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Pete Atkin >> Music >> Carnations on the Roof
(Message started by: Kevin Cryan on Today at 16:18)

Title: Carnations on the Roof
Post by Kevin Cryan on Today at 16:18



Readers recommend

Marco den Ouden

Thursday 1 December 2016 12.00 GMT  

Readers recommend playlist: your songs about iron and steel (https://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/dec/01/readers-recommend-your-songs-about-iron-and-steel)

The most disturbing song about this era is undoubtedly Pete Atkin’s story of a skilled machinist who, discarded after 40 years, maintains his dignity: “The hands on his chest flared more brightly than his name for a Technicolor second as he rolled into the flame.” Suicide by blast furnace. The Carnations on the Roof (https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLdIPAbocW5kfvSummjXUFdH2Fr9Bwu5es&v=72NY5bP5xHM) are the flowers on the roof of the car that leads his funeral procession.

Kevin Cryan

Title: Re: Carnations on the Roof
Post by Ian Chippett on 13.12.16 at 09:02
Oh really? Suicide? Never crossed my mind.

Title: Re: Carnations on the Roof
Post by Robert Reid on 14.12.16 at 19:23
Nonsense! Started working in a steelworks in the 70’s. I worked as an analytical chemist and one of my jobs was to take samples of gases from blast furnaces for analysis. If you spat at the furnace your spit evaporated before it reached it. At these temperatures there would have been nothing recoverable to put into a coffin. I suppose only a memorial service would be possible. The lyrics are of course referring to cremation.

Title: Re: Carnations on the Roof
Post by S J Birkill on 15.12.16 at 03:23
Yes -- as interpretations go, quite the outlier. Work, retirement, death, cremation: respect. No more drama required. Nice to get the mention, but a pity the Guardian could link to the songs only on Spotify, which in our case...

Title: Re: Carnations on the Roof
Post by Simon Reap on 17.12.16 at 08:05
I'd always assumed that it was an industrial accident, but the cremation interpretation does indeed seem more likely.

BTW it was me who suggested it for Readers Recommend - very nice to get one in the list on only my second try!

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