GREY STREET

Reviews & Sticky Notes…

“…Grey Street is a sad song that allows the listener space to conjure up personal memories of their own history, whilst the telling of someone else’s story.

The Name of the song ‘Grey street’, may get its name from a place, a real street in the suburb of St Kilda Melbourne Australia, set on the seaside. Familiar to everyone from Melbourne. A few of the other lines such as: ‘The Leering Cars and all-night streetlight lies…’ ‘All the girls you’ve killed…’ ‘Palace wall…’ definitely suggest the actual place. The Palace was a historical building and famous venue in St Kilda that has since burnt down.

But maybe it’s just “Grey’ – the colour- You don’t need to know this actual place to relate to this song, with a strong melody, and timeless lyrics.

For those who don’t know Melbourne or those who are too young, this song is set in the era when St Kilda was a place for the underclass: Students, the poor, street people, working girls… with a strong artist community and immigrants who established European Cafes, cheap hardy foreign food – No English. You could go to the local hamburger shop, order your fish and chips along with heroin. In the 1940’s 50’s famous Australian painters lived and painted here, Such as Albert Tucker and Sydney Nolan.

Grey Street in this song is a place that no longer exists. It’s now a place for the Tourists and the well heeled. An Expensive and exclusive street with Palatial mansions and grand terraces.

At the end of Grey street is located the Crystal Ballroom at The George Hotel. It became known as a pivotal venue for Melbourne’s post-punk scene.

List of bands who played at the Crystal Ballroom:

Greg Sneddon, The Birthday Party, Dead Can Dance, Hunters & Collectors, Crime and the City Solution, The Models, The Moodists, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, The Saints, The Triffids, The Go-Betweens, The Boys Next Door, Paul Kelly and the Dots, Cosmic Psychos, The Cure, Simple Minds…” (T.S.)


“…A beautiful ballad that I cannot wait to play over and over again. There are many sad themes embedded in this song and when combined with the whole album, there is a sense of character progression and real story telling…) (MLP)


Lyrics…

All those years we met outside the palace wall, I never realised you were falling
How I need to see your face again, your sillhouette, the pier in the moonlight
If by some wish we could roll back time, would we have done something different
Part of me would like that time again, while another part is glad that it’s over

Grey Street where’s my childhood gone, how many lost young hours standing on
this piece of sacred dirt I’ve spent, blocking out the awful things I’ve learned
Grey Street where’s my innocence, did you take me walking there by chance
Does evil favour most the lost, or am I just one of the lucky ones
As she sang inside that child there grew a dream, a part of her that’s never used and never seen
The leering cars and all-night streetlight lies, sold for packages of longed for useless highs

Grey Street, where’s my lover gone, the one you promised would be always strong,
who laughed at every lurking death and spat in the face of so few summer days
Grey Street she was family, now those left say you’re all I have
That every drunken leather face and all the girls you’ve killed are sisters
Is that my lover floating past, through the garden by the river trees
Yeah she’s picking peach blossoms, to weave around her hair and around her feet
The angels came but she’s really gone, the lurching faces now dissolved away
Her head thrown back she laughed and cried, as the dust dropped from her eyes and off she flew

So many times she’d prayed to have the strength, to overcome when everything good was lost
Now giving it all up she’s left her heart, once broken, still living in those who need her most

Part of me would like that time again, while another part is so sad that it’s over

(© Greg Sneddon)