Sweet Lady Genevieve

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"Sweet Lady Genevieve"
Single by The Kinks
from the album Preservation Act 1
B-side "Sitting in My Hotel"
Released September 21, 1973 (UK)
Format 7" single 45 RPM
Recorded June 1973 at Konk Studios, Hornsey, North London
Genre Rock, folk rock
Length 3:26
Label RCA 2418
Writer(s) Ray Davies
Producer(s) Ray Davies
The Kinks singles chronology
"Sitting in the Midday Sun"
"Sweet Lady Genevieve"
"Where Have All the Good Times Gone" (1973) - UK

"Money Talks"
(1974) - US

"Sweet Lady Genevieve" is the third track from The Kinks' 1973 rock opera Preservation Act 1. It was written by Ray Davies.


"Sweet Lady Genevieve" is part of the rock opera, Preservation Act 1, with the lyrics being sung by Davies as the "Tramp", one of the principal figures in the story line. In the track, the Tramp is begging for the forgiveness of his former lover, Genevieve, saying that "this time I'll give you some security and I will make promises I can keep". Author Andrew Hickey said in his book, Preservation: The Kinks' Music 1964-1974, that the track was "Ray Davies' attempt to reach out to his estranged wife Rasa."[1] The Tramp returns later in the album on "Sitting in the Midday Sun".[2]


The track was released as a single in the U.K. (but not in the America, where it was used as the B-side to "Sitting in the Midday Sun") with "Sitting in My Hotel", (from the previous album, Everybody's in Show-Biz) as the B-side. However, it was unsuccessful, not making a dent in the charts.[3]


Although "Sweet Lady Genevieve" was not successful commercially, it has since been praised by music critics. Hickey claimed it "may be the last truly great Kinks song" and said that he "can think of few braver artistic works."[1] AllMusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine called the track "absolutely gorgeous" and labelled it the "real candidate for Davies' forgotten masterpiece".[4] Jason Josephes of Pitchfork Media said that "Sweet Lady Genevieve "is one of the Kinks' greatest singles, a simple porchy folk- rock number you'll be humming for days."[2] The track has since appeared on the compilation album Picture Book.


  1. ^ a b Hickey, Andrew. Preservation: The Kinks' Music 1964-1974. pp. 185–186. 
  2. ^ a b Josephes, Jason. "Pitchfork Media". Retrieved 2014-05-07. 
  3. ^ "Awards". 5/7/2014. 
  4. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "AllMusic". Retrieved 2014-05-07.