© 2024 Louisville Public Media

Public Files:
89.3 WFPL · 90.5 WUOL-FM · 91.9 WFPK

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact info@lpm.org or call 502-814-6500
89.3 WFPL News | 90.5 WUOL Classical 91.9 WFPK Music | KyCIR Investigations
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Stream: News Music Classical

Today's ear X-tacy: The English Beat "Mirror In The Bathroom"

Today's ear X-tacy features a classic track or deep-cut from the Alternative era every weekday at 10:10.

WFPK is proud to present The English Beat at the Mercury Ballroom on Saturday, December 9th!

Legendary British ska band The English Beat released the single, "Mirror in the Bathroom", in 1980. It was taken from their debut album, Just Can’t Stop It. This was one of the first big singles of the early '80s UK ska revival, and is considered to be one of the band’s signature songs. In the UK it ranked at #3 among the top ten "Tracks of the Year" for 1980 by NME.

According to composer and singer Dave Wakeling, the song was inspired by two separate incidents:

Working a building construction job at the time, and he got up for work one morning and found his clothes on the bathroom floor. While shaving, he said, “I started talking to myself in the mirror, and said, "Dave, we don’t have to do this, mate. We don’t have to do this." And in the mirror behind me, the door of the bathroom had a tiny little latch on it, and I said to myself, "The door’s locked. There’s only me and you. Just me and you here."

Later on his way to work on his motorbike, he thought about the idea of "The door is locked, just you and me", and reflected on the nature of narcissism: “And you'd see it perhaps on Saturday afternoon with people window shopping, half the time they're actually just looking at their own reflection. Then this restaurant opened, and it was a big deal at the time because it had glass tables, and I was like, oh, you can watch yourself.”

John is the mid-morning host on WFPK. Email John at jtimmons@lpm.org