Matthew Henry John Bartlett

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Friday 22 August, 02003

Don McGlashan is a genius

by Matthew Bartlett @ 7:16 am

I always like hearing these lines in the Mutton Birds song, As Close As This:

I have no habits, as I always say
But I reached for you you like the first cigarette of the very first day

Their ‘best of’ compilation Flock is probably worth getting just for this:

A Thing Well Made
She’s wearing her don’t talk to me face as she makes the kids’ lunches
I oblige and quietly close the front door as I leave
I drive into town before the fog lifts
I sell sporting goods
Yes I’ve got a shop not far from Cathedral Square
I like to open up early so fellas can come in on their way to work
And daydream around the rods and reels
While their breakfast’s still warm inside them
Go on have yourself a look
I’m proud of my shop
Almost everything’s from overseas
You won’t find a better selection

Look at the way this gun fits the crook of your arm
To make a thing like that you’d need to know what you were about
You’d need to know where you were going and go there in a straight line
And everything else you’d have to shut right out

Can you see the man who made that?
Can you see him putting it down and standing back?
Can you see the moment when he said, “that’s it, that’s perfect”?
At a time like that you wouldn’t care about your job
Or your mortgage or the fight you had with your wife
‘Cause when a man holds a thing well made there’s connection
There’s completeness when a man holds a thing well made

It’s Wednesday so I do the mail orders
Nothing much, some oilskins and a 303 for a hunter over in Westland
And oh yes. One of those AK47’s
For some collector down the line.

3 responses to “Don McGlashan is a genius”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Was the collector one David Gray of Aramoana?

  2. Matthew says:

    I’m not certain, but it does seem likely as the song is set in the South Island, and mentions an AK47 (DG used an AK47 lookalike).

  3. Anonymous says:

    I’ve actually asked Don about this, and yes, “A Thing Well Made” is a direct reference to Aramoana, much as The Chills’ “Strange Case” is.

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