Monday, 21 June 2010

My Top Favourite 350 songs of all time. #342 and #343

Two songs, one shared title. And though that should be all that connects a gloomy guitar-free indie band named after a powerful anaesthetic with one of the original boy bands, it isn’t.

Morphine’s "The Night" is something so utterly bereft of hope, a shuffling end-of-the-evening blues punctuated with a saxophone seemingly played by Lisa Simpson in the aftermath of discovering her parent’s death. The lyrics speak of the same American wilderness of Cormac McCarthy, a place “too dark to see the landmarks...unknown unlit world of old...the awful dark.” But this is no faux-barfly exercise in self-pity, this is an almost sexy declaration of weakness in the face of one’s personal demons – a sultry confident swagger underpins the whole thing.

Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons approach the night at a faster tempo but it’s still a dangerous place – a place where love is always at danger from someone or something else, perhaps the night itself. It's a completely different song but coming from the same direction, a place of inarticulate longing, fear and mistrust.

Despite the warnings it’s true that each time I hear the former, I want to go out and get drunk, and each time the latter I want to go out, get drunker still and do some dancing.

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