Same Shoes – Roy Harper lyrics – A song about James Dean, Marilyn Monroe and Cuba!

I actually was asked to sing backing vocals on this track – well almost. We were in the recording studio in Lincolnshire – Darren, Bob and me. Roy wanted us to sing Same Shoes. We all had a go. He wanted us to do it our own way. I did mine. Unfortunately it was not good and was instantly scrubbed. I never made it on to the record! But at least I had a go!

The song starts with verses about fifties icons James Dean and Marilyn Monroe. The last verse stems from Roy’s experience in Cuba in the mid-sixties. It highlights the tension of the human rights aspects of Castro’s rule. Opposition was severely repressed. People could not talk freely. When asked about the effects of the revolution the shoe-shiner simply replied ‘Same Shoes’.

Same Shoes – Roy Harper

I see pictures of the porsche
Smashed and twisted out of shape
Hanging in offices
To match up with the drape
And posters of him
In boutiques where they couldn’t know
The styles they’re in
Belong to him
And he died thirty years ago
Same shoes
She became the way to look
They thought that they could freeze
While a hundred million men
Had fantasies
And without a word said
And non to be understood
Those nervous laughs
In photographs
Have captured loneliness for good
But how could she refuse
The girl who pouted scarlet lips
And stood for high-heel shoes
Same shoes
I once was in Havana
With dollars in my pants
Where I met an old man
Who was cleaning shoes for cents
I said “Can I ask
How it is, how you’re getting on?
It must be strange
In all this change
And how’s the revolution?”
He said
“Same shoes

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