Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Dos: Day 213
Sun. Aug 11, 2012

“Under The Westway”


“♫ There were
blue skies in
my city
today […] Just
like a love
song/ for a
way I feel about
you/ Paradise
not lost it’s
in you

How far have blur come from their formation in 1988 through those glory days of 90’s Brit Pop stars and to now, headlining the closing ceremonies of the 2012 Olympics in their home town of London? What a long and estranged trip it’s been for blur, who have reunited for their historic gig, tonight, at Hyde Park.

Just in time for the occasion, singer Damon Albarn has penned the perfect lyrical ode to his fairest city London. More than just an upbeat Elbow and Muse-like soundtrack to Olympic games highlight reels; Damon composed his anthem and love song to the famous highway that most Londoners take from Paddington to North Kensington. “Westway” is a lyrical reflection on how a Londoner feels about hearing the sound the roadway’s bridge makes above you. Damon’s ode is about wanting to capture that view of London while driving on the Westway which “feels like you’re flying over the city.” “Under The Westway” has the destination of being the only blur song to be recorded live without overdubs as Albarn explained when he told The Guardian UK, “We recorded it live, one take. It’s the first Blur song where it’s been one take, because previously I never finished the lyrics before we recorded.”

Fans wanting to hear more of their favorite band better tune in for their last performance as a blur headlining the closing ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympics. Albarn explained why “Westway” will be the last new blur song, when he said, “This time, I’d done that, so we were actually able to perform it. Which is quite nice, because I don’t really see any more recordings after this. So it’s nice to have finally done one song where we did it properly.”

Sunday night will be a historic moment for Londoners Damon Albarn. Graham Coxon, Alex James and Dave Rowntree, blur will have the honor of being the last sights and sounds of the 2012 Olympics. More than another rousing anthem, “Under The Westway” is blur’s tribute to their home city, the place where Albarn, Coxon, James and Rowntree started off as romantic dreamers, would they have ever imagined driving on that roadway that blur would have been playing during the Olympics of their fair city? blur have created some of the most memorable British pop songs of the last decade and “Westway” is another classic to add to their underrated canon. Congratulations to blur, this final song is a testament to the greatness of Albarn, Coxon, James and Rowntree. With the whole world listening, you have already made England and a legion of blur devotees proud. I long to one day take that historic drive in London, with blur as my song guide; I’ll dream this reflective ride with “Under The Westway.”

Just in case you want to sing along with blur, here’s the lyrics video version of “Under The Westway:”

If you love blur’s performance at Hyde Park, go to blur.com after the gig for information on downloading an audio memento from the sounds you heard on Sunday night.