"Do The Strand" as written by and Bryan Ferry....
There's a new sensation
A fabulous creation
A danceable solution
To teenage revolution
Do the Strand love
When you feel love
It's the new way
That's why we say
Do the Strand
Do it on the tables
Quaglino's place or mabel's
Slow and gentle
Sentimental

All styles served here
Louis seize he prefer
Laissez-faire Le Strand
Tired of the tango
Fed up with fandango
Dance on moonbeams
Slide on rainbows
In furs or blue jeans
You know what I mean
Do the Strand

Had your fill of quadrilles
The madison and cheap thrills
Bored with the Beguine
The samba isn't your scene
They're playing our tune
By the pale moon
We're incognito

Down the Lido
And we like the Strand
Arabs at oasis
Eskimos and Chinese
If you feel blue
Look through who's who
See La Goulue
And Nijinsky
Do the Strandsky
Weary of the Waltz
And mashed potato schmaltz
Rhododendron

Is a nice flower
Evergreen
It lasts forever
But it can't beat Strand power
The sphynx and Mona Lisa
Lolita and Guernica
Did the Strand


Lyrics submitted by Contristo, edited by sleuthroll

"Do the Strand" as written by Bryan Ferry

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Do The Strand song meanings
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  • +3
    General CommentAlthough I don't have a personal interpretation, this may be of interest to people wondering what on earth it all means:

    Do the Strand Explained
    By SIMON PUXLEY

    The Strand First and foremost a dance, depicted as a new craze ('new sensation', 'the new way'). However in the dictionary 'strand' can mean 'walk' (verb), a place to walk, a stretch of beach, or 'to leave high and dry'. 'Strand' was also once a brand of cigarette. And the Strand is of course a famous London street, once highly fashionable: this is the meaning that the title immediately calls to mind, if any. BUT the Strand is none of these things. It's without precedent and unique. It's not even a dance-step. It is, as the lyrics demonstrate, everything; or more particularly it is - to use inadequate platitudes where it's at, whatever turns you on. The buzz, the action, the centre, the quintessence, the energy. The all-embracing focus, past present and future, the ineffable. The indefinable. And in the context of performance the Strand is also something else the here- and-now, i.e. the song, the music and the atmosphere themselves.
    The song metaphorically conceives of the Strand as a dance. No ordinary dance, but an eternal, universal or a tangible image of an indefinable aesthetic and emotional perfection. Interestingly the dance was exactly such an expression of an ideal state in much fin-de-siecle and early twentieth- century art; it was an obsessive image, for example, for the poet W.B. Yeats:
    0 body swayed to music, 0 brightening glance,' How can we know the dancer from the dance? ('Among School Children')

    fabulous creation i.e. 'creation' as in a fashion-show; hyperbole but- as the rest of the song insists - also literally 'fabulous' like a fable, magical, incredible.

    Quaglino's place or Mabel's Quaglino's: long-established, exclusive London restaurant with dance-floor, frequented by aristociacy - Mabel's: suggests a cheap cafe or brothel, in direct, bathetic, contrast to Quaglino's. Highlife or lowlife, it makes no difference with the Strand.

    Louis Seize King Louis the Sixteenth (Seize) of France, guillotined by revolutionaries in 1793. 'Seize' is a double entente: French for 'sixteen', it's pronounced identically to English 'says'. 'Louis Seize' is a conflation, then, o 'Louis Seize says'; 'he prefer' is the ungrammatical English a Frenchman might use.

    Laissez-faire French phrase used in English to mean 'free trade', and more generally 'no restrictions' therefore freedom of expression, 'anything goes', 'each to his own'. A literal translation is 'let it be', or 'you have leave to do', so the sense of these lines is that Louis approves of the Strand because it has no limits, or that he prefers the Strand laissez-faire rather than otherwise, or even that he gives state approval ('you have leave to do') to the Strand.

    Tango... fandango Spanish-American dances. The tango became an established ballroom step; the fandango a wilder routine, became a synonym for a shindig.

    Quadrilles Quadrille: a square dance, origin France.

    Madison A dance done in formation which was a short-live fad, mainly in America, in the early sixties.

    Mashed potato schmaltz A play on words to create a contradiction. 'Mashed potatos' is intended literally, to describe the slushiness of schmaltz (sentimentality and oversweetness in music, films, etc.); and is also the name of a 'sixties dance which appeared in the wake of the twist and in its rhythmic and vigorous lunges is anything but schmaltzy'.

    Rhododendron Large evergreen shrub which flowers annually, cultivated all over the world but especially in the grounds of large houses in England.

    The Sphinx and Mona Lisa Two all-time great enigmas. The Sphinx was a creature in both Greek and Egyptian mythology with a human head and a lion's body. The Greek version strangled those who failed to solve a seemingly unanswerable riddle: literally enigmatic. The most famous example of the Egyptian Sphinx, the massive stone figure (240 feet long, 66 feet high) still recumbent at the side of the Great Pyramid, is more mysterious: it actually exists, but what its exact purpose was is unknown.
    The impression, anyway, is that it guards the pyramid's secrets, as the Greek Sphinx guarded the answer to the riddle. The 'Mona Lisa' is probably the most famous painting of all time. Painted by Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), the smile on the face of the portrayed woman has been the scource of endless speculations. Her expression is said to be deeply profound with a magical effect which no analysis of the painting can explain
    The Sphinx and Mona Lisa represent not only the arcane and mysterious but also - by implication -the ancient and immortal.

    Lolita and Guernica Two outstanding artistic portrayals of never-ending human frailties - love and war respectively. Vladimir Nabakov's novel masterpiece (1955) describes a man's obsession with a pubescent girl, a 'nymphet'. The opening words of the book are: "Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul".
    Guernica was a Spanish village massacred by Mussolini's bombers in the Spanish Civil War. Pablo Picasso - Spanish by birth - immortalised this Fascist genocide in a painting - called Guernica - for the Spanish pavilion at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in1937.
    Perhaps Picasso's most well- known single work, the name Guernica has become synonymous with monstrosity.

    Beguine A rhumba-like dance-step from the islands of St. Lucia and Martinique. Introduced to American dance-floors in the 1920's (viz. the song-standard 'Begin the Beguine'), but has never established itself.
    Samba Much-favoured ballroom dance from Brazil, which actually originated in Africa and has spread to the palais of England.

    Lido A fashionable Italian beach, just outside of Venice; or any pleasure-ground borrowing the name.

    Who's Who The annual directory of anyone who's anyone (currently).

    Lagoulue Celebrated Parisian dancer at the turn of the century. So named because of her immense size ('goulu' means greedy), she was immortalised in countless Toulouse- Lautrec pictures. Has also lent her name to a fashionable New York nightclub.

    Nijinsky Vaslav Nijinsky (1892-1950), Russian ballet dancer who, under Diaghilev's direction, created a sensation in the early years of the century with his technique and expressiveness. Generally regarded as the greatest of all male dancers. The '-sky' at the end of his name is jokingly supposed, in cornmon lore, to end all Russian words: thus 'Strandsky' in the next line.


    That was taken from vivaroxymusic.com, if you were wondering. Good website for everything Roxy.
    rabidoveryouon August 31, 2006   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThe only thing better than an undanceable song about dancing (see Frank Zappa's "Dancin' Fool") is an undanceable song about a specific dance that never gets around to describing what said dance would entail.
    destroyalltacoson October 14, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentSorry, didn't mean to post twice. Don't know what happened there.
    rabidoveryouon September 03, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAlthough I don't have a personal interpretation, this may be of interest to people wondering what on earth it all means:

    Do the Strand Explained
    By SIMON PUXLEY

    The Strand First and foremost a dance, depicted as a new craze ('new sensation', 'the new way'). However in the dictionary 'strand' can mean 'walk' (verb), a place to walk, a stretch of beach, or 'to leave high and dry'. 'Strand' was also once a brand of cigarette. And the Strand is of course a famous London street, once highly fashionable: this is the meaning that the title immediately calls to mind, if any. BUT the Strand is none of these things. It's without precedent and unique. It's not even a dance-step. It is, as the lyrics demonstrate, everything; or more particularly it is - to use inadequate platitudes where it's at, whatever turns you on. The buzz, the action, the centre, the quintessence, the energy. The all-embracing focus, past present and future, the ineffable. The indefinable. And in the context of performance the Strand is also something else the here- and-now, i.e. the song, the music and the atmosphere themselves.
    The song metaphorically conceives of the Strand as a dance. No ordinary dance, but an eternal, universal or a tangible image of an indefinable aesthetic and emotional perfection. Interestingly the dance was exactly such an expression of an ideal state in much fin-de-siecle and early twentieth- century art; it was an obsessive image, for example, for the poet W.B. Yeats:
    0 body swayed to music, 0 brightening glance,' How can we know the dancer from the dance? ('Among School Children')

    fabulous creation i.e. 'creation' as in a fashion-show; hyperbole but- as the rest of the song insists - also literally 'fabulous' like a fable, magical, incredible.

    Quaglino's place or Mabel's Quaglino's: long-established, exclusive London restaurant with dance-floor, frequented by aristociacy - Mabel's: suggests a cheap cafe or brothel, in direct, bathetic, contrast to Quaglino's. Highlife or lowlife, it makes no difference with the Strand.

    Louis Seize King Louis the Sixteenth (Seize) of France, guillotined by revolutionaries in 1793. 'Seize' is a double entente: French for 'sixteen', it's pronounced identically to English 'says'. 'Louis Seize' is a conflation, then, o 'Louis Seize says'; 'he prefer' is the ungrammatical English a Frenchman might use.

    Laissez-faire French phrase used in English to mean 'free trade', and more generally 'no restrictions' therefore freedom of expression, 'anything goes', 'each to his own'. A literal translation is 'let it be', or 'you have leave to do', so the sense of these lines is that Louis approves of the Strand because it has no limits, or that he prefers the Strand laissez-faire rather than otherwise, or even that he gives state approval ('you have leave to do') to the Strand.

    Tango... fandango Spanish-American dances. The tango became an established ballroom step; the fandango a wilder routine, became a synonym for a shindig.

    Quadrilles Quadrille: a square dance, origin France.

    Madison A dance done in formation which was a short-live fad, mainly in America, in the early sixties.

    Mashed potato schmaltz A play on words to create a contradiction. 'Mashed potatos' is intended literally, to describe the slushiness of schmaltz (sentimentality and oversweetness in music, films, etc.); and is also the name of a 'sixties dance which appeared in the wake of the twist and in its rhythmic and vigorous lunges is anything but schmaltzy'.

    Rhododendron Large evergreen shrub which flowers annually, cultivated all over the world but especially in the grounds of large houses in England.

    The Sphinx and Mona Lisa Two all-time great enigmas. The Sphinx was a creature in both Greek and Egyptian mythology with a human head and a lion's body. The Greek version strangled those who failed to solve a seemingly unanswerable riddle: literally enigmatic. The most famous example of the Egyptian Sphinx, the massive stone figure (240 feet long, 66 feet high) still recumbent at the side of the Great Pyramid, is more mysterious: it actually exists, but what its exact purpose was is unknown.
    The impression, anyway, is that it guards the pyramid's secrets, as the Greek Sphinx guarded the answer to the riddle. The 'Mona Lisa' is probably the most famous painting of all time. Painted by Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), the smile on the face of the portrayed woman has been the scource of endless speculations. Her expression is said to be deeply profound with a magical effect which no analysis of the painting can explain
    The Sphinx and Mona Lisa represent not only the arcane and mysterious but also - by implication -the ancient and immortal.

    Lolita and Guernica Two outstanding artistic portrayals of never-ending human frailties - love and war respectively. Vladimir Nabakov's novel masterpiece (1955) describes a man's obsession with a pubescent girl, a 'nymphet'. The opening words of the book are: "Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul".
    Guernica was a Spanish village massacred by Mussolini's bombers in the Spanish Civil War. Pablo Picasso - Spanish by birth - immortalised this Fascist genocide in a painting - called Guernica - for the Spanish pavilion at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in1937.
    Perhaps Picasso's most well- known single work, the name Guernica has become synonymous with monstrosity.

    Beguine A rhumba-like dance-step from the islands of St. Lucia and Martinique. Introduced to American dance-floors in the 1920's (viz. the song-standard 'Begin the Beguine'), but has never established itself.
    Samba Much-favoured ballroom dance from Brazil, which actually originated in Africa and has spread to the palais of England.

    Lido A fashionable Italian beach, just outside of Venice; or any pleasure-ground borrowing the name.

    Who's Who The annual directory of anyone who's anyone (currently).

    Lagoulue Celebrated Parisian dancer at the turn of the century. So named because of her immense size ('goulu' means greedy), she was immortalised in countless Toulouse- Lautrec pictures. Has also lent her name to a fashionable New York nightclub.

    Nijinsky Vaslav Nijinsky (1892-1950), Russian ballet dancer who, under Diaghilev's direction, created a sensation in the early years of the century with his technique and expressiveness. Generally regarded as the greatest of all male dancers. The '-sky' at the end of his name is jokingly supposed, in cornmon lore, to end all Russian words: thus 'Strandsky' in the next line.


    That was taken from vivaroxymusic.com, if you were wondering. Good website for everything Roxy.
    rabidoveryouon August 31, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSorry, come again?
    DarkenRahlon September 22, 2006   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationRoxy only made magnificent music and this song is further proof of the veracity of my declaration.

    "Rhododendron - it's a NICE FLOWER" (!?!)

    One of my favorite lines - such a hilarious disjuncture.

    History of modernism in art and the the implications of societal futility displayed therein set to a beat. I think I've almost got it all figured out. Now let me hear it again just ONE MORE TIME....

    Love to all true believers.
    NomadMonadon February 18, 2012   Link

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