Ambition / Time Shoulda Made A Man O' Me

by Subway Sect

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TIME SHOULDA MADE A MAN O’ ME I was brought up in a nice house My dad was cleared out of a slum I don’t think about nothin’ Till my future comes I’m still inscrutable as a kid, Irascible as a teen Oh, oh time shoulda made a man o’ me I fell down like a novice When I stepped onto the stage But I got up with my pen intact And wrote it all down on a page I get caught up between two minds And it gets worse with age Oh time oh time oh time Shoulda made a man o’ me Now all around me is dyin’ It seems like I’m in a home But I won’t sit here cryin’ I’ll put it all down like a poem I see Bees keep buzzin’ by I see Robin in a tree Oh oh time Shoulda made a man o’ me I hope There will be butterflies ‘cause if not I’ll just die Oh time Oh time Oh time shoulda made a man o’ me


A. Ambition (the original 1978 version).

AA. Time Shoulda Made A Man O Me
(from as yet unreleased Moments Like These)

These two songs seem to make good bed-mates. Yet one was written as I'd just turned 19 and the other when I'd retired at 60. I have to look at the lyrics to find out why, but first I'll give you a bit of background info that might explain what was going through my head.

As a teenager I'd already had the piss taken out of me by my mates for years as I had the attitudes and dress sense of an old man. At Shene Grammar I'd always been taught to be able to get outside my head and look at myself in my surroundings. I was also made to read and one particular book was of great use to me in writing a couple of songs from that era. Colomba was by Prosper Mérimée and concerned the coming together of enlightened thinking and savagery in Corsica. I managed to get into the character of the Barricini patriarch to write Empty Shell and as I look at the words to Ambition I catch a glimpse of him on his bench staring out to sea, pondering what might have been.

For Time shoulda made a man o’ me, things get more personal. This is a simple three part vignette of my life from childhood (verse one) stumbling (verse two) and resignation (verse three) The crucial thing is the simplicity of the time signature, played with iron discipline by D.C. Collard, enabling the group to fall in with him, Pete Williams to lay his 'misery stick' beautifully in the groove and me to lightly croon a bit of Percy Faith's melody and even give a taster of our live set quiz - this song always being played last and a merch give away! With thanks to Terry Edwards who was on hand to help us achieve the right key and our producer, Mick Jones!


released May 1, 2020


Vic Godard: Vocals
David Collard: Piano
Sean McLusky: Drums
Chris Bostock: Bass
Johnny Britton: Guitar
Pete Williams: Clarinet
Mick Jones & Subway Sect: Backing vocals

Produced by Mick Jones

Recorded and mixed by Declan Gaffney


Vic Godard: Vocals
Bob Ward: Drums
Paul Myers: Bass
Rob Symmons: Guitar
Mickey Foote: Keyboards

Produced by Bernard Rhodes
& Mickey Foote
Recorded at Gooseberry Studios, London W1

Mastered by Dr. Mike Coe

Artwork and design: Andrew Paul Shaw
Photography: Harry Napper


all rights reserved



Vic Godard London, UK


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