"Parklife" is the title track from Blur's 1994 album Parklife. When released as the album's third single, "Parklife" reached number 10 in the UK singles chart. The song has spoken verses, narrated by actor Phil Daniels, who also appears in the song's music video.
The song won Best British Single and Best Video at the 1995 BRIT Awards and was also performed at the 2012 BRIT Awards.
A number of newspaper articles about the young middle classes' adoption of Estuary English appeared during the single's chart run, including one in The Sunday Times on the day the song entered the singles chart (although Daniels' accent is more obviously Cockney).
The song played a part in Blur's supposed feud with fellow Britpop band Oasis at the 1996 BRIT Awards when the Gallagher brothers, Liam and Noel, taunted Blur by singing a drunk rendition of "Parklife" (with Liam changing the lyrics to "Shite-life" and Noel shouting "Marmite") when the members of Oasis were collecting the "Best British Album" award, which both bands had been nominated for.
Despite what is commonly believed, the song does not refer to Castle Park in Colchester, the town where the band hail from. According to Damon Albarn when introducing the song during their July 2009 Hyde Park performance, "I came up with the idea for this song in this park. I was living on Kensington Church Street, and I used to come into the park at the other end, and I used to, you know, watch people, and pigeons...", at which moment Phil Daniels appears onstage. Phil also performed a rendition of the song at the band's headline slot at Glastonbury Festival 2009 and at the band's second Hyde Park concert in August 2012, and at the 2012 Brit awards.
The song's music video (directed by Pedro Romhanyi) filmed around Greenwich Peninsula features Phil Daniels as a smarmy double glazing salesman (a homage to Tin Men), with Albarn as his assistant. Other band members appear as various characters from the song, including Dave Rowntree and Alex James as a couple, with the latter in drag. At one point, Albarn is impressed to see a man (Graham Coxon) carrying a placard reading "Modern Life Is Rubbish", the title of Blur's previous album; on the reverse is written "End of a Century", the title of their subsequent single from Parklife.
The car used by Daniels and Albarn is a bronze-coloured Ford Granada Coupe Mk1. In one part of the video, the Granada pulls up next to an Audi Cabriolet convertible and Daniels says "It's got nothing to do with your 'Vorsprung durch Technik' yer know" The driver, seemingly played by Alex James, grimaces back at him. Both cars then pull away at speed to reveal 'Parklife' written on the tarmac.
The video was reviewed on a 1995 episode of Beavis and Butt-Head. The characters stated Daniels bore a resemblance to Family Feud host Richard Dawson. File Hashes
HASH2: 8BC8FA91918C8569 (MP3)