The Shirt

Written by: Ray Davies

Published by: Davray Music Ltd./Carlin Music Corp.

Chord file


As I walked into the charity store
I saw a second-hand shirt hangin' up by the door
The collar was frayed, there was a stain on the cuff
Caused by ketchup or blood or some such stuff
It wasn't made of polyester or nylon
The label said "Made in the UK" so I tried it on
And I looked in the mirror and declared
"I like this shirt, I want it"

It's not the label on the shirt that you wear
It's the way that you wear it
They say it's style and breeding and culture that counts
But you can't change good taste on the expense account
And if design or fashion makes you a hero
You can dress all highbrow but still be an emotional zero
But I declare "It's not the shirt you wear
It's the way that you wear it"

I was looking for danger, I should have taken more care
I was dressed to kill, I felt so debonair
Wild expectations, arrogant air
Then I walked into that bar, she was standing there
I walked over with all my savoir fair
And she said "You're a smart looking dude
But your character's ugly, it clashes with my shoes
And I, I can't stand your attitude"

I assumed it was leading to a romantic interlude
I thought my conquest was made
But I was stunned by the magnitude
Of her ingratitude
I spent a good thirty bucks on this babe
Like the shirt I was wearing

This romantic affair was not destined to last
The harder I tried, the louder she laughed
I was reduced to despair, my emotions laid bare
She knew I was hurt, made me feel like a jerk
I was humbled, humiliated, castrated
My masculinity dragged through the dirt
Then thrown in the air to be devoured by the lions
The vultures, the jackals and all the scavengers of love
I was strutting around with my chest stuck out
like a peacock preparing to get laid
Thought I looked cool but she put me down
She said "You look like a clown on a circus parade"
Still the shirt has class, it looks well made
She was a babe of the first degree
She was totally fantabulous
Like a goddess from Greece and yet
The epitome of the 20th century femininity
She was in her own league
She was meant for me, it was destiny
Like Adam and Eve, synchronisity
She brought out the testosterone in me

Last time I saw that babe she was smiling contentedly
Now I'm trapped on this murder rap, a mistaken identity
It wasn't me, it wasn't me, it wasn't me
Now this cop says "It's up to you, death row or solitude
Crime of passion, you should plead 'insane'
You say you wouldn't lie, but we've just blown your alibi
We've found your shirt and it's got a blood stain"

It was the shirt you were wearing
It was the shirt you were wearing

This song can be found on the following releases:

stereo mix, recorded (unknown date) at Konk Studios, Hornsey, London
The Singles Collection/Waterloo Sunset 29 Sep, 1997 UK Essential (Castle) ESSCD 592 (GAF 40 592 EFF) 2 CD set
E-mail Dave Emlen