The conservatism of Ray Davies

Apropos of yesterday’s post, the lyrics from The Kinks’ “God’s Children”:

Man made the buildings that reach for the sky
And man made the motorcar and learned how to fly
But he didn’t make the flowers and he didn’t make the trees
And he didn’t make you and he didn’t make me
And he got no right to turn us into machines
He’s got no right at all
‘Cause we are all God’s children
And he got no right to change us
Oh, we gotta go back the way the Good Lord made us all

Don’t want this world to change me
I wanna go back the way the Good Lord made me
Same lungs that he gave me to breath with
Same eyes he gave me to see with

Oh, the rich man, the poor man, the saint and the sinner
The wise man, the simpleton, the loser and the winner
We are all the same to Him
Stripped of our clothes and all the things we own
The day that we are born
We are all God’s children
And they got no right to change us
Oh, we gotta go back the way the Good Lord made
Oh, the Good Lord made us all
And we are all his children
And they got no right to change us
Oh, we gotta go back the way the Good Lord made us all
Yeah, we gotta go back the way the Good Lord made us all

The Kinks are probably the only great reactionary rock band. Not reactionary in some kind of mean-spirited sense, mind you. But in the sense of writing wistful songs about the English countryside getting chewed up by sprawl and the drab conformity engendered by the welfare state. And in this case a quasi-Luddite opposition to the mechanization of modern society. The albums Muswell Hillbillies and The Village Green Preservation Society are the loci classici here.

One thought on “The conservatism of Ray Davies

  1. bs

    A trusted music critic/friend firmly believes that Village Green Preservation Society and Arthur (the next Kinks album, I think) are in the top 25 albums of all time.

    I don’t own either, but I should change that.

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