The Angry Corrie 46: Jul-Aug 2000

TAC 46 Index

Mountaineering Melodies No. 22: Pale Blue Eyes

You know I thought of you as my mountain top
You know I thought of you as my peak
I thought of you as just about everything
That I'd had but I just couldn't keep

Velvet Underground - Pale Blue Eyes, 1969

IT IS NOT widely known that Lou and the Velvets were Munrobaggers, but this lyric makes everything clear. Fully 12 years before Munro's Tables owned up to it, the man nowadays described as "looking like a senile penguin" was well aware that Beinn an Lochain fell short of the magic height. What's more, he was pissed off because he had bagged it and wasn't interested in the rest of the Corbetts.

That the band had been walkers for some time is revealed in a later verse, "You know what lies when it can't stand up / And down for you is up", which shows an early onset of knee trouble for at least one of them. Walking poles were, of course, not so fashionable then (although Velvets- inspired bananas remain hugely popular hill food).

Want to spot an old Velvets fan on the slopes? Simply go to the Fort and look for folk climbing Ben Nevis in furs.

Paul Prescott

TAC 46 Index