Village Green (song)
|Single by The Kinks|
|from the album The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society|
|Released||22 November 1968|
|Genre||Baroque pop, folk rock|
Sanctuary (2004 Reissue)
|The Kinks singles chronology|
"Village Green" is the ninth track from The Kinks' 1968 album, The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society. Like the other fourteen tracks on the album, it was written by Ray Davies and deals with traditional British culture.
"Village Green" was recorded during the sessions of Something Else, The Kinks' 1967 predecessor to The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society. The track's influence came from Ray Davies's visit to Devon, a rural area in England. This track inspired Davies to use this "village green" concept as an idea for an album, and it was held back for what would become The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society.
This track makes use of orchestral instrumentation, unlike the other tracks from The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society, on which the mellotron was used instead. This is likely because the track was recorded a year before the rest of the album was worked on. It also, in early stages, was planned to be the title track of the album until The Village Green Preservation Society was written. This is proven by a statement made by Dave Davies, which said that the album will be called Village Green.
J.H. Tompkins of Pitchfork Media called the track "understated", noting its "bouncing along like a horse and buggy as Ray Davies paints the landscape: 'Out in the country, far from all the soot and noise of the city...'"
The lyrics of "Village Green" describe a man who grew up in a village green. He met a girl named Daisy, who he kissed "by the old oak tree." However, he left the village green to seek stardom. Despite this, he misses the village green, saying that he misses the "church, the clock, the steeple" and "the morning dew, fresh air and Sunday school." However, since he left, the town became a novelty and a tourist attraction, with Americans saying things like "'Gawd darn it, Isn't it a pretty scene?'" Daisy has married Tom, a former grocer boy, now owner of a grocery. Now, the man wishes to come back to the village green, and hopes to talk to Daisy once again.
"Village Green" is most notable for appearing on The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society, but it made several other appearances. In fact, the track did receive a release prior to this album, as it was used in the French LP for "Mister Pleasant". Also, it was released as a single in Japan, with "Animal Farm (the track that preceded "Village Green" on The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society) as its B-side. It also appeared the compilation album Picture Book, and an alternate version with an alternate orchestral overdub appeared 2004 Sanctuary Records special deluxe edition of The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society.