Ray davies

Even in the Swinging Sixties, Ray Davies was feeling nostalgic

At first glance, nostalgia does not seem like a subject much suited to exploration via the medium of the pop song; after all, this is the topic which inspired, at least in part, Ulysses and A la Recherche du Temps Perdu, two of the greatest and longest novels of the 20th century. What can one say in three minutes that hasn’t already been said in six volumes? On the one hand, we have such warnings from history as ‘Those Were the Days’ by Mary Hopkin or Terry Jacks’s implacably awful ‘Seasons in the Sun’, a rendition of Jacques Brel’s ‘Le Moribond’ which loses not just something but everything in translation.