Long ago life was clean
Sex was bad, called obscene
And the rich were so mean
Stately homes for the Lords
Croquet lawns, village greens
Victoria was my queen
Victoria, Victoria, Victoria, 'toria

I was born, lucky me
In a land that I love
Though I am poor, I am free
When I grow I shall fight
For this land I shall die
Let her sun never set
Victoria, Victoria, Victoria, 'toria
Victoria, Victoria, Victoria, 'toria

Land of hope and gloria
Land of my Victoria
Land of hope and gloria
Land of my Victoria
Victoria, 'toria
Victoria, Victoria, Victoria, 'toria

Canada to India
Australia to Cornwall
Singapore to Hong Kong
From the West to the East
From to the rich to the poor
Victoria loved them all

Victoria, Victoria, Victoria, 'toria
Victoria, Victoria, Victoria

Lyrics submitted by iamtheone

Victoria Lyrics as written by RAYMOND DOUGLAS DAVIES

Lyrics © Abkco Music Inc., Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Victoria song meanings
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  • +3
    General Comment

    Didn't read through all the comments, so sorry if this has been pointed out already but I think he chose to have the chorus 'Victoooooria' because it's a bit like 'victooooooory-a' and of course the obvious meaning, Queen Victoria. It's apt and quite clever :)

    ManicMelon April 08, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    I've always dug "Victoria" but I'd never paid attention to the lyrics. I thought it was just another 'girl's name' song (like Buddy Holly's "Peggy Sue", Beach Boys' "Barbara Ann" or the Monkees' "Valleri"). Was I surprised to see it's really about the legacy of British imperialism and the class system. A little research showed "Victoria" is from the Kink's "Arthur, or..." album (intended as score of a TV program that didn't work out, a rock opera that was overshadowed by the Who's "Tommy" ).

    Grampson May 26, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    I think this song encapsulates pretty well the two attitudes that many of Ray Davies' most distinctly "British" songs often seemed to vacillate between.

    To say that he's just making some sarcastic or denuncitory satirical statements about Britain would be a mistake, I think. He obviously has a lot of affection for the England of "Victoria." Some people look at:

    I was born, lucky me In a land that I love Though I am poor, I am free When I grow I shall fight For this land I shall die Let her sun never set

    ...and assume that the message is completely negative, as in, "Look at the poor ignorant peasant tricked into dying for foolhardy British patriotism."

    I don't think that's the right way to look at it. I think Davies, while mindful of the drawbacks that Empire and the Victorian culture bring with them, is at least somewhat fondly disposed towards them.

    You can discern the same sensibilities in Muswell Hillbillies and Village Green Preservation Society, to name just two.

    jonpalinon February 20, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    I always thought it was a song that went both ways.

    I think it is maybe a little sarcastic, but inspite of "the rich being so mean", the narrator still loves his country. The song looks at both sides of it, yes back then life was clean but sex was "obscene".

    Davies is really great at writing songs that express a fondness for something gone by without being completely reactionary conservative. You really can hear that best in "Village Green Preservation Society".

    ThursdayFridayon October 29, 2007   Link
  • +2
    My Interpretation

    This is one of the hit-songs from Arthur (or the decline and fall of the British Empire), the other one is Shangri-La.

    It is a concept album - liner notes: "Arthur Morgan ... lives in a London suburb in a house called Shangri-La, with a garden and a car and a wife called Rose and a son called Derek who's married to Liz, and they have these two very nice kids, Terry and Marilyn. Derek and Liz and Terry and Marilyn are emigrating to Australia. Arthur did have another son, called Eddie. He was named for Arthur's brother, who was killed in the battle of the Somme. Arthur's Eddie was killed, too—in Korea"

    So this song is very satirical and expresses how the working class should be proud of the Queen and The Empire - all falling apart during the 20th century.

    Excellent lyrics!

    Barefootedboyon July 17, 2017   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Yeah, it's basically about the Victorian era in England; croquet lawns, etc. starched collars, everything prim & proper. I love this song. makes me want to dance.

    Silver_Roseon September 20, 2004   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretation

    It sure sounds like Ray trails off with ... Victoria fucked them all, and not Loved them all. I think Mr. Davies loved, was critical and protective of his home turf.

    That little turn of the music, "Land of hope and Gloria"(a bridge?) makes me want to be British.

    TYROCRITon February 02, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    The song really ISN'T sarcastic. The reason why a 60's band would 'endorse' (if you like) the British Empire, is because being born in the 1940's like most of the Kinks were, meant that their parents and grandparents and other close relatives, would have stood up, spilled their blood and fought for a country that was once great.

    The song is more of a lament of the romantic aspect of Queen Victoria and her Empire, which was long gone, the romanticism of a generation which was prepared to spill its blood for the country they loved so dearly.

    In short, rather than thinking of the politics of attitudes to colonisation, or more appropriately de-colonisation and post-imperial Britain (being the 1960's) it is a sort of patriotic and romantic love song, for an era that had disappeared forever.

    MisterMagpieon February 22, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    This is brilliant, I'd really love to cover this live at Glastonbury. A cracking rock song.

    nomishoodon January 17, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    At first I also thought this was a song about a girl, until I actually listened to the lyrics. When I heard "Canada" and "Singapore" I finally figured out it was about England. I love this song, the guitar is awesome.

    aboredteenageron October 09, 2005   Link

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