Song Lyric Sunday: Up the Junction

The themes for Song Lyric Sunday from Jim Adams are Birth, Death or Life.
The song must contain a reference to the prompt in the title or the lyrics.
If the song does not meet these criteria, please explain why you chose it.


Up the Junction by the British band Squeeze, charts the life of a relationship from birth to death. The song was inspired by a 1965 TV play of the same name, which in turn was adapted from a collection of short stories by Nell Dunn.

The phrase up the junction is polite British slang for being up a certain creek without a paddle. Which is the conclusion of the song’s narrator when his drinking breaks up his family, and he’s too proud (stubborn!) to beg for forgiveness.

Fans of EastEnders will notice Michelle Collins wandering around in the video’s background and, yes, that is a young Jools Holland on keyboard.

Are you ready for a bit of musical kitchen-sink drama with some crazy half-rhymes…?

I never thought it would happen
With me and the girl from Clapham
Out on the windy common
That night I ain’t forgotten
When she dealt out the rations
With some or other passions
I said, “You are a lady”
“Perhaps,” she said, “I may be”

We moved into a basement
With thoughts of our engagement
We stayed in by the telly
Although the room was smelly
We spent our time just kissing
The Railway Arms we’re missing
But love had got us hooked up
And all our time it took up

I got a job with Stanley
He said I’d come in handy
And started me on Monday
So I had a bath on Sunday
I worked eleven hours
And bought the girl some flowers
She said she’d seen a doctor
And nothing now could stop her

I worked all through the winter
The weather brass and bitter
I put away a tenner
Each week to make her better
And when the time was ready
We had to sell the telly
Late evenings by the fire
With little kicks inside her

This morning at four-fifty
I took her rather nifty
Down to an incubator
Where thirty minutes later
She gave birth to a daughter
Within a year a walker
She looked just like her mother
If there could be another

And now she’s two years older
Her mother’s with a soldier
She left me when my drinking
Became a proper stinging
The devil came and took me
From bar to street to bookie
No more nights by the telly
No more nights nappies smelling

Alone here in the kitchen
I feel there’s something missing
I’d beg for some forgiveness
But begging’s not my business
And she won’t write a letter
Although I always tell her
And so it’s my assumption
I’m really up the junction

Songwriter(s): Chris Difford & Glenn Tilbrook
© 1979 A&M Records Ltd, Universal Music Publishing Group

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