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Meaning
This was an almost total Steve Marriott composition, although, as usual, attributed to Marriott/Lane. Steve said that it was written for his first wife, Jenny Rylance, who he had wanted to marry for several years, but she was Rod Stewart's partner. Eventually, Jenny left Rod, and, at first relictantly, began to date Steve. Steve wanted to give it to pp Arnold, who is in the clip, but decided to keep it. Pp, by the way, was another of Steve's lovers, just before he moved in with Jenny (consequently, she didn't like Jenny).
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Meaning
Ronnie Lane had the tune of an old hymn "God be in My head" in mind when he was writing Itchycoo Park. If you ever listen to both, you can hear the similarities in parts of the melodies. The lyrics, of course, were a collaboration between Ronnie and band mate Steve Marriott. Ronnie had begun the words while visiting Oxford and seeing the churches ("under dreaming spires") but the name of the song comes from a nickname for one of the local parks where Steve played as a child. Probably Little Ilford Park, but often debated, even by Steve and Ronnie. There were parts of the park in the 60s which were overgrown with nettles or "itchycoos" in local dialect. Lovers often came away with the itches after rendevous. There are also ponds in the park where ducks live. The whole atmosphere is one of young love in the 60s, skipping school, maybe smoking a bit of weed or taking some acid and having fun in the park, in all senses of the word. The bbc objected to the "we'll get high" lyrics, and Steve Marriott managed, in his inimitable style, to convince them that it referred to the swings in the park. As Ian "Mac" Mclagan (the keyboardist in Small Faces) was heard to say "Steve was full of s**t."
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