Song of the Day #3,831: ‘It Could Have Been a Brilliant Career’ – Belle & Sebastian

The lead-off track of Belle & Sebastian’s 1998 album The Boy With the Arab Strap, ‘It Could Have Been a Brilliant Career’ is a classic example of the band’s early style. I’ll stack the music on B&S’s first three albums against pretty much anything ever.

Nobody does acoustic melancholy like the Scottish septet. They later expanded their sound, branching into pop and even dance music quite successfully, but for me this will always be the quintessential Belle & Sebastian sound.

He had a stroke at the age of 24
It could have been a brilliant career
Painting lines in a school that was too well known
Painting lines with a friend that had gone before

She challenged everyone to a fight
But the people all backed down
And they ran her out of town
Cause she drank and swore and spoke
Out of turn, she was the village joke

She had a stroke at the age of 24
It could have been a brilliant career
Getting clients to finance her strategies
She’s filling time in the safe ways on Saturday

She wears the clothes of an emperor
But her paintings are a sham
And they’re going for a grand
When the dealers come to view
Do they ever see the real you?

He had a stroke at the age of 24
It could have been a brilliant career
Selling lies to the boys with the old dansettes
Pulling the wool, playing the fool, its no wonder that

He is dribbling spit tonight and the one he sent away
Was the only one who stayed
With a spoon and a decent book
And you can tell by the way she looks
She is sorry and resigned
As he wets himself for the final time

One thought on “Song of the Day #3,831: ‘It Could Have Been a Brilliant Career’ – Belle & Sebastian

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    Lovely melancholy song right in your sweet spot.

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