Leaps and Bounds (1987) – Paul Kelly and the Coloured Girls

The MCG in the background cerca 1987

On October 1st, 2019 I wrote an article to celebrate my beloved Richmond Tigers win of the AFL Premiership 2019. I quoted today’s song ‘Leaps and Bounds‘ to express my exhilaration. Going to the footy at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) with my best friend John and other companions was my favourite pastime as a young adult. It was not just about seeing the footy, but also about the occasions surrounding the event – including the walk-through Melbourne to the game with the many thousands of supporters, all like me bouncing up and down in anticipation. The Paul Kelly song Leaps and Bounds seamlessly captures the fever felt by the average fan going to the footy.

[Verse 1]
I’m high on the hill, looking over the bridge to the MCG
And way up on high, the clock on the silo says eleven degrees

I remember
I remember

[Verse 2]
I’m breathing today, the month of May, all the burning leaves
I’m not hearing a sound, my feet don’t even touch the ground

[Verse 3]
I’m high on the hill, looking over the bridge to the MCG
I’m stumbling around, my feet don’t even touch the ground

I remember, I remember
I remember, I remember
I go leaps and bounds, I go leaps and bounds

In 1997, Kelly was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame; at the ceremony Crowded House paid tribute to Kelly and performed Leaps and Bounds. The song originated in 1978 when Paul Kelly and Chris Langman “started an exuberant song about nothing in particular called ‘Leaps and Bounds’ but didn’t finish it“. By 1981 Langman had left to work as an assistant director for Crawford Productions and Kelly rediscovered a cassette tape of the song, he continued to work on it with Langman.

According to Kelly, Steve Connolly of the Coloured Girls “wrote the riff” and the group filmed a music video atop the Punt Road silos. The video as seen below observed “The grand themes of Paul Kelly’s work are all there – Melbourne, football, transcendence and memory… [he] is a detail man – the temperature, the location, foliage“.

Below the official music video is Paul Kelly performing Leaps and Bounds at the 2019 Australian Football Grand Final which I saw with my family here in Colombia live on TV.

I migrated to Colombia in 2009 and having watched all of this season’s games here in Colombia with the ‘watchafl’ subscription and the preliminary game and grand final live with my kids. I still feel over the moon about Richmond’s recent supremacy in the competition and that grandiose win we just all witnessed. To quote Paul Kelly ‘I go Leaps and Bounds’ and to share it with my kids who are relatively new to Tiger territory is something I won’t ever forget.

1. Leaps and Bounds (song) – Wikipedia

“The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.”- Michel Legrand

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Posted in Music
2 comments on “Leaps and Bounds (1987) – Paul Kelly and the Coloured Girls
  1. Badfinger (Max) says:

    Great sounding song Matt! I really like this.

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