Hi there, I’m an English Lit. teacher and am using Lord Anthony in my 9th grade class and would love to hear your thoughts on the song, its meaning and the phrases therein that we may not be (as Americans) all too familiar with (i.e. “tuff” & the significance of the Lord Anthony jacket, if any, for the song). I love your music and have always wanted to see it live- hope to one day. Thanks for writing great lyrics! David Jester English Faculty Woods Charter School Chapel Hill, NC USA
As we were rehearsing this song today, your question is in my mind!
It’s a pretty straight forward song, written by an ‘ordinary’ pupil, who’s looking on at someone whom he secretly thinks is marginally fantastic, but is too conventional to ever befriend.
Bunking off though you’re a toff
i think you mean ‘toff’, not ‘tuff’. bunking off is playing truant from school, and this is unusual in that tony is a ‘toff’, a rich person, middle class, as opposed to the majority of his classmates, who are from blue collar families, and perhaps more likely to duck out of school.
When will you realise that it never pays
To be smarter than teachers
Smarter than most boys?
in the british system of public education, it’s quite often a disadvantage to be outwardly clever. one can often pay for it in physical and mental harrassment.
And without a notion of a care
You’ll lift two fingers in the air to linger there
The two finger salute was more popular in the 70s when i was growing up. the single ‘finger’ is from the US, and didn’t come in until the 80s in the UK!
Here’s a famous usage
I’d recommend this for classroom viewing, but some of the language might be difficult for US kids.
Tony, you’re a bit of a mess
Melted Toblerone under your dress
Tony actually cross dressing to avoid beatings is a bit fanciful, but then this is pop music! I let him be fantastic, after all..
They call you Lord Anthony, but hey – it could be worse than this
Lord Anthony was a brand of clothing, especially jackets. There was nothing particularly ‘posh’ about them; the name was meant to be faux posh. It would be an obvious nickname, in the 70s, for a boy called Tony who appeared to be a cut above the rest of the boys.
hope that helps a bit!