Clover Over Dover

Nearly everyone that’s been in transit long enough to become so bored that not even the changing landscape can please the eye anymore will be familiar with singing about 99 bottles of beer on the wall getting passed around until someone has to go to the store to buy some more because there are no bottles of beer on the wall no more. Less well known is “Roll Me Over In The Clover”, which contains such verses as:

Well, this is number one, and the fun has just begun
Roll me over, lay me down and do it again
Roll me over in the clover, roll me over, lay me down, and do it again.

Numbers two, three, four follow, as the horny singer tries to get it on and scores with some dirty girl over and over again, until she’s had enough:

Well, this is number twelve, and she said “You can fuck yourself”
Roll me over, lay me down, and do it again.
Roll me over in the clover, roll me over, lay me down, and do it again.

Compare these lines with the second verse of “Clover Over Dover”, the beautiful harpsichord-led song (that apparently started life as a ska song!) nestled halfway through the second half of Parklife:

I’d like to roll in the clover, with you over and over
On the white cliffs of Dover and then I’d let you push me over.

Had Damon (and the boys) been singing dirty songs again on tour? Maybe not, but the lyrical similarities certainly are too obvious to ignore. The action’s been moved to Dover, and the singer is uncharacteristically (at the time) hard on himself, suicidal even, culminating in what is possibly the saddest line in the entire Blur catalogue when he requests that, “when you push me over, don’t bury me, I’m not worth anything”.

Apart from the harpsichord and the naked lyrics that easily transcend the overly obvious rhymes, there are two further touches that make this my favourite song on Parklife. Graham’s arpeggios offer beautiful melodies and counter-melodies, and the backing vocals during the last verse, although difficult to decipher, add some drops of rain to the lonely cloud hanging over the entire song.

Published in: on June 4, 2007 at 9:18 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. A personal favourite of mine. Quite beautiful.

  2. Hmm, an interesting theory but I am not 100% convinced… also how can you possibly say the saddest line in the Blur catalogue features in this song?! Sure it’s got a little element of ‘poor me’ but the gut-wrenching, heartfelt lyrics of No Distance Left To Run or or the desperate pleas within Tender totally obliterate Clover Over Dover on the ‘awww’ front!!

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