboard 100 in 1965.

I first heard this song on a Kinks complication album along with “Dedicated Follower of Fashion” and The Kinks earlier songs. A Well Respected Man marked a turning point in Davies’s writing from rock/punk to more satirical, character-driven songs.

From Songfacts

Kinks frontman Ray Davies wrote this song after the group’s 1965 tour of the United States. The tour did not go well, with infighting, fatigue and a conflict with the musician’s union that kept them from performing in the country for another four years.Davies recovered from the tour with a vacation at the English resort town of Torquay, Devon. There, a wealthy hotel guest recognized him and asked Ray to play a round of golf. Far from being flattered by the invitation, he took great offense. “I’m not gonna play f–king golf with you,” he told him. “I’m not gonna be your caddy so you can say you played with a pop singer.”

Dense with lyrics describing the pretentious gentleman born to good fortune, Ray Davies says this was the first “word-oriented” song he wrote.

A Well Respected Man

Cause he gets up in the morning,
And he goes to work at nine,
And he comes back home at five-thirty,
Gets the same train every time.
‘Cause his world is built ’round punctuality,
It never fails.

And he’s oh, so good,
And he’s oh, so fine,
And he’s oh, so healthy,
In his body and his mind.
He’s a well respected man about town,
Doing the best things so conservatively.

And his mother goes to meetings,
While his father pulls the maid,
And she stirs the tea with councilors,
While discussing foreign trade,
And she passes looks, as well as bills
At every suave young man

‘Cause he’s oh, so good,
And he’s oh, so fine,
And he’s oh, so healthy,
In his body and his mind.
He’s a well respected man about town,
Doing the best things so conservatively.

And he likes his own backyard,
And he likes his fags the best,
‘Cause he’s better than the rest,
And his own sweat smells the best,
And he hopes to grab his father’s loot,
When Pater passes on.

‘Cause he’s oh, so good,
And he’s oh, so fine,
And he’s oh, so healthy,
In his body and his mind.
He’s a well respected man about town,
Doing the best things so conservatively.

And he plays at stocks and shares,
And he goes to the Regatta,
And he adores the girl next door,
‘Cause he’s dying to get at her,
But his mother knows the best about
The matrimonial stakes.

‘Cause he’s oh, so good,
And he’s oh, so fine,
And he’s oh, so healthy,
In his body and his mind.
He’s a well respected man about town,
Doing the best things so conservatively.

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

17 thoughts on “Kinks – A Well Respected Man”

  1. I always thought of this song as a harder, edgier song because of the lyrics. Interesting that the record company didn’t see it that way. It’s not a nice song; it’s an angry song, and a great one, imo. I love the golf story.

    Liked by 2 people

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