The Canadian Club











{October 18, 2009}   The English Beat rule

TwoToneWell, Dave, no surprises here. After careful review of the entirety of the lyrics, it does indeed seem to be about a guy with a wandering eye.  To think that all these years, while identifying and savoring the simple beauty of specific lines (for example, “rings but none on that finger” and “words like conviction can turn into a sentence”) that capture concrete sentiments, I had never once put everything together into this narrative of frustrated infidelity. It figures, though.  Along with Pete Shelley, I think the Roger and Wakeling team have always had a knack for combining swell melodies with polished yet unassuming words that unearth rich emotional truths (e.g. “I’m in love again. This time’s true I’m sure.“). And somehow, I was always under the impression that Tenderness was just a variation on the theme of the self-deprecating and timorous romantic so aptly described in Too Nice to Talk To.

While, earlier in the day, I may have disagreed with you about whether or not Tenderness (from 1984) is the greatest single in history — I would have offered up this or that as evidence to the contrary — I think the fact that it has been stuck in my mind since it first came out clearly persuades me to align with your opinion.  And that is without even mentioning the hard and fast English Beat ruleEverything anybody from the English Beat was ever involved in is flawless.

Although… what’s with Dave Wakeling touring as the English Beat these days?

As for your concern about the lyrics from Tenderness on your Facebook profile, I think there’s a good argument for great lyrics to be taken on their own without having to assume their context… Just to prove the point, I have now revised my Facebook profile to include lyrics from The English Beat’s “auto-erotic” song Hit It:

And, frankly, I don’t find it embarrassing at all.

Speaking of embarrassing, what’s up with Andy Capp becoming a beer snob all of a sudden?!?
Andy Capp

Advertisements


{October 18, 2009}  

First off, props to “cheezburger” for the subtle yet heady commentary.  Keep ’em coming, buddy.

rad

Now, for today’s questions.  I’d like to try something a little different.  For the first part of our assignment, we will watch a short video.

OK, got that, everyone?  Now, I think we can all agree that this is the single greatest pop single of the 80’s — and possibly of all time.  Today’s questions have to do with the song’s content.

I don’t know when to start or when to stop
My luck’s like a button
I can’t stop pushing it
My head feels light
But I’m still in the dark
Seems like without tenderness there’s something missing
Tenderness
Where is the
Tenderness
Where is it?

I don’t know where I am but I know I don’t like it
I open my mouth and out pops something spiteful
Words are so cheap, but they can turn out expensive
Words like conviction can turn into a sentence

I held your hands
Rings but none on that finger
We danced and danced
But I was scared to go much further with it
Just half a chance
Make sure that one night you’re here,
But next night you’re not
It always leaves me searching for a little

Tenderness
Where is the
Tenderness
Where is the
Tenderness?

Whistling in the graveyard
Calling up your girlfriend
Just trying to make her understand
You’re squeezing the telephone like it was her hand
No question (so many questions)
She’s going to catch you out boy
It all seems so underhand
Now she’s the only thing that ever made you feel like a man, man
Madman, madman

Tenderness
Where is the
Tenderness
Tenderness
Tenderness
Where is it?

I held your hands
Rings but none on that finger
We danced and danced
But I was scared to go much further with it
Just half a chance
Make sure that one night you’re here,
But next night you’re not
It always leaves me searching for a little

Tenderness
Where is the
Tenderness?

I’m just sick to death of second best, pet
Why should the morning always find you unimpressed?
Is your love like a button?
You can’t stop pushing it?
Oh this all night longing can be such a long time

What is this song about?  Is this a guy who’s thinking about cheating on his lady friend?  Let me know.  Because if that’s what we think it’s about, I should probably change my Facebook profile, right?



et cetera