They do it down on Camber Sands,
They do it at Waikiki.
Lazing about the beach all day,
At night the crickets creepy.
Squinting faces at the sky;
A Harold Robbins paperback.
Surfers drop their boards and dry
And everybody wants a hat.

But behind the chalet
My holiday's complete
And I feel like William Tell,
Maid Marian on her tiptoed feet...
Pulling mussels from a shell.

Shrinking in the sea so cold
Topless ladies look away.
A he-man in a sudden shower
Shelters from the rain.
You wish you had a motor boat
To pose around the harbour bar.
And when the sun goes off to bed
You hook it up behind the car .

Two fat ladies window shop
Something for the mantelpiece;
In for bingo all the nines,
A panda for sweet little niece.
The coach drivers stand about
Looking at a local map
About the boy he's gone away
Down to next door's caravan.
Look behind the Chalet
My holiday's complete
And I feel like William Tell
Maid Marian on her, tiptoed feet
Pulling mussels from a shell
Pulling mussels from a shell

Look behind the chalet
My holiday's complete,
And I feel like William Tell
Maid Marian on her tiptoed feet...
Pulling mussels from a shell.
Pulling mussels from a shell.

Lyrics submitted by CoMpLiCaTeD, edited by Talory

Pulling Mussels (From The Shell) song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentWow I never thought this song was sexual. Great tune though.
    Celtic_FCon August 25, 2006   Link
  • +2
    Song MeaningRDTX14, Let's remember this is Squeeze, the band who did the corny naff 'can the person who owns the car with the reg number PEN15, please move it as it's blocking the exit' gag on OGWT.
    It's about sex-as a young likely lad the holiday was complete by pulling a bird, usually in secret behind the caravan while your Mum and Dad snored in front of Corrie or were getting dressed for the campsite bingo.
    Maid Marian-I 'Made' Marian is on tiptoes because of him going down on her, and his aim is true-he feels like William Tell. Pulling Mussels? The Love muscle. C'mon man it's obvious, and I'm no kiddie-I'm old enough to have seen them live
    markxiston May 02, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentNo I'm not sure about that, according to Chris Difford, it's about a holiday he took with his mate when he was twelve!
    uncomplicatedon June 06, 2007   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningIt's a picture of the goings on of a summer vacation with the enthusiasm of the youthful hope of hooking up (romantically). Clearly "But behind the Chalet / My holiday\'s complete" is a reference to some sort of hooking up, but the details of which may be hidden in British slang with which I'm not familiar.
    NAwlinsContrarianon May 12, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI am not entirely sure about the sexual stuff (though I can see it) but I do know that in interviews Glenn Tilbrook & Chris Difford refer to this song as "Pulling Muscles For Michelle," so perhaps it's about a young Chris Difford trying to show off to a girl he fancies that he has met on holiday.

    I dunno, but it's a great song.
    vchamberlainon April 26, 2010   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationThere's a lot of sexual innuendo in this song! The bit about shrinking in the sea, so cold, etc. might very well be about the "shrinkage problem" that men have in cold water! Also Maid Marion can be interpreted as "made Marion."
    gaylieroseon July 19, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentPulling Mussels is British slang for having sex on the beach
    susanoon June 08, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentA great song, with a cool basslihe, not just the standard fare.
    Razormasticatoron April 15, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYup, awesome song. Pretty self-explanatory. about what you see on a beach and all the mystery and intrigue it holds during the summer.

    And a kickin' bass line.
    SpineofaJellyFishon February 18, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentPulling "Muscles" or should that be love mussel, you know what it's about....
    Saw him acoustically Feb 06 still sounds good live....

    Keep on playing it Glenn....
    Davey Don March 03, 2006   Link

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