“I’ll Sail This Ship Alone” by The Beautiful South (1989)

30 03 2009

The Beautiful South hails from England, where they were very successful and much beloved.  This is another fantastic band that we didn’t get to hear much in the United States.  Yet another reason to seek out music in other countries/regions, knowing how much we’re missing.

I absolutely love this band.  Their music is beautiful and inventive, but the cheery nature of the music supports some really biting lyrics about dark subjects.  It can be unsettling to realize you’re tapping your foot and whistling along to a song about domestic violence, for example.  But it works.

Take this song, a sweet, crooning ballad:

“If, if you choose that we will always lose
Well then I’ll sail this ship alone
And if, if you decide to give him another try
Well then I’ll sail this ship alone”

Sounds nice, as if the singer has resigned himself to his new fate, life will move on, and all will be well.  But the words get more desperate and panicky, with the track ending abruptly after the last line:

“Well they said if I burnt myself alive
That you’d come running back”

Wow!  See what I mean?

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23 07 2010

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