Madness – Our House

At the start of MTV my small town I lived in had yet to get cable…but it wouldn’t take too long. At that time I had to travel to relatives in Nashville before I got a chance to see it. I would spend the weekend and we would watch MTV for hours at a time. Binge watching before binge watching was a saying. We would wake up the next day bleary eyed and turn on more MTV.

I did find some music I never heard before. This band and song caught my attention. The song was released in 1982. It peaked at #7 in the Billboard 100, #1 in Canada, and #5 in the UK.

The song was on the The Rise & Fall album. They were different…they have been described as a British ska and pop band.

This was Madness only top 10 hit in the US. Much of the song’s success in America was helped out by the clever music video that was in heavy rotation early days of MTV.

The producers were Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley

Alan Winstanley:  “At the time of doing Madness we were kind of flying along together,” adds Langer. “Alan’s very precise and very particular, and I’m more slapdash and in a hurry and probably tend to like rougher-sounding records. That’s a generalization, because in the end we do like the same records, but sometimes the whole process with Alan can be laborious for me. He normally does the vocal comps whereas I’ll do a lot more work in the rehearsal room on the arrangements, deciding what instruments should play what where, how long the chorus should be and things like that. Still, we’ve got on fine considering how long we’ve worked together.”

Graham “Suggs” McPherson lead singer : “This was the first time we worked with the string arranger David Bedford. It was clear to him what our records needed and he did great things for us. It’s strange now to think we were so philosophical about such everyday things.”

From Songfacts

This won the Best Song award at the 1983 Ivor Novello Awards.

This was played in a 2007 TV commercial shown in the UK for Bird’s Eye Fish Fingers, which featured Suggs. In the advert the Madness frontman is sitting with a family at tea time. The daughter is studying for her school exams and asks Suggs where Omega 3 can be found. He offers the answer of Birds Eye Fish Fingers.

The song’s video featured the band as a cloth-cap wearing family squashed into a terraced house. Drummer Dan “Woody” Woodgate recalled to Q Magazine August 2008: “The knocking-on-the-door bit where somebody comes out, goes, ‘Where are they?’ and the others sneak in and close the door… That’s The Flintstones. We stole lots of ideas from the Keystone Kops and Benny Hill.”

Our House

Father wears his Sunday best
Mother’s tired, she needs a rest
The kids are playing up downstairs
Sister’s sighing in her sleep (ah)
Brother’s got a date to keep, he can’t hang around

Our house, in the middle of our street
Our house, in the middle of our

Our house, it has a crowd
There’s always something happening
And it’s usually quite loud
Our mum she’s so house-proud
Nothing ever slows her down and a mess is not allowed

Our house, in the middle of our street
Our house, in the middle of our
Our house, in the middle of our street
Our house, in the middle of our (something tells you that you’ve got to move away from it)

Father gets up late for work
Mother has to iron his shirt
Then she sends the kids to school
Sees them off with a small kiss (ah)
She’s the one they’re going to miss in lots of ways

Our house, in the middle of our street
Our house, in the middle of our

I remember way back then when everything was true and when
We would have such a very good time, such a fine time
Such a happy time
And I remember how we’d play, simply waste the day away
Then we’d say nothing would come between us
Two dreamers

Father wears his Sunday best
Mother’s tired, she needs a rest
The kids are playing up downstairs
Sister’s sighing in her sleep
Brother’s got a date to keep, he can’t hang around

Our house, in the middle of our street
Our house, in the middle of our street
Our house, in the middle of our street
Our house, in the middle of our

Our house, was our castle and our keep
Our house, in the middle of our street
Our house, that was where we used to sleep
Our house, in the middle of our street
Our house, in the middle of our street, our house