"Handbags And Gladrags" as written by and Mike D'abo....
Ever seen a blind man cross the road
Trying to make the other side
Ever seen a young girl growing old
Trying to make herself a bride

So what becomes of you my love
When they have finally stripped you of
The handbags and the gladrags
That your poor old Grandad
Had to sweat to buy you

Once I was a young man
And all I thought I had to do was smile
You are still a young girl
And you bought everything in style

So once you think you're in you're out
'cause you don't mean a single thing without
The handbags and the gladrags
That your poor old Grandad
Had to sweat to buy you

Sing a song of six-pence for your sake
And drink a bottle full of rye
Four and twenty blackbirds in a cake
And bake them all in a pie

They told me you missed school today
So what I suggest you just throw them all away
The handbags and the gladrags
That your poor old Granddad
Had to sweat to buy you

They told me you missed school today
So I suggest you just throw them all away
The handbags and the gladrags
That your poor old Granddad
Had to sweat to buy you


Lyrics submitted by JON

"Handbags and Gladrags" as written by Michael D'abo

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Handbags And Gladrags song meanings
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30 Comments

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  • +3
    General Commentit's simply saying that there is more to life than your looks etc. A person is more than the trappings that surround them
    toxicgeekon May 13, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis is song is about materialism, bu it is mostly about growing up. It begs a question to everybody who has had everything handed to them, everybody whose ancestors worked their asses off so that they could buy cool crap without having to work with it. In the context of the lyrics, today "handbags and gladrags" could easily be replaced with "ipods and laptops".

    It's kind of about just being grateful and realizing that you're eventually going to have to grow up too. Again, in an especially modern context, what happens to you when you piss away your parents money by getting shitfaced at college for 4 years? Where has that gotten you? Life isn't as ideal as you think it's going to be (you can't just smile your way through it).

    In the specific sense it does have to do with a girl who has prioritized fashion and stuff, but the song works in a much more general way. She has prioritized the shallow, meaningless things in life because she hasn't ever really had to live enough to see that there's more, to grow up. The use of "fashion" could easily just be replaced with things like materialism, somebody watching TV all day, laziness--anything really when you're pissing away all that is given to you because it's given to you. And when you have spent your life focused on meaningless, useless things, and then you have to grow up and use real life skills and do real life work, you've got nothing without your shallow, meaningless existence that you've created for yourself.
    parkerstoneftwon July 10, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree with toxicgeek. You can dress yourself up in all the gladrags in the world but it doesn't mean nothing if you don't have the personality to back it up. The song is about a girl who puts her entire life in how she looks and all the education she's recieved doesn't mean a thing because fashion takes a higher rung. Even though the Stereophincs version is pretty much exactly he same as Rod Stewart's (I think Mike D'Abo of Manfred Mann wrote it originally), Kelly Jones is much sexier than Rod. So there. :)
    Forevergreenon May 18, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is a bit of a guilt trip, but it's not just about today. It's historical, that's why it says "that your poor old grandad had to sweat to buy you". It's about all the things that our ancestors have done so that we can live in the luxury we've become accustomed to. So when the line comes up "They told me you missed school today", that's a privilege that our grandads/great-grandads didn't have and fought for, yet we treat it as though it's a nuisance. Without it and the gladrags and handbags, we wouldn't have the choices we have and such an easy life.

    That's what ran through my mind anyway.
    S_Staron February 10, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Commentany UK members with digital TV may have noticed that around the time of release, this song was played on average 4 or 5 times an hour on the music channels. Made me get sick of it!! Shame, as it's a cool song.
    turtonhoton May 22, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYes, according to the book accompanying the CD it is written by Michael D'Abo. Perhaps it shouldn't be here under Stereophonics? But I guess there's no harm in it staying.
    JONon July 08, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti know this is a cover of a rod stewart song, but if it's written by "michael d'abo", i guess i wasn't rod stewart's song either.
    teaspoonerooon July 10, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIf anyone is wondering, Michael D'abo was a member of Manfred Mann.
    Bobo192on July 13, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentExcellent song, and even a better choice to show up as the theme song for The Office.
    Art Shostakon November 24, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentExcellent song, and even a better choice to show up as the theme song for The Office.
    Art Shostakon November 24, 2004   Link

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