Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)  
    (Difford/Tilbrook)  
     
      They do it down on camber sands  
      They do it at Waikiki  
      Lazing about the beach all day,  
      At night the crickets creepy  
      Squinting faces at the sky  
      A Harold Robbins paperback  
      Surfers drop their boards and dry  
      And everybody wants a hat  

      But behind the Chalet  
      My holiday's complete  
      And I feel like William Tell  
      Maid Marian on her tiptoed feet  
      Pulling mussels from a shell  

      Shrinking in the sea so cold  
      Topless ladies look away  
      A he-man in a sudden shower  
      Shelters from the rain  
      You wish you had a motor boat  
      To pose around the harbour bar  
      And when the sun goes off to bed  
      You hook it up behind the car  

      Two fat ladies window shop  
      Something for the mantelpiece  
      In for bingo all the nines  
      A panda for sweet little niece  
      The coach drivers stand about  
      Looking at a local map  
      About the boy he's gone away  
      Down to next door's caravan
       


  • Chords
  • FROM THE ALBUM: Argybargy, released as the second single from that album.
  • COMPILATIONS: Singles - 45's and Under, Greatest Hits, Piccadilly Collection.
  • LIVE VERSIONS: 1) Squeeze Play - The Singles, 2) A Round and a Bout, 3) the "It's Over " CD single.
  • Peaked at #44 on the UK charts.
  • Chris: "That song was influenced really by The Small Faces. I used to adore the way they would write about English situations. Very British picture postcard situations really. I wanted to write about the experience that a lot of working class English people do of going to the seaside and what a day out for them would be. And then taking it a step  further by talking of old people, young people, and family people at the seaside. So you'd have a cross-section in each verse, virtually, of how I saw seaside villages. So  you have the old people looking round the shops, and then in the chorus you have the young people who are trying to have sex with strangers behind the chalet on the beach. A lot of working class people in Britain go on holiday in England. That's as far as they ever go, you know. I suppose it's the same here in the States. People only go to the end of their garden for a holiday and they come back and they're satisfied with that,  that's their life. I find that really intriguing. I think it's island mentality. I don't like to travel. If I wasn't in a group, I wouldn't go anywhere. It must be something steeped way back in your past, hundreds of years ago." (from a 1992 Song Talk interview by Paul Zollo)
  • In the live version featured on the various Squeeze video compilations, Chris and John sing back vocals during each chorus that are not featured on the LP version. What they are singing is: "Seaside beside", "Deck-chair Attendant", and "Suntan lotion", though not necessarily in that order. (David Bailey)