I took a wonderful class in my undergraduate years called the History of Rock and Roll. I got a "D" in the class because I always skipped test days. This was my third term on my first go-around as an undergraduate. I'd just met the girl I was going to marry and my heart or mind wanted nothing to do with the university and everything to do with her. I still loved that particular class though and went just to listen to records spin in the auditorium of the music building.
I was super-stoked when the class landed around 1976 and punk rock was thoroughly explored. Then it moved on into the 1980's and thumbed through all the great post-punk bands. This took music back to the British Isles and the political climate of that region. One band discussed from the podium was a group of Marxist Christians called The Housemartins. My initial reaction was not pleasant. I thought them to be a wanna-be bunch of Smiths and dismissed them for the most part. A few weeks later, driving around with my girlfriend, I noticed a cassette in the glove box. It was the second album from the band, "The People Who Grinned Themselves To Death". After giving this a good listen, I was sold on the bands peppy beats countered with sharp political lyrics.
My girlfriend then introduced me to the group that formed from members after their breakup. "Welcome to the Beautiful South" from The Beautiful South became a staple of our courtship and was a favorite band of ours for years to come. We actually drove three and a half hours out of town just a few days after our first child was born to see the band perform in a rare U.S. appearance - bad idea for sure but, I suppose I'm glad I got to see them live once.
Paul Heaton and Dave Hemingway continued to write witty and biting lyrics but the subject matter had shifted from politics to the institution of marriage and relationships. We'd sing along joyfully to often upsetting tales that focused on unhappy marriages, abuse, neglect, and brokenness. Yet again, I found myself in a mindset that wondered how anyone could fall into such a mess that could make you fall out of love with someone. It was happening to her and I, sadly, was clueless to it.
Today's offering was one that really made me happy. It was so over-the-top brutal that I couldn't help but enjoy singing along, "So if you walk into your house and she's cutting up your mother, she's only trying to tell you that she loves you like no other."
I remind the reader that, even though I am in a pretty great place these days - considering the crap I've been through and the crap my daughter is going through now - I still lament love lost and I still believe that none of this had to happen. It could have been fixed had she been willing. I can completely feel the dark undertone of this song like never before though. And it isn't a threat...please don't misunderstand. But you should be aware that, "The perfect kiss is dry as sand and doesn't take your breath. The perfect kiss is with the boy that you've just stabbed to death."