Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Mortality suddenly becomes real

This song is 18 years old.

Half my life ago.
The year my fresher students were born.

And I remember thinking (and still do) that it's not a patch on the preceding album, Modern Life is Rubbish. I always thought that Blur's melancholic songs were their strong point. I think that means I'm old.

I was working in a horrible family fun pub that summer, for £1.50 per hour. The chefs would grill the plates so that we waiters would burn our hands. When the salad was sent back because it had live maggots in it, a friend and I were made to go through the industrial bin in which it came, picking out the larvae before continuing to serve it. Persuading drunk, aggressive parents not to carry their glasses into the urine-soaked ball pool was a particular pleasure.

Music played in one corner of the pub. There was one cassette tape on a loop for the whole three months. It had two songs one it which weren't SWV, Phil Collins and assorted tripe: Oasis's 'Cigarettes and Alcohol' and 'Girls And Boys'. Trying to find myself in that corner when those songs were played was my only ambition every day.

Compared to all the other thousands of songs I own, they're not that special - but for the relief and joy they gave me in that grim, disgusting place, I'll always love them.

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