'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 things 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 things 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 things so conservatively

And he plays the 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 things so conservatively


Lyrics submitted by magicnudiesuit

A Well Respected Man Lyrics as written by Ray Davies

Lyrics © BROADWAY MUSIC CORPORATION, Kassner Associated Publishers Ltd

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A Well Respected Man song meanings
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17 Comments

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  • +3
    General Comment

    This 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 Comment

    Reminds me of Mothers Little Helper.... Just, sorta different. Hmm xoxo! LOVEit

    S0LIPSISTon March 16, 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 Comment

    i just heard this song on criminal minds. it's so catchy

    fastmotion123on December 19, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    It's also a political statement: the social climbing, money-grubbing mediocrity of the WRM is specifically said to be conservative, but just make that Conservative and watch the meanings expand!

    deborah305on December 31, 2019   Link
  • +1
    Song Fact

    In such a very English song, I don't expect the word 'fine' with the standard American meaning. And I'm certain I can hear a -d at the end of it! He's oh, so good and he's oh, so kind. Which even rhymes with 'mind', proving my point. And another error: this one, if corrected, improves the humour. Not 'his own sweat', but 'his arm sweat smells the best'. Which is hilarious: one's own sweat can be anywhere, running down the forehead, wherever, but underarm sweat is famously smelly!

    deborah305on January 28, 2021   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I 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 Comment

    This 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 Comment

    fun 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 25, 2007   Link

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