“What is songwriting – what is it all about?” Damon Albarn said at this year’s Ivor Novello Awards. “True songwriters are the people who are able to distance themselves from something that’s really affected them, by writing a song about it. Some of us see it as going to church, some of us see it as going to work, but at the end of the day, if you’re not connecting to the spirit then you’re not making good music.”
Albarn is, of course, a man who knows something about putting a song together. Where Blur’s Britpop rivals Oasis tended towards lyrics that whacked the listener around the chops with “moon in June” rhymes and big statements, Blur’s words were more complicated, tending to fall – in the early days – in the character song tradition of The Kinks (see: ‘Tracey Jacks’, ‘Country House’) and later becoming more personal and revealing, as seen especially on 1999’s raw ’13’ album. Themes of disillusion, unity and the character of Britain and Britishness were constants.
Read more: The Best Of Blur: Damon’s 25 Finest Lyrics
By all accounts, we’re more likely to get a new Gorillaz album before Blur returns to the table to follow up last year’s ‘The Magic Whip’. In the meantime, sate your Blur thirst by playing our quiz to see how well you know their lyrics. The questions here cover everything from 1991’s ‘Leisure’ onwards, so it’s bound test your mettle. Click to begin.