Barrytown, 2013

There was still blood under the nail of her left index finger. She was tempted to suck it out, but felt sudden revulsion. Impossible – she couldn’t have done that. She walked along an alley dotted with overflowing dustbins; no one had been murdered – tomorrow must be bin day, she thought. For a moment she hesitated, frozen to the spot half way along the alley, ahead of her a frenzied version of herself dropped a bagful of  bloodstained clothes into a wheelie bin.


Barrytown is the fourth track on Steely Dan’s 1974 album, Pretzel Logic. The track is a sharp dissection of class prejudice, wedded to searing sarcasm, and an upbeat backing track. “I can tell by what you carry that you come from Barrytown” being a sample lyric. You can listen Barrytown here.


So, having finished my ham sandwiches, I step out onto Kingsway. It’s a road with a lot of history…