4 December 2010

Granny's Intentions - Story of David

Granny's Intentions

Label: Deram
Year of Issue: 1967

"David Miller was a cock..."

Well, that's just charming.

"Wrote poetry... using only seven English verbs"

Ah, now I understand.  I've had dealings with such characters myself.

Granny's Intentions were a Dublin based outfit who, like rather too many Irish acts in the sixties, were largely ignored in Britain, being forced into the position of supporting various showbands in their home country instead.  Apparently slavered over by a cult following on the Irish gig circuit, their apparent absence from the usual array of sixties compilations is a curious case which should surely be remedied soon.  "Story of David" may not quite be up there with "My White Bicycle", but nonetheless its pounding organ riffs, bellowing blue-eyed soul meets mystic seer vocals, and beatnik-bashing lyrics make it very of its time.

Indeed, "The Story of David" appears to be a cautionary warning about delving too deep into the complex and unappreciated world of experimental poetry.  David Miller, we learn, was rejected from endless publishers for his hip appearance and bizarre prose, forced to live on unemployment benefit, and we are finally told that really, he should simply stop snubbing convention and "Go back to work".  One can almost see the pointing of several nagging, wagging fingers when that line is collectively delivered by the band in a harmonious fashion.  Who David Miller is or was (almost certainly not the Australian poet listed on Wikipedia) and what business any of this happened to be of Granny's Intentions shall possibly forever remain a mystery, but the end result appears to be a critique of underground dabblers, placing this track on a rarified list of psychedelic songs which either dis the scene that spawned them (The Montanas "Difference of Opinion", Dave Clarke Five's "Lost In His Dreams") or make rather conservative judgmental noises about the homeless or jobless (Falling Leaves' "Beggar's Parade").

The Intentions also briefly counted Gary Moore amongst their line-up, who played on several tracks on their sole album "Honest Injun".  Thus, they are arguably the least obscure of all the remaining unsung underground sixties acts.


Joetomrud said...

David Miller was a clerk, as I remember it, (rhymes with dark in the next line?). Excellent song, right enough, and most of the band is still involved in music in Ireland.

23 Daves said...

Ha! Another excellent misheard lyric by me there - or a tragic excuse for transcription depending on your point of view. Your version sounds as if it makes a hell of a lot more sense, so thanks for pointing that out.

I had interpreted "cock" as meaning "cock of the walk" rather than the more abusive phrase, though, but that still doesn't fit the rest of the song.

Unknown said...

"David Miller was a clerk who lived in the dark, spent 8 hours a day in his tomb, those hours went so slow, to help them go, David wrote poems in the afternoon" were the opening lines to the song, "God bless everyones ears " Granny's Intentions were from Limerick not Dublin and toured with Chris Farlowe.

Unknown said...

Well said Unknown. Lot of people thought they werevDublin. Lead singer Johnny Duhan went on to be a great song writer with his best and most successful work being "The Voyage" which is thought to hwve been played at thousands of weddings. Seen Granny's Intentions pmaying in Dreamland Athy Co. Kildare in 1967.