Friday, July 22, 2005

32 Songs - Track 24

Soldiers - You Am I

“Around the corner every morning just to see you get across.
The civic fathers divide us up into cats and dogs.
The seargent major of the neighbourhood is weighing up the cost.”

I’m starting to notice that my appreciation of certain songs comes from a single line rather than an entire song. I’ve always been a fan of the witty comment or the vivid description from Shakespeare’s “Come wind blow and crack your cheeks” to Ferris Bueller’s “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while you might miss it” or Oscar Wilde’s “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars” to Jay’s “What the fuck is the Internet?”.

This song is another example of this trait. For years I felt that Soldiers contains the best description of love I’ve ever heard. Tim nailed it on the head when he wrote

“You woke me up just to check that I’m alive,
We talk to each other as if we’re five”

For me that was it. Someone that worried enough about you to wake you up in the middle of the night and that you could talk to without pretension or fear of judgment. It’s a description that just clicked within me at a very deep level and that I’ve never been able to shake.

The funny thing about this is that I’m pretty sure Tim was thinking something completely different when he wrote this song. And I’m sure this isn’t the first time someone has put their own impression on to a lyric only to realize how wrong they are. Lyric interpretation is not an exact science actually it is most definitely an art, open to interpretation and reflecting a point of view. I guess I could ask Tim at some point in the future to clarify this little point but I’m kind of attached to my little misconception and another interpretation might just ruin the whole song.

A You Am I track was always going to make it onto this list as the band occupies a special little place in my heart. I’ve seen them live enough times that I’m onto my second counting foot, They are Australia’s hardest working rock band and just maybe came into being 20 years too late. Had Tim, Rusty and Andy been around in the mid seventies their history could be very different and Tim would currently be wearing a mu-mu and living on his thousand acre retreat in the Yarra Valley called Brandyland.


Blogger lunch said...

I think you are right about the different impressions, I've always felt the line was more about the emptiness of the relationship, particularly when it's heard along with the "We'll stay together till the kids die just to keep it clean" line...

9:29 AM  
Anonymous Denis said...

Completely unrelated to this post, but following on from my comments here, there's a transcript of the b-side to Living Doll here if you wanna check it out...

7:36 PM  

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