I haven't posted anything by Robyn Hitchcock in a while. This is a live, solo, acoustic version of "One Long Pair Of Eyes" taken from the b-side of a promotional 12" for "Madonna Of The Wasps." I always preferred this version (recorded at McCabe's Guitar Shop) to the studio version that appeared on Queen Elvis.
Hitchcock's live intro to the song was included on the A&M Greatest Hits anthology, but A&M included the studio version of the actual song rather than the live version the intro initially ran into. Greatest Hits also included some nice b-sides like "Dark Green Energy" and a live versions of Roxy Music's "More Than This" and the Byrds' "Eight Miles High," along with some of Hitchcock's more familiar material. A fantastic version of The Psychedelic Furs' "The Ghost In You" was released as b-side on a 12" promo for "One Long Pair Of Eyes," and showed up on the Invisible History bootleg. Both albums are worth tracking down if you count yourself among the Hitchcock obsessed.
Honestly I've never had the foggiest idea what this song is about. But I don't think this is a case of Hitchcock being overly quirky or cute. While the ultimate meaning of the song is elusive, the lyrics remain evocative and even beautiful: "Just before the dawn appears, draining all the blue away, And just before all your perspectives change, Isn't it strange?"
So while I have little idea what the lyrics to the song are actually about I always find myself engaged and moved by them as Hitchcock sings them, especially in this version. Comprehension is overrated anyway. One of these days I'm going to post Hitchcock's cover of "Kung Fu Fighting" because I do know what that's about.