Lydia Purple

So yesterday, there I was surfing around the Net and posting fun stuff to Facebook (and why wasn’t I posting to my blog more than an amusing, if mindlessly felonious, internet quiz? you ask, for lo you are very perceptive. Because a blog post takes between 1.5 and 7 hours on this computer, depending on how it’s behaving, and clicking Share On Facebook takes about ninety to 180 seconds instead, and BTW the PressIt bookmarklet won’t work with this Windows 98 setup so I can’t post it to WordPress instead, that’s why thanks for asking) when I ran across this.

Lydia Purple.

From the comments on the YouTube it appears that the Collectors later lost their lead singer and morphed into Chilliwack, or maybe their singer left and he fronted Chilliwack or something; all I know is, going from Kits Beach to Chilliwack is what’s generally thought of as a comedown, at least to those who’ve been in both locations. I mean, Chilliwack is very nice for a small town with condo metastises on the fringes, but one of these things smells like cow shit and one of them smells like ckOne if you know what I mean, and I think you do.

In any event (the pole vault? beaver eating? three day?) there I was…well, HERE I was, right here behind the keyboard, and I was wearing my purple sweatshirt. The one Lydia gave me. The one with Lydia on it, only Lydia‘s not purple (neither in person nor on the sweatshirt except in the spots where the transfer didn’t cover) Lydia is generally rather pale pinkish except on the sweatshirt, where she is white and green (which she never is, even after a heavy-duty Bacchanal not that I’d know anything about that) and, yes, a bit of purple.

So (t)here I was wearing my purple Lydia sweatshirt, watching Lydia Purple. I wasn’t actually sweating, but it would have been nice for narrative symmetry purposes I suppose.

And here it is, a Wet Coast version of Eleanor Rigby:

Spot the Vancouver locations: Kits Beach, the West End, the Pacific Centre atrium (who knew it was that old?), Planetarium, English Bay, and is that not Spanish Banks?

Lyrics and additional details below the jump:

Lydia Purple-The Collectors

This “lost” 60’s pop-sike gem was written and also recorded by a male duo DUNN & McCASHEN (their version is on their LP “Mobius”). The Collectors’ version was on their 1967 LP “The Collectors-New Vibrations From Canada”. The song was released as a single in Canada in 1968, and it charted (#55). A band called Giant Crab did a heavier version.

Lydia Purple lived in a steeple, tall by nature, colored by people

Lydia Purple was taken for granted by people that knew her,

whose views were all slanted

Writing sonnets daily, drinking apple tea, Lydia pretending she is free

Living there lonely, a view from her window, she keeps to herself,

and peeks through the keyhole

At the end of her first year, her walls were all painted, she wrote to her lover,

who never existed

Writing sonnets daily, drinking apple tea, Lydia pretending she is free

Singing softly, she tends her tower,

Sweep the dirt, wipe the hurt, she sings…

By the close of her third year, she talked to her mirror, her questions were clever,

her answers much clearer

Lydia Purple lived in a steeple, tall by nature, colored by people

(repeat………….fade)

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12 thoughts on “Lydia Purple

  1. Who knew it was that old? I did! I remember the incredible construction site downtown was during the late 60s and early 70s. Arguably the mall helped to destroy the ambiance of what was at street level above it.

    At 28 seconds you also see a zoom out from the WestCoast Transmission building, billed as earthquake-proof in its time.

    And for more nostalgia – maybe mentioned it before, but Park Royal in WestVan? As a four-year-old I watched them dig the foundation for the first pillars.

  2. Makes me want to go look at albums in the basement. (Yes, I did keep my turntable!) Very funny about the sweatlessshirt. I’ve been singing the wrong words for all these years. Probably will forever -‘talks about nature, not about people’. Maybe it was a height thing? Ian do you remember the Image One on Hornby across from the Dev? These and other LIVE bands played there! The good ol’ days. Do you remember what ‘the little red-haired girl’ ‘s name in Charlie Brown was?

  3. Obviously, it was written in the 60’s! I wasn’t even half way through my 50,000 miles of hitch-hiking (I put hicking first, which I was also doing).

  4. Pingback: Lost & Sound

  5. Came upon this page in a round-about way. I’m trying to find information on the band ‘Giant Crab’ but I am pleased to find out more about ‘The Collectors’ as I just played them on the radio this past friday. What info can you give me regarding to ‘Giant Crab’? I really like their version of “E.S.P.”, which is taken from the ‘Pretty Things’ track “L$D”.

  6. Absolutely none whatsoever, sadly. They sound like I should know them. If you use the search box, you’ll find a LOT of crabs and various other Fungi from Yuggoth here at the ol’ raincoaster blog.

  7. One small correction to the lyrics of “Lydia Purple”. In the refrain, I don’t think the word is “wipe” but rather “hide”. If you listen carefully, you can hear the aspiration of the ‘h’.

    Lydia Purple lived in a steeple
    Tall by nature, coloured by people
    Lydia Purple was taken for granted
    By people that knew her, whose views were all slanted

    Writing sonnets daily, drinking apple tea
    Lydia pretending she is free

    Living there lonely, a view from her window
    She keeps to herself and peeks through the keyhole
    At the end of her first year, her walls were all painted
    She wrote to her lover who never existed

    Writing sonnets daily, drinking apple tea
    Lydia pretending she’s free

    (Inst.)

    Singing softly she tends her tower
    Sweep the dirt, HIDE the hurt
    She sings

    (Inst.)

    By the close of her third year she talked to her mirror
    Her questions were clever, her answers much clearer

    Lydia Purple lived in a steeple
    Tall by nature, coloured by people

  8. Further to “Lydia Purple”. BTW: I have an original (vinyl) copy of “The Collectors” album.

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