Mile End (song)

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We didn't have nowhere to live
We didn't have nowhere to go
'Til someone said:
"I know this place off Burdett Road"
It was on the fifteenth floor
It had a board across the door
It took an hour to prise it off and get inside
It smelt as if someone had died
The living room was full of flies
The kitchen sink was blocked
The bathroom sink not there at all
Ooh, it's a mess alright
Yes it's
Mile End

And now we're living in the sky
I'd never thought I'd live so high
Just like Heaven
if it didn't look like hell
The lift is always full of piss
The fifth floor landing smells of fish
Not just on Friday
every single other day
Below the kids come out tonight
They kick a ball and have a fight
And maybe shoot somebody if they lose at pool
Ooh, it's a mess alright
Yes it's
Mile End

(Unintelligible chatter in background)

Nobody wants to be your friend
'Cos you're not from round here
As if that was something to be proud about
The pearly king of the Isle of Dogs
feels up children in the bogs
Down by the playing fields
someone sets a car on fire
I guess you have to go right down
before you understand just how
how low
how low a human being can go
Ooh, it's a mess alright
Yes it's
Mile End


The lyrics depict Jarvis and Steve's living arrangements during 1989. Jarvis is quoted as having the following to say:
"so we went over to this tower block in Mile End that had a few spare places. It was only supposed to be a temporary measure, but we ended up spending nine months there which, without any question, were the worst nine months of my entire life. I was convinced that a murder had been carried out there because there was all this mail for one person, and because, all the time I lived there, the kitchen sink was blocked. It became an obsession to fry and get it unblocked. And there was all this horrible stinky pink mushy stuff, together with this hydrochloric acid-type drain cleaner, and I started thinking that maybe the person living there before had killed his wife and then tried to dissolve her remains down the sink. It was horrible, because the bathroom sink was also broken, so I had to wash in a washing-up bowl and I had to do all the washing up in the bath. That was what really summed things up for me: I was having a bath one day, lying low in the bath, as you do, and I suddenly saw this tomato skin floating on the surface of the water. I thought, 'This is not how I want to live'" (Pulp: The Illustrated Story, 1996).

Alternative versions

Mile End (live at Anson Rooms, Bristol: April 1995)


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Page last modified on March 28, 2017, at 06:43 PM