All through this green and pleasant land

Back in the ‘70s and ‘80s, long before there was a DWP (Department for Work and Pensions) with its progressive Job Seekers Assistance scheme, there was the DHSS.  Fully named the Department for Health and Social Security, this was the British ministry responsible for the provision of unemployment benefits , aka “the dole.”

Although joining the dole queue down at your local Jobcentre was an unappealing proposition, it was regularly a necessary one.  So much so, in fact, that the application for signing-on became a veritable icon. Officially entitled DHSS Unemployment Benefit Form, 40, its more popular designation became legendary after the members of a Pop-Reggae group, whose members were all too familiar with the dole themselves, named their band…UB40.

At about the same time in a different part of the country, the lead guitarist of another burgeoning group (soon to be called) Katrina and the Waves wrote this song with the very same form in mind.  Although it failed to get much airplay when it was first released in 1982, it did gain a little recognition the following year, when it was re-released as the B-side of the group’s breakthrough hit, “Walking on Sunshine”

That’s when the members of yet another band, the LA-based Bangles, heard “Going Down to Liverpool” and decided to cover it on their 1984 debut album, “All Over the Place”.  At last the song made a dent in the UK charts, peaking at Number 79 in 1985.  But the American Billboard Charts remained impervious …and that would never change.

  LISTEN TO TODAY’S SELECTION – Tuesday 29 January

Fortunately for The Bangles an alternative musical showcase was just reaching its peak.  And it just so happened that one of lead-singer, Susanna Hoffs’ old college pals, Adam Nimoy, was able to convince his famous father (may he “live long and prosper”) to act the part of a man behind the wheel who is clearly “not a fan” and with highly illogical results ….

 Going down to Liverpool

Hey now

Where you going with that load of nothing in your hand

I said: Hey now

All through this green and pleasant land.

 I’m going down to Liverpool to do nothing

I’m going down to Liverpool to do nothing

I’m going down to Liverpool to do nothing

All the days of my life

All the days of my life

Hey there

Where you going with that UB40 in your hand

I said: Hey there

All through this green and pleasant land.

I’m going down to Liverpool to do nothing

I’m going down to Liverpool to do nothing

I’m going down to Liverpool to do nothing

All the days of my life

All the days of my life.

 Hey now

Where you going with that UB40 in your hand

I said: Hey now

All through this green and pleasant land

I’m going down to Liverpool to do nothing

I’m going down to Liverpool to do nothing

All the days of my life

All the days of my life

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