Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Stainsby Girls

In 1990, I bought Chris Rea's album "Shamrock Diaries," which contains some of the best songs he ever wrote. I particularly loved "Stainsby Girls" and was planning on writing a novella based on the theme suggested - that of two wild, unconventional sisters, who, as Chris Rea says, could not only steal a heart, but break it in two.

I'd even decided on my names for the sisters – Charlotte and Vivian. Charlotte, I was definitely sure, was the proper name for my Rolling Stones loving heroine. She would be the one to break my hero's heart in two.

Alas, I never even wrote a single line of the novella. But the idea has lingered in my head for over 15 years and is revived each time I listen to the song. Which still happens now and then...

The lyrics follow below the video. Watch out for Chris' slide guitar solo!

Stainsby Girls

Some girls used to kiss and run
Never knew what they had done
Some girls always wasted time
Keep you hanging on the line
Some loved horses and always stayed at home
But the Stainsby girls loved the Rolling Stones

Now some had games that you had to play
Making rules along the way
Strange attractions newly found
Pride and passion kicked around
Some girls stole your heart
Like most girls do
But a Stainsby girl could break it in two

And I fell in love, I fell in love
I fell in love with a Stainsby girl

Deepest water Stainsby blue
Running straight, running true
Names and faces fade away
Memories here to stay

And I fell in love, I fell in love
I fell in love with a Stainsby girl

– Chris Rea (from Shamrock Diaries, 1985)


the teach said...

Leon, I've never heard of Chris Rea but he's wonderful! I assume he's Irish. Would his album still be available, you think? Your idea about writing a novella would be great...Do you think he sound a little like Bruce Springstein? Thanks for introducing him to me!

GEM said...

I couldn't get the video to play, but as I read the poem/song I started to invent a melody in my mind. There is something about a persistent prod to the imagination provided by songs, poems, paintings which beg for elaboration, as in your case an idea to write a novella about the Stainsby sisters. Why don't you go for it. Even though the impetus is fifteen years old it obviously has a hook into your soul. Just recently I dusted off some chapters of a beginning to a novel that has "bothered" my imaginaton for over 29 years, much like burrs on pant legs, and threw caution to the winds and wrote 52,000 words toward a resolution of sorts. What came out surprised me; i am amazed at the stuff that just poured out of me. not all of it good, but pour it did. GEM
Thanks for your comment on my L-a-S blog.

Leonard Blumfeld said...

Thanks for visiting and commenting, teach and gem!

"Shamrock Diaries" is still available (on Amazon - I checked).

Perhaps I should give writing the novella a chance (the day I manage to create enough time). :)

Are you going to post an excerpt of your novel on your blog, gem?

GEM said...

Leon - I have no plans to post an exerpt from my novel on my site. It is still some chapters short of being complete and needs major revisions. I figure to have a complete rewrite done by May of this year.
I did manage to finally hear the recording of Stainsby Girls and am trying to get my husband to have his band work up a version of it. I really like!

Kostas said...

Actually this is an autobiografical song; Stainsby was the name of the high school his wife Joan used to attend, and "Stainsby girls" had a reputations of being in the wild side;)

Leonard Blumfeld said...

Thanks for this information, kostas.

And gem: did your husband's band ever play it?

GEM said...

Leonard - finally I convinced Rumpole to listen to it with me, he downloaded another Chris rea version of it and is presenting it to his band on the coming weekend for consideration. I gave him the word that I'd NOT attend Pyro Bash this year if they didn't play this song. That ought to get him motivated to convince his mates to learn Stainsby Girls. YAH! ;-D
G and GEM

Amy said...

Decided to look for the lyrics to stainsby girls and came across this, I love the lyrics and find them amusing as my mum is actually a stainsby girl and technically I am too (the school has since changed its name)... always makes me giggle!

Stainsby Girl 1960's said...

Chris Rea is was in fact a Stainsby boy

He married a Stainsby Girl

He is from a town called Middlesbrough

And Stainsby Girls were not in the least bit "wild" ;-)

However that was over 40 years ago

When Chris Rea was also there and where he met his future wife