The Mutton Birds “Your Window”

“Your Window” starts off sounding like a pleasant slice of suburban New Zealand, but then the chorus comes along and – ahoy! – it’s about sex. It’s about sneaking in to root your sweetie.

The Mutton Birds switch between two universes. Dressed in tapa-print shirts, they perform the song outside a bungalow. It’s the same sort of cosy Kiwiana that flows through all Mutton Birds songs. The other universe is a ’60s pop performance. Dressed in matching black suits and white skivvies, the band perform in front of a stylised window set.

What do these two realities say? One is the present, in a definite place, with acknowledgment of multicultural contemporary New Zealand. The other is in the past, with only a symbolic connection to the lyrical content of the song. The Mutton Birds are caught in the middle, struggling to find a connection between these two worlds. Struggling to find an open window?

Maybe the song is about former children of the ’60s struggling with ageing. Maybe it’s not actually about sex.

Best bit: the backwards guitar solo

Director: Josh Frizzell
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

Next… a bunch of tools.

5 thoughts on “The Mutton Birds “Your Window””

  1. The thing with this – “In each house there’s a room, in each room there’s a girl that I don’t know. And it’s as if they’ve left their windows open for me” has always made me feel uneasily as if the narrator of the song things that every open window is an invitation to clamber in and root the girl inside.

    1. Exactly what I thought as well! But then again, I find something sinister with a lot of songs on that album . . .

  2. I wonder if the Mutton Birds made a video for the other version of this song, which has a bridge of sorts.

    “Big car comes out of the shadows
    with somewhere big to go.
    A great big man with big sounds on his stereo.
    He knows each corner like he knows the face of a loved one.
    I wave at him and he waves back, grinning at me and thinking, ‘There’s a keen one.'”

  3. Your Window

    The trees hang low above the road
    And Forrest Hill is waking from sleep

    This one is based on Milford-raised McGlashan real-life experiences: “When I was about 15 or 16 I used to climb out of my window and run to my girlfriend’s house in the middle of the night and come back at dawn and then fall asleep in the library at school the next day.”

    He didn’t write it until he was in his mid-20s and aimed to produce a simple, one-level song, based purely on that memory of teenagehood. “I don’t know whether I got that right because various people have come up to me and said ‘Your Window’ is an interesting song about serial rapists.”

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