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The Mystery Man
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Brik
589 posts

The Mystery Man
May 15, 2024, 19:31
So a while back I noticed a recurring theme in certain artists' songs. They're mostly London (or nearby) based, all from around the same time (79-83). Always describing, in very paranoid terms, a mysterious figure or entity following close behind in the shadows. A repeated idea seems to be of him being disguised in the day so nobody knows who he is or that he's always watching.


Some of the songs off the cuff are:
Madness - Shadow of Fear (1980)
Kirsty MacColl - The Real Ripper (1981)
Nine Below Zero - Mystery Man (1982)

Some here seem to be similar just out of coincidence (not too surprising The Cure and Damned had something in this theme) but they still use a lot of the same phrasing, particularly the echoing of footsteps:
The Jam - Dream Time (1983)
The Cure - Subway Song (1979)
The Damned - Twisted Nerve (1980)


After some googling around I found out about Dennis Nilson. I thought that was a shoe in but a lot of the tracks came before he was found out, so it would depend on there being public knowledge of a serial killer at large.

I wondered if anyone had any speculative thoughts about what these songs could be about. Pure coincidence that all of these artists had this feeling of being watched? I imagine crime is common enough in London that one would be wary after dark anyway but my Beautiful Mind couldn't help but see the link.
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