Kinks – Village Green Preservation Society

Some songs can be written by anyone. Songs can be very popular but generic. Some can only be written by certain songwriters. This would be one of those songs. Ray Davies’s songs have their own DNA. This was on the great 1968 album The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society.

This nostalgic song is a favorite of mine. This is a big jump from You Really Got me to…”We are the Sherlock Holmes English-speaking Vernacular, God save Fu Manchu, Moriarty and Dracula.”

Ray Davies: “You have to remember that North London was my village green, my version of the countryside. The street and district I grew up in was called Fortis Green, and then there was Waterlow Park and the little lake. I sang in the choir at St James’s Primary School until I was about 10, then I trained myself to sing out of tune so I could hang around with a gang called the Crooners instead. Our Scottish singing teacher Mrs. Lewis said, ‘Never mind, Davies – I hear crooners are making a lot of money these days.'”

From Songfacts

A very reflective and nostalgic song written by lead singer Ray Davies, this is about the innocent times in small English towns, where the village green was the community center. The entire album was based on this theme.

This plays in the movie Hot Fuzz as Sgt. Angel is jogging through a village.

Some critics thought the album’s snapshots of village life were partly inspired by performances by the Kinks in rustic Devon. Instead, they were based on memories of his growing up in London. 

Ray Davies namechecks various fictional characters that bring back childhood memories, such as music hall act Old Mother Riley and Mrs. Mopp, who was a character from the wartime radio comedy, ITMA.

We are the Draught Beer Preservation Society.
God save Mrs. Mopp and good old Mother Riley.

Davies explained to Q magazine: “The people in it are all characters I liked as a kid or people my family could relate to, like Old Mother Riley and Mrs Mopp. Because I used to love listening to the BBC Light Programme on Sundays, like Round The Horne with Kenneth Williams. A time when the population was allowed to be trivial.”

Village Green Preservation Society

We are the Village Green Preservation Society.
God save Donald Duck, vaudeville and variety.
We are the Desperate Dan Appreciation Society.
God save strawberry jam and all the different varieties.

Preserving the old ways from being abused.
Protecting the new ways, for me and for you.
What more can we do?

We are the Draught Beer Preservation Society.
God save Mrs. Mopp and good old Mother Riley.
We are the Custard Pie Appreciation Consortium.
God save the George Cross, and all those who were awarded them.

Oooh…

We are the Sherlock Holmes English-speaking Vernacular.
God save Fu Manchu, Moriarty and Dracula.
We are the Office Block Persecution Affinity.
God save little shops, china cups, and virginity.
We are the Skyscraper Condemnation Affiliates.
God save Tudor houses, antique tables, and billiards.

Preserving the old ways from being abused.
Protecting the new ways, for me and for you.
What more can we do?

We are the Village Green Preservation Society.
God save Donald Duck, vaudeville and variety.
We are the Desperate Dan Appreciation Society.
God save strawberry jam and all the different varieties.

God save the village green!

 

Author: badfinger20

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

16 thoughts on “Kinks – Village Green Preservation Society”

  1. When I was young, I also trained myself to sing out of tune. Living in Milwaukee, singing Christmas Carols was an annual thing. We would ring our neighbors door bells and when they opened up we would start singing and when we were done, they would give us money. I learned that if I sang off key that they would give us money quicker, wanting us to go away.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I used to work with a volunteer organisation, and volunteers would come from overseas to help plant, weed, etc in New Zealand conservation areas. The leader liked to blast this song in the van, kind of like their theme song.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Perfect song connection…cool story.

      In my top 5 of Kinks songs but I like live versions better than I do the studio version… and I’m more of a studio version person.

      I’ve meant to ask you if it would be cool for me to link to one of your album reviews when I pick a song from that album? It would just be once in a while…As you know I rarely do albums… in fact I’ve only done one… Springsteen’s debut.

      I always like to ask before I do that to someone.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good song. Been forever since I heard it. I had the Arthur album years ago.

        I appreciate it… it gives me an option to send people.

        Yea I’ve seen people steal and it pisses me off. I would always state your screen name and the link… like I did with Dave on Should I Stay Or Should I Go.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes Dave… man do they fight lol. Dave’s voice is high and it goes perfect with Ray…
      I love the lyrics. I love old stuff so it fits great.

      Liked by 1 person

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