Two Sisters (The Kinks song)

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"Two Sisters"
Single by The Kinks
from the album Something Else by The Kinks
A-side "Waterloo Sunset"
Released 5 May 1967
Format 7" single
Recorded April 1966 - July 1967 at Pye Studios, London
Genre Baroque pop
Length 3:16
Label Pye 7N 17321 (UK)
Reprise 0612 (US)
Writer(s) Ray Davies
Producer(s) Ray Davies
The Kinks singles chronology
"Dead End Street"
(1966)
---
"Mister Pleasant"
(Non-UK, 1967)
"Waterloo Sunset"/
"Two Sisters"
(1967)
"Autumn Almanac"
(1967)
---
"Death of a Clown"
(1967)
(Dave Davies solo release)

"Two Sisters" is the third track from The Kinks' 1967 album, Something Else by the Kinks. The song was written by Ray Davies.

Lyrics[edit]

In "Two Sisters", the singer compares sisters Sylvilla and Percilla. Sylvilla is a swinging, single "wayward lass", while Percilla is a married housewife. Percilla is tired of facing "the drudgery of being wed", with her being said to be "so jealous of her sister." The singer compares how "Sylvilla looked into her mirror; Percilla looked into the washing machine" and how "Sylvilla looked into the wardrobe; Percilla looked into the frying pan." Percilla then "threw away her dirty dishes just to be free again [and threw away] her women's weekly magazines just to be free again and put the children in the nursery just to be free again." However, upon seeing her children, she "decided she was better off" than her wild sister. She's "no longer jealous of her sister."

The two characters in the lyrics of "Two Sisters" (Sylvilla and Percilla) were inspired by Ray Davies and his brother, Dave Davies.[1][2] Ray was more introverted (and was the only one of the two married) while Dave was a party animal who was very outgoing. This clash of personalities was often the cause of many band in-fights, which would come out in their songs (ex. "Dandy", which is often thought to be about Dave). Ray Davies once stated, "Dave made up for both of us, he was the youthful, fun-loving one. 'Two Sisters' is quite accurate, in the sense that one had all the freedoms - one brother stays in, and the other goes out and has fun. And one resents the other for the ability to do it. But in the end, look what I've got..."[1]

Music[edit]

"Two Sisters", sung by Ray Davies, is notable for its use of harpsichord (which was also used in the song "Village Green", a song recorded around the same time, but saved for The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society). It was also the first time strings were used in a Kinks track.[2]

Release and Reception[edit]

"Two Sisters" saw release in May 1967, on both the French EP, "Mister Pleasant", and as the American B-side of "Waterloo Sunset". Later that year, it appeared on the album Something Else by the Kinks. The track has since appeared on Picture Book.

AllMusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine said that the track was "allegorical" and a "stunner".

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Hasted, Nick. You Really Got Me: The Story of The Kinks. 
  2. ^ a b Jovanovic, Rob. God Save the Kinks: A Biography.