I had a helluva shock writing this post. We’ll come to that later.
I don’t really rank my favourite songs by their comedy value. In fact, I tend to feel general disdain for any song that has opted to be funny rather than genuine. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. There are always exceptions to any rule. Except the one about morris dancing. That’s the exception to the aforementioned rule.
If you know me, you may well know about my former obsession with the band RUTH (later The 45s, later partly Aqualung). Before I even start embedding videos or giving you links, I want to point out that I never, ever claimed they were at the forefront of cutting edge musical genius. They made shiny pop music and they made me happy. That’s worth a lot. (Also: crazy fan gurls may like to take classes in how to indulge your obsession without scaring the people involved. I don’t think I scared them. Although that may have been undone when I accidentally moved within a 15 minute walk of Ben and started bumping into him in Lewisham Primark.)
Valentine’s Day was probably one of my least loved of their songs, but there’s a line that always made me think of this interview from the fanzine ALAN. The line: “put a brick in your microwave and pretend to be dead”. The interview:
Ben: I don’t think there’s really any need to write songs about how wonderful it is to be in love. There are enough of them already. There are also plenty of songs about how your love has done you wrong and how badly you want them back. I’m not sure there are all that many songs about how you’re in love and you’re sick of it. Surely there can be nothing worse than having to see her again because you can’t avoid it and you can’t end it because there’s nothing wrong. And then along comes Valentine’s Day and she goes “Are you going to get me something nice?” and a dark rage cloaks your mind and you look at her innocent moon face and you think “Oh yes, I’m going to get you something REALLY nice, you tiresome little troll” and you imagine a hundred mean scenarios in which you exact your revenge on her for doing NOTHING WHATSOEVER! IT’S NOT HER FAULT and that’s THE WORST THING ABOUT IT!!!!
The shocking thing: discovering this song was written in 1994. I am old. I may also have had terrible musical taste. No, that’s not true; they were just young when they wrote that. Try Waiting For my Heart to Break, written several years later.
I also chuckle at the line
It would take me an age to marry you
Now I’ve seen you use my razor like you do, it’s true
from Graham Coxon’s Bittersweet Bundle of Misery. But I think the clear, out-and-out winner, has to be
Where did you get that preposterous hypothesis?
Did Steve tell you that, perchance? Steve
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