Skip to content

Great B-Sides: Tell Me About Your Drugs by Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians

English singer-songwriter Robyn Hitchcock has created cult records all the way back to his days in The Soft Boys in the late 1970s. The Soft Boys began their recording career in Cambridge, and Hitchcock’s closest frame of reference has always been Cambridge’s Syd Barrett, best known as the first front-man of Pink Floyd.

1986’s Element of Light follows two of my favourite Hitchcock discs – the solo, acoustic I Often Dream Of Trains brings out his Syd Barrett influence, while 1985’s excellent Fegmania! is his first disc with backing band The Egyptians. Element of Light is a worthy followup, although one of its most immediate, energetic tunes is buried among the bonus tracks as a b-side.

When interviewed by Robyn Ware about his b-side ‘Tell Me About Your Drugs’, Robyn Hitchcock stated that:

I was walking over a flat area, and it was the middle of winter, and there were lots of dead things on the ground. And I was going over an area of flat paving stones, and I was vibrating internally — as is my wont — because I’d just had a cup of coffee (believe it or not). And I thought, ‘Oh yes, Tell Me About Your Drugs, that would be a good song to write.’ So I whipped back inside, and I wrote down the song ‘Tell Me About Your Drugs’ in about three minutes.

Robyn Hitchcock

Hitchcock also noted that people liked ‘Tell Me About Your Drugs’, because it’s one of his simplest songs. It’s simple enough that the band members were able to swap instruments – drummer Morris Windsor presumably plays the guitar break (“tell me Morris!”).

Do you believe in the Holy Grail?
Tell me about your drugs
Do you know anyone in jail?
Tell me about your drugs

Do you wake up on somebody’s floor?
Tell me about your drugs
And you just can’t take it anymore?
Tell me about your drugs

Ah, we all get hit by forces that we just don’t understand

Do you believe in the Holy Ghost?
Tell me about your drugs
Do you like the things that hurt you most?
Tell me about your drugs
Do you wish you were somebody else?
Tell me about your drugs
But you wake up and you’re still yourself
Talkin’ about your drugs

Ah, we get messed up by forces that we just don’t understand

Well, now tell me about your drugs, come on (Bop bop shoo bop, a-wop bop shoo bop)
Why don’t you tell me about your drugs?
I’d love to know more about your drugs
Why don’t you get intimate about your drugs
Why don’t you call me up and go on for hours ‘n hours ‘n hours ‘n hours ‘n hours ‘n hours ‘n hours about your drugs
Tell me Morris

Do you believe in the endless sleep?
Tell me about your drugs
Do you believe in human sheep?
Tell me about your drugs
WIth their curly little whirly tails?
Tell me about your drugs
So they hang themselves when all else fails
And they’re thinkin’ about their drugs

9 thoughts on “Great B-Sides: Tell Me About Your Drugs by Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians Leave a comment

  1. If you had told me the song was sung by Mark E Smith I wouldn’t have blinked. Both the vocal and lyrical repetition remind me of his band The Fall. Not that I’m in any way an expert on either! Just my two cents.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Strangely enough, I’ve just been getting into his most recent album over the last week or so. Still so much of his stuff that I haven’t heard (most of it, actually). This is a great tune, though… I love the driving rhythm… reminds me of Lanegan’s Driving Death Valley Blues… I wonder if Lanegan’s tune was a nod to it.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Rockinsamantha's Blog

Just another WordPress.com site

ReviewHub

Quality Music, Movie and TV reviews

Up Musically

Candid Discussion On Music and The Like

The Music According to Merry

Website & blog of rock music journalist, fiction writer, and ambitious trainwreck Merry Mercurial

ASSHOLES WATCHING MOVIES

Our opinions don't stink!

CirdecSongs

Music for Eclectic Ears

Loud Alien Noize

Revealing the True Origins of Silence

The Lonely Minotaur

Music & Concert Reviews

PowerPop... An Eclectic Collection of Pop Culture

An Eclectic Collection of Pop Culture

Soundtrack To My Year

Fandom Scrapbook

%d bloggers like this: