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(Credit: Garry Knight)

Music

Jarvis Cocker is tracking down the woman who inspired Pulp song ‘Common People’

Jarvis Cocker has said it’s still a “mystery” who he wrote the Pulp hit ‘Common People’ about, but he is on a mission to find out.

In the classic 1995 song’s opening lines, Pulp frontman Cocker sings of a woman who “came from Greece [and] had a thirst for knowledge” and studied sculpture at London’s St. Martin’s College.

The song went on to become one of the most cherished of the 1990s Britpop era, yet Cocker has revealed that he has no memory of the identity of the woman who inspired the song. 

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Discussing the mystery woman on BBC Radio 4’s This Cultural Life recently, Cocker addressed claims that the inspiration for the hit was Danae Stratou, a Greek woman who attended St Martin’s at the same time as Jarvis, but confirmed that “it wasn’t her because she had blonde hair and the girl had dark hair”.

Cocker added: “We went to the pub, and she just came out with that she wanted to live in Hackney with common people. In 2011, we played at St Martin’s, and someone showed me a picture on their phone and said, ‘Is that the girl you wrote the song about?’ I went, ‘Yeah, I think it is,’” he recalled.

Adding: “Unfortunately, I didn’t ask them for the picture, and I can’t remember who showed it to me, so it’s still a mystery.”

Back in 2015, Deborah Bone, the woman who inspired Pulp‘s 1995 hit ‘Disco 2000’, sadly died at the age of 51. The mental health worker had been battling multiple myeloma – a form of bone marrow cancer.

Born and raised in Sheffield, Bone and Cocker were very close growing up, and their friendship inspired ‘Disco 2000’, which begins with the lyric: “Well we were born within an hour of each other / Our mothers said we could be sister and brother / Your name was Deborah. Deborah. It never suited ya.”

Bone moved to Letchworth at the age of ten and went on to become a nurse, later setting up the ‘Step2’ health service for the Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust in Stevenage. She won numerous awards for her work in mental health, and just hours after her death it was announced that she would receive an MBE in recognition of her services to children and young people in the 2015 New Year’s Honours List.