Song of the Day #3,406: ‘Pulling Mussels (From the Shell) [Unplugged]’ – Squeeze

The very first episode of MTV’s Unplugged featured British pop band Squeeze along with a pair of American singer-songwriters, Syd Straw and Elliott Easton.

Through some cosmic coincidence, that debut episode aired exactly 28 years ago today, on Halloween of 1989. I’d love to say I planned it this way, but alas, it was fate.

I love Squeeze’s sound, and particularly Glenn Tilbrook’s vocals. Despite my vehement opposition to greatest hits collections, I must admit their Singles – 45’s and Under album is a treasure trove of classic tracks.

But given my fondness for the entire East Side Story album, I would probably be rewarded by downloading Cool For Cats and Argybargy, the two well-loved records that preceded it.

[Verse]
They do it down on Camber Sands
They do it at Waikiki
Lazing about the beach all day
At night the crickets creepy
Squinting faces at the sky
A Harold Robbins paperback
Surfers drop their boards and dry
And everybody wants a hat

[Chorus]
But behind the chalet
My holiday’s complete
And I feel like William Tell
Maid Marian on her, tiptoed feet
Pulling mussels from a shell
Pulling mussels from a shell

[Verse]
Shrinking in the sea so cold
Topless ladies look away
A he-man in a sudden shower
Shelters from the rain
You wish you had a motor boat
To pose around the harbour bar
And when the sun goes off to bed
You hook it up behind the car

[Chorus]
But behind the chalet
My holiday’s complete
And I feel like William Tell
Maid Marian on her, tiptoed feet
Pulling mussels from a shell
Pulling mussels from a shell

[Verse]
Two fat ladies window shop
Something for the mantelpiece
In for bingo all the nines
A panda for sweet little niece
The coach drivers stand about
Looking at a local map
About the boy he’s gone away
Down to next door’s caravan

[Chorus]
But behind the chalet
My holiday’s complete
And I feel like William Tell
Maid Marian on her, tiptoed feet
Pulling mussels from a shell
Pulling mussels from a shell
But behind the chalet
My holiday’s complete
And I feel like William Tell
Maid Marian on her, tiptoed feet
Pulling mussels from a shell
Pulling mussels from a shell

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2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #3,406: ‘Pulling Mussels (From the Shell) [Unplugged]’ – Squeeze

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    Love the song and the greatest hits album. Good stuff!

  2. Amy says:

    One of the things I love about these types of performances are the exchanges between the performers. Seemed as if there might be more of that at the start of this performance. For some reason it reminded me of that great but short-lived show Elvis Costello had where he interviewed and performed with various musical greats. Meanwhile, I love this rendition.

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