Song of the Day #4,374: ‘Titanic Days’ – Kirsty MacColl

These Decades weeks usually offer one of three kinds of artists. You have the big names that I just never got into (see Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana), the artists I’ve heard of but never really heard (see Kate Bush), and then my favorite: the ones who are completely new to me.

The third group, in turn, breaks down into two more groups. The ones I was just as well never hearing, and the ones I really like.

Kirsty MacColl is the latter.

MacColl is a British singer-songwriter who never got the exposure her talent deserved. She is best known for a guest spot on The Pogue’s classic Christmas song ‘Fairytale of New York‘ and for writing ‘They Don’t Know,’ a song Tracey Ullman landed in the Top Ten.

MacColl released five albums between 1981 and 2000, dabbling in genres from country to punk. Her 1993 album Titanic Days dealt with her breakup from her husband, producer Steve Lillywhite. The album is unfortunately unavailable on streaming services, though you can find its tracks on YouTube easily enough.

I love the sound of this album, as well as the earlier MacColl work that is available via Amazon Music. I hear threads of Beth Orton, Aimee Mann, Neko Case, not to mention The Smiths and Talking Heads (she performed with both bands).

Tragically, MacColl was killed in a boating accident when vacationing with her family in Mexico in 2000. A speedboat illegally entered an area where she and her two sons were diving. MacColl pushed her son out of the way of the oncoming boat, saving his life but dying instantly.

I just know
Though I can’t see
But I can feel his hands all over me
His hot breath on me
I can’t resist
His rope, my wrists
I never knew there might be days like this

Dream on he says
Dream on he says
Will I be saved
From these Titanic days

A violent frenzy
In a none too cheap hotel
He says it’s hazy
But I remember it so well
His arms, his face
The way my words got twisted out of place

Dream on he says
Dream on he always says
It’s sink or swim
In these Titanic days

So hot so hungry
So faretheewell goodbye
I got so angry
Now I sit here and sigh
My love, always
We should rejoice in these Titanic days

Dream on he says
Dream on he says
Will I be saved
Will I be saved
Dream on he says
Dream on he says
Do you ever get that sinking feeling?

One thought on “Song of the Day #4,374: ‘Titanic Days’ – Kirsty MacColl

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    Good lord, what a sad, tragic ending!

    I know the Ullman song, but not the one from the Pogues.

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