Robyn Hitchcock


Title Artist Label Type Year
Luminous Groove Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians Yep Roc Records Album 2008
Patreon 2023 Robyn Hitchcock Internet 2023


Billed As Venue City State Country Date
Robyn Hitchcock Spin Radio Network 06/01/1992


Before the advent of Luminous Groove, this was an unreleased demo recording (recorded in Yarmouth in 1992) originally entitled "Ivy" per a radio performance.

From Robyn on Patreon in 2023
My father died while I was on tour in the USA in early 1992, and I returned to my empty house on the Isle of Wight. My life at the time was a collage of frenetic activity in the USA and complete solitude back on the island. There was nobody around. Seaside towns out of season have a compelling melancholy: just how alone can you get? As a child I liked to spook myself, and that pleasure lingered into my adult life.

Away from other people, who is there to define you? I might be my alter ego, an eccentric old lady wandering the corridors in purple, muttering to the portraits of her dead ancestors on the walls.

My house on the Isle had several corridors, that led to rooms full of dead toys. Time was, families had filled them, but who’s to say if they lived happily ever after? There were presences in two of the rooms that meant I could never sleep in them. I had a gramophone set up in one - vinyl was ebbing at the time - that played Roxy Music slightly slow through one speaker. I would go up there for tea with the ghosts.

Two old sisters sometimes appeared late in the afternoon; they’d both been engaged to the same man, before World War I, unbeknownst to each other. He jilted them. The shock of running into each other at the altar was so great that each one fled from the world and mulched down on the West Wight. They finally faded from this life in the 1980s. I used to see their younger sister shopping for them in Freshwater - I can’t remember what her name was. The old ghosts were called Patience and Ivy. They loved Bryan Ferry’s voice, and would occasionally impersonate his vocal mannerisms: “Eeeuuuoooohhhh”, cackling to each other over their tea. Oddly, they had an aversion to cups and saucers (yet they were genteel ghosts, I thought?) and insisted on drinking their tea from large, chipped mugs. I still have one of those mugs, that commemorates the wedding of Princess Anne & Mark Phillips. It’s lived in America twice with me - but that’s another story.

I recorded a demo of this song with the Egyptians in that same house, later in the year, which lay like a piece of old furniture in the dust for years. Recently, several people have requested it for our streaming show so - voilà! Here it is, dusted down and slightly polished…


The fabulous whisper
Can anyone hear but me?
The ivy surrounds you

Does anyone love you
Baby just me
You're caught in the darkness
The only place you can be alone
Alone, Alone

A series of strangers
Or shall we say absent friends
Parading before you
Into your life she bends

So hollow and lonely
It's making you see
You'll only get better
When you've learned how to be alone
Alone, alone

What does it matter
You're seeking the eye's long shade
I bought you some onions
Cry now don't be afraid

They're walking towards you
The angels from everywhere
The ghost of your body
Is bringing you back to her alone
Alone, alone, alone, alone