"A Well Respected Man" as written by and Ray Davies....
'Cause he gets up in the morning
And he goes to work at nine
And he comes back home at five-thirty
Gets the same train every time
'Cause his world is built 'round punctuality
It never fails

And he's oh, so good
And he's oh, so fine
And he's oh, so healthy
In his body and his mind
He's a well-respected man about town
Doing the best thing so conservatively

And his mother goes to meetings
While his father pulls the maid
And she stirs the tea with councilors
While discussing foreign trade
And she passes looks, as well as bills
At every suave young man

'Cause he's oh, so good
And he's oh, so fine
And he's oh, so healthy
In his body and his mind
He's a well-respected man about town
Doing the best thing so conservatively

And he likes his own backyard
And he likes his fags the best
'Cause he's better than the rest
And his own sweat smells the best
And he hopes to grab his father's loot
When Pater passes on

'Cause he's oh, so good
And he's oh, so fine
And he's oh, so healthy
In his body and his mind
He's a well-respected man about town
Doing the best thing so conservatively

And he plays at stocks and shares
And he goes to the regatta
He adores the girl next door
'Cause he's dying to get at her
But his mother knows the best about
The matrimonial stakes

'Cause he's oh, so good
And he's oh, so fine
And he's oh, so healthy
In his body and his mind
He's a well-respected man about town
Doing the best thing so conservatively


Lyrics submitted by magicnudiesuit

"A Well Respected Man" as written by Ray Davies

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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A Well Respected Man song meanings
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15 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentThis song's referring to the bleak and repressed mono-tone lifestyle people of middle class england were expected abide by. The grey routine depicted
    "Cause he gets up in the morning,
    And he goes to work at nine,
    And he comes back home at five-thirty,
    Gets the same train every time.
    'Cause his world is built 'round punctuality,
    It never fails."
    is sung and expressed in a way which is trying to put across that this simple structured lifestyle is the way a "respected" person should live. However beneath these words lies the sense that this is a somewhat empty life which is structured accordingly to society's view of how one should live, as oppossed to the individuals wishes. There is also a sinister darker tone created through the character's hypocritical and lustful desires which do not correspond to middle class attitude.
    "While his father pulls the maid...
    And he hopes to grab his father's loot...
    Cause he's dying to get at her"
    You get the impression that these are not particular happy or nice people, however the contradiction lies in the fact that this is the exact image they are trying to convey, that they are nice,happy "respected" people.
    A subtle tribute to the hypocrisy of a great britain bound by class divisions, these people are no happier or normal than lower class.
    In a word an amazing song, one of my fav :)
    libertine_17on July 13, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentReminds me of Mothers Little Helper.... Just, sorta different. Hmm xoxo! LOVEit
    S0LIPSISTon March 15, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"..was inspired by a visit to a hotel in Exeter where aristocratic guests invited him [Ray] to play golf with them - as he [Ray] said, 'I'm not going to be your caddy so you can say you played golf with a pop star.'"
    I've also heard that this song was inspired by The Kinks' manager.
    In my opinion, the song is about a man who is well respected in society, but really he shouldn't be as respected as he is. It's written to make the man sound dull. Brilliant song. ;)
    comedancingon September 20, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti just heard this song on criminal minds. it's so catchy
    fastmotion123on December 18, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI am in love with this song. I loved the way it was used at the end of "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers"...it fits him almost eerily.
    ChibiLolitaon January 17, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is a great song. It's a simple song, that is some how complex too, about a simple person, a well respected simple person, that probably shouldn't be as well respected as he is.

    "And he hopes to grab his father's loot,
    When Pater passes on."

    Muhaha! That’s kind of mean and un-respectful. Wouldn’t you agree?
    WorkingClassLoseron September 29, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"... And he adores the girl next door,
    'Cause he's dying to get at her...
    And he's oh, so fine,
    And he's oh, so healthy,
    In his body and his mind."

    I think that is magnificent.

    A very English song, taking a stab at middle-class, bourgeois pretentiousness.
    BoHoon February 06, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentfun song to sing, and fun on the guitar.

    This song always sorta reminds me of john lennon's "working class hero" because they are both insanely simple guitar with some cut-throat lyrics
    BobDylan23on May 24, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAmazing song, its in the new film Juno.
    xxNirvana-Girlxxon March 25, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song, its seems kinda reminescent of the Beatles or Simon and Garfunkel, but not really all the way there...
    minimegooseyon September 06, 2008   Link

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