Bangles – Dover Beach ….Power Pop Friday

I love the guitars in this song. Great hooks all the way around. This song was not released as a single…I would have bought it.

This song was on their debut album All Over The Place. It was written by Hoffs and Peterson. The song has no mention of Dover in the lyric…the title comes from the poem Dover Beach, published by the Englishman Matthew Arnold in 1867. The beach in question is the one at the bottom of the white cliffs in Dover, England, as in the 1940 song “The White Cliffs Of Dover.”

When they released this song they were part of the Paisley Underground scene… a Los Angeles scene with bands like Rain Parade, The Dream Syndicate, Green On Red, and others. The Bangles were undoubtedly the most successful band to come out of that group of bands.

Bangles - All Over The Place

Their album All Over The Place was released in 1984. It didn’t have a hit single and the album only peaked at #80 on the Billboard 100, #32 in New Zealand, and #86 in the UK. However…the album sold respectively and stayed on the charts for 30 weeks and that set their next album up.

Their next album Different Light shot them to stardom with the hits Manic Monday, Walk Like An Egyptian and my favorite song by them… If She Knew What She Wants. They made just one more album called Everything before breaking up in 1989. It had the hits In Your Room and Eternal Flame. 

Dover Beach, although not a single, remains on their current setlist.

Vickie Peterson: “Susanna and I were slightly geekish about opening the Norton Anthology of English Literature, flipping through that and going, ‘Hey, this is a great line.’ She had come across the Matthew Arnold poem Dover Beach at some point and that inspired that song, that idea of applying the fantasy of escape and the reality of what that would really mean. It was a really fun time to just mine the world for ideas.”

Dover Beach

If I had the time
I would run away with you
To a perfect world
We’d suspend all that is duty or required.

Late last night you cried
And I couldn’t come to you
But on the other side
You and I, inseparable and walking.

Yeah, oh woe.

If we could steal away
Like jugglers and thieves
But we could come and go
Oh, and talk of Michaelangelo.

Oh woe.

If we had the time (we had the time)
We had the time.

The day you looked at me
And it was on your mind
The world is no one’s dream
We will never ever find the time.

Oh woe.

If we had the time
I would run away with you
To a perfect world
(To a perfect world).