“Our House” by Madness
This song is based on the family life of the singer. The lyrics are apparently derived from his recollections as a child, and the addressee reads as if it may be one of his siblings or someone he grew up with. Thus when he makes comments about the parents, children, neighbors and of course ‘their house’, he does so in a way which implies that they shared these experiences together.
As far as the parents are concerned, it is pretty-clear that this is a working-class family. The father is depicted more or less as a faithful employee. And the mother is preoccupied, indeed even stressed out, with having to care for him, the home and the children. And these kids are presented as the average types, either being engaged in school or play.
But at the center of the tale is the “house” itself. This is where they lived and as such the source of many of the singer’s memories. This residence was located ‘in the middle of the street’, which may be just as much of a symbolic location as a literal one. For it was sort of a community center, if you will. Thus there was always some sort of a commotion going on, not in a bad sense but in terms of the place always being lively and ‘crowded’.
So conclusively, we can put forth a theory akin to the singer having in fact enjoyed his childhood. And what he relished the most was the family he was a part of who were embodied, so to speak, by the goings-on in their house.
Facts about “Our House”
Stiff Records and Geffen Records put this song out on 12 November 1982, being the lead single from Madness’s album “The Rise & Fall”.
“Our House” was written by band member’s Chris Foreman and Cathal “Chas Smash” Smyth.
“Our House” topped Canada Top Singles as well as the Sverigetopplistan (Sweden). And outside those nations, it also charted in 10 others, including reaching peaks of 5 and 7 respectively on the UK Singles Chart and Billboard Hot 100.
Moreover this song took home a prestigious Ivor Novello Award in 1983, as BASCA deemed it the Best Song of that year.
Madness also performed “Our House” as part of the official closing ceremonies for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
The music video to “Our House”, which was filmed primarily in London, was directed by Dave Robinson.
And the producers of this track are Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley.