Category Archives: Radio XXII

Radio XXII, side B, track 12: “Red Red Wine” by UB40, #22 on The Top 88 of ’88

UB40 - Red Red WineOh, UB40, the DJ said that you guys got your name from a British unemployment form.  That’s brilliant.  Besides the music itself, my favorite part about music is band names.  Where did they come from?  Who thought of it?  And what’s equally fascinating is how there’s always that moment where a band name goes to something quaint but inconsequential to a part of the collective knowledge of language.  I live in a city known for its live music, and so there’s always someone somewhere at any given minute performing something.  So there are ads and flyers in abundance, hanging in restaurants, stapled to telephone poles (naturally), and pinned to random bulletin boards at work, and since I’m actually not very well-versed in the modern music scene of my fair city, a lot of these band names mean nothing to me, and may not to you, either, UB40.

For example, one of my co-workers (who is one of the most loveliest people on the planet, by the way), had a band called Follow That Bird, although I guess they’ve now changed their name to Mirror Travel.  So around work, when someone says Follow That Bird, one’s first thought is usually not the wonderful movie featuring Big Bird.  They instead think of our wonderful co-worker.  But maybe if I mentioned Follow That Bird to you, UB40, it might not remind you of either thing.

But at some point, a band becomes so popular that the band name is synonymous with, well, the band rather than whatever the band was named after in the first place.  Not being from Britain, I can’t say for sure, but I would bet when people of my age hear “UB40”, even if they are unemployed, their first thought is not an unemployment form but of you and probably this song.  That is a rare kind of power, UB40, and it’s a power created by music, which is probably the loveliest power there is.

“Red Red Wine”

Red, red wine

Goes to my head

Makes me forget that I

Still need her so

Red, red wine

It’s up to you

All I can do I’ve done

Memories won’t go

Memories won’t go

I’d have sworn

That with time

Thoughts of you would leave my head

I was wrong

Now I find

Just one thing makes me forget

Red, red wine

Stay close to me

Don’t let me be alone

It’s tearin’ apart

My blue, blue heart

I’d have sworn

That with time

Thoughts of you would leave my head

I was wrong

Now I find

Just one thing makes me forget

Red, red wine

Stay close to me

Don’t let me be alone

It’s tearin’ apart

My blue, blue heart

Red red wine, ya make me fee so fine
You keep me rockin’
All of the time
Red red wine, you make me fee so grand
I feel a million dollar when you’re just in my hand
Red red wine, ya make me fee so sad
Any time I see you go it make me feel bad
Red red wine, ya make me fee so fine
Monkey pack him Rizla ‘pon the sweet Dep line
(Red red wine…)
Red red wine, you give me whole heap’a zing
Whole heap’a zing, ya make me do my own ting
(It’s up to you…)
Red red wine, you really know how fi love
Your kind’a lovin’ like a blessin’ from above
Red red wine, I love you right from the start
Right from the start
With all’a my heart
Red red wine in an eighties style
Red red wine in a modern beat style
Yeah

(I’d have sworn…)
Gimme little time, help me clear up my mind
(That with time…)
Gimme little time, help me clear up my mind
(Thoughts of you would leave my head…)
Gimme red wine, the kind make me feel fine
Ya make me feel fine all’a the time
Red red wine, you make me fee so fine
Monkey pack him Rizla ‘pon the sweet Dep line
The line broke
The monkey get choke
Burn bad ganja ‘pon his little rowin’ boat
(Red red wine…)
Red red wine, I’m gonna hold on ta you
Hold on ta you ’cause I know your love true
(Stay close to me…)
Red red wine, I’m gonna love you ’til I die,
Love you ’til I die
And that’s no lie
(Don’t let me be alone…)
Red red wine, can’t get you off my mind
Wherever you may be
(It’s tearin’ apart…)
I’ll surely find

I’ll surely find

Make no fuss, just stick with us
(my blue, blue heart…)

(I’d have sworn…)
Gimme little time, help me clear up my mind
(That with time…)
Gimme little time, help me clear up my mind
(Thoughts of you would leave my head…)
Gimme red wine, the kind make me feel fine
You make me feel fine
All of the time
Red red wine, you make me fee so fine
Monkey pack him Rizla ‘pon the sweet Dep line
The line broke
The monkey get choke
Burn bad ganja ‘pon his little rowin’ boat
(Red red wine…)
Red red wine, you really know how fi love
Your kind’a lovin’ like a blessing from above
(Stay close to me…)
Red red wine, I love you right from the start
Right from the start
With all of my heart
(Don’t let me be alone…)
Red red wine, you give me whole heap’a zing
Whole heap’a zing, make me do my own ting
Red red wine in an eighties style
Red red wine in a modern beat style
Yeah

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