You Were Right

“And songs are never quite the answer
Just a soundtrack to a life
That is over all too soon
Helps to turn the days to night
While I was wrong and you were right”

From “You Were Right” by Badly Drawn Boy 

 

As you’ll have gathered, I’ve probably spent far too much of my life getting over-enthusiastic about bands, songs and gigs. 

We were heading up North a couple of months ago and we broke the journey at a restaurant in Dundee.  I was musing upon our recent pub quiz championship (see post entitled “The State That I Am In” from 9th July) whilst waiting on my wife and daughter to return from the toilets.  As my mind was wandering, “You Were Right” by Badly Drawn Boy came on.  That song is catchy, humourous and telling.  It lists some of the great losses from the music scene – Frank Sinatra, John Lennon, Jeff Buckley and Kurt Cobain. 

The verse above brought a smile to my face.  Here I was sat in Dundee, close to the place where my fascination for music had begun, wondering what good all of my investment of time and money and energy was actually worth?  Could I have filled my head with something more worthwhile?

My mind wandered to another song from my teenage years, “God Part II” from U2’s “Rattle and Hum”.  Whilst that album disappointed me upon its release back in ’88, this song still resonates with me.  It was written in response to John Lennon’s “God” which also listed a plethora of things which had affected the singer.  (I actually think Larry Norman had written a song called “God Part II” first, but after the success of “Rattle and Hum” he re-named his song “God Part III”).

Bono seemed to have reached the conclusion earlier in life than I had.  Rock ‘n’ Roll couldn’t really change the world – it simply spins in revolutions –  it spirals and it turns.  Had I invested so much on something so temporal, that merely reflected “popular culture”?  A chasing after the wind? 

Bono did, however, seem to recognise that something bigger could still change the world – love. 

I still really like this song, but I think from 1988 onwards U2 and I went our separate ways for a few years as I discovered a whole bunch of fresh music and voices at the fringes which still had something to say.

“God, Part II” by U2

Don’t believe the devil
I don’t believe his book
But the truth is not the same
Without the lies he made up

Don’t believe in excess
Success is to give
Don’t believe in riches
But you should see where I live
I…I believe in love

Don’t believe in forced entry
Don’t believe in rape
But every time she passes by
Wild thoughts escape
I don’t believe in death row
Skid row or the gangs
Don’t believe in the Uzi
It just went off in my hand
I…I believe in love

Don’t believe in cocaine
Got a speed-ball in my head
I could cut and crack you open
Do you hear what I said
Don’t believe them when they tell me
There ain’t no cure
The rich stay healthy
The sick stay poor
I…I believe in love

Don’t believe in Goldman
His type like a curse
Instant karma’s going to get him
If I don’t get him first
Don’t believe that rock ‘n’ roll
Can really change the world
As it spins in revolution
It spirals and turns
I…I believe in love

Don’t believe in the 60’s
The golden age of pop
You glorify the past
When the future dries up
Heard a singer on the radio late last night
He says he’s gonna kick the darkness
’til it bleeds daylight
I…I believe in love

I feel like I’m falling
Like I’m spinning on a wheel
It always stops beside of me
With a presence I can feel
I…I believe in love

Oh, yeah, but don’t they say, “God is love”?

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"The priest in the booth had a photographic memory for all he had heard. He took all of my sins and he wrote a pocket novel called "The State That I'm In"". From "The State I Am In" by Belle and Sebastian
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