I won’t cheer those sad refrains anymore
In all honesty, there’s little of anything special to mention on The Passing Show. It’s a short, simple and very straightforward song – a mid-tempo, acoustic-driven little thing that doesn’t show off with any instrumental or structural quirks. Verse, chorus, verse, chorus, finish and that’s it, with no fuss. It’s not really even worth it to mention it’s a Nicky-lead song because in the gallery of Nicky songs, it’s also a bit unspecial and not attempting to really establish anything extravagant that stands out. It has a certain weariness to it that makes it sound somewhat personal but even that’s not really a large enough factor in the song. It’s just a song.
But it’s a good song. It doesn’t attempt to do anything particularly ear-catching or special, but it doesn’t need to either. It’s an enjoyable little ditty and that’s all it wants to be. It’s pleasant and surprisingly catchy; it’s one of those songs you find yourself repeating not because of any “this is a TUNE!!!” reactions but moreso simply because it was such a pleasant little thing that you might as well give it another whirl (or several) if there’s nothing else in the queue.
The main point of intrigue arguably is the final set of lyrics that seem completely detached from the “can’t stop us now” sentiment of the rest of the song. For a band that’s always loudly criticised all sorts of governmental establishments and had a bit of a rebel attitude in the political view of things, it’s fairly surprising to hear Wire proclaim that he’s always believed in high taxation and he’s never been bitter or blamed the tax-man. It’s a sentiment that’s intriguingly peaceful and at ease compared to some of the political statements that’s come from the man’s writing pen in the past.
Apparently this song is a tribute to Ronnie Lane of the Small Faces.