It's kind of creepy how the things I'm just about to ask here get asked by someone else and answered very quickly! I was listening to "Charlie" for the first time last night and pondered about the whole who is Charlie thing.

On Monday while in the car and listening to CH I was wondering about the whole "Chocolate Cake" people references and who do they represent. Low and behold it was brought up in the Crowdie forum! Big Grin
According to Mike Chunn in Stranger Than Fiction, it's an oblique reference to Phil Judd and Atlanta. But then, according to Mike Chunn, just about every song Tim wrote is an oblique reference to Phil Judd, but in this case, I think he's probably right Smiler Certainly Without A Doubt, My Mistake, Crosswords and Charlie all seem to have a similar theme.
I interpret Charlie to be about the way that we can so easily destroy the relationships (friends as well as lovers) that are precious to us - often in a fit of pique - and then only realise what's happened when it's too late.

The deliberate vagueness and ambiguity serves (for me) to make this a very universal song.
Well... I figured it was about Phil Judd because he says (or sings, rather):
"Dead drunk, dead sure one of us had to go."
Which I thought referred to either him or Phil having to leave the band, but otherwise, I guess the rest of the song is pretty ambiguous. However Tim did once say that him and Phil were "As close as two men could be without having sex." Smiler
Well, a couple of quotes from Tim when �Dizryhtmia� was released :
�Crosswords was about what happened. When you are that close, there are always arguments, tensions. You don�t want to give too much away. Yeah, the words could easily be about about a man and a woman. It�s the same with �Charlie�. It�s about a man who kills his wife and sings to her in the morning. But the mood of it came from Phil leaving. It was like a death�. (From a 1977 SOUNDS (UK weekly) magazine, interview by Phil Sutcliffe),

From JUKE (australian rock mag) :
�It�s about a guy who kills his wife; and he�s sitting there next to the bed in the morning, trying to wake her up. That � although it�s a specific little plot � was also influenced by the changes in the band. it felt like there�d be a death in the family.�
I also have a very interesting article from the Advertiser (Sept 15 1977) where Tim speaks in detail about all the songs on the album. If anyone�s interested, PM me, I�ll be glad to scan it. He talks about Phil but nothing specific about �Charlie� (oh, and the Tim pic�s great by the way).
Aka o Miru posted:
Not sure if it really answers your question, but Charlie was discussed in this thread about a year ago.

As to whether there's an actual real "Charlie" I don't know (probably the name was changed to protect... Tim from a potential lawsuit?)

I came here today to get the meaning of this song, got it, but just wanted to let ya know- that link is dead :- / "The page you requested could not be found." (I've never seen that happen in this forum! :- O)

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