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This is a Soft Cell cover. Soft Cell are so much more than their big hit "Tainted Love." They and Marc Almond's solo work and side group Marc & the Mambas were my favorite in junior high school. I spent a lot of time processing my emotions, most of which were pretty negative, listening to that music. Sometimes you need to walk through the dark a bit to see the light. There will probably be more Marc Almond covers from the Phantoms.
This song and a woman from my childhood neighborhood are the inspiration for the Maudlin Bitters character/ voice. I grew up in a suburb of Los Angeles called Ladera Heights. On my street, there was a woman we kids called the "drunk lady." I'm sure you can imagine the behaviors to earn such a name. Bitterness, bitchiness, fragility, fear, insecurity, incoherence, sometimes inexplicable exuberance. She was rumored to be a former child actress in the 1930's and was in her late 50's when I knew her, or rather very timidly observed her. A real life "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane," hence the photo for this track. Anyhow, Hollywood can be a bummer, and my own my brief and ill-fated career in the music business brought out the Maudlin Bitters in me. So I can relate to the "drunk lady." I could easily have become her.
Please purchase the original version of this song: Soft Cell "Her Imagination"on iTunes.
She slips in and out of her dull imagination
that floats around the twilight of her tomb
Clutching her little treasures that represent a happy moment
displayed with sad affection in her room
but this life is a prison and it hurts to hear the children laughing
while they live their pretty little dreams
and frozen all the while is a tearful, bitter smile
Nothing's really as it seems
No nothing's really as it seems
Like a servile little fool you were standing at the altar
in the tides by the candles as they burn
Pressed against the mirror playing all of your favorite film stars
ready for the camera that would never, never turn
Push aside the curtain on your tiny, garret window
and glare out on your narrow little world
you were in your wedding dress
great expectations more or less, playing with your dolls
like any ordinary little girl
Candle light, candle bright, won't you light my way tonight...
It's the futile, bitter feelings
that clutch you in the middle, you were never really given a chance
and the spite that jabs your mind
hides a heart that's truly warm and kind
and the pulse that races with each over-inquisitive glance
you were always the outsider and they set you up in childhood
to be just another cuddly toy
and they whisper in the streets where the street corner gossips meet
The woman on the fourth floor
We don't see her anymore...
released October 27, 2015
Vocals: Maudlin Bitters
Guitar: Dee Sharpe