Song of the Day, July 23: Raymond Chandler Evening by Robyn Hitchcock & the Egyptians

Today’s song is Raymond Chandler Evening by Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians. Taken from their wonderful album Element of Light, this song is a perfect little gem. Over simple instrumentation, Hitchcock sets a noirish scene and leaves us to imagine the plot.

It’s a Raymond Chandler evening at the end of someone’s day
And I’m standing in my pocket and I’m slowly turning grey.

The song was also my introduction to Chandler. I had heard of him before this, but Hitchcock’s song aroused my curiosity. I quickly found an anthology of his novels and devoured them. Chandler was the master of the noir novel. His primary detective, Philip Marlowe, was complex: hard-boiled, of course, but also ethical and philosophical. He was the unusual kind of character that could later be played on screen by actors ranging from Humphrey Bogart to Elliot Gould.

Hitchcock’s song is at once a wonderful tribute and classic Robyn. In one of his finest lines he avers,

I’d like to reassure you, but I’m not that kind of guy.

Enjoy a little unsettling scene on what would have been Raymond Chandler’s 123rd birthday, courtesy of Robyn Hitchock.

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About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

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