Post 189

Faithfully and the Other Inspired Song from 1983

Going into it, I wouldn’t have predicted that only 2 of the 100 songs from 1983 would make it. When I looked through the titles, I had good memories of so many of them. Diving into the lyrics, however, I garbaged about 70 of the 100, and some of them had been my favorites.

But hey – that still left me with about 30 (I counted). So I headed to Youtube and gave these a listen. Some were unpleasant to hear even once (bad singing or melody or both), but others were better, so then came the question: would I be willing to listen to this over and over?

In most cases, the answer was no. A good refrain isn’t good enough; the song has to be enjoyable from beginning to end.

Journey came back again with a genuine love song (“Faithfully”), but the love songs from so many other artists failed big time. The lyrics would be unobjectionable, but the tune and the beat were so deathly boring. WiseOne said that it’s likely a case of the musicians wanting to artificially manufacture the mood and the sentiment, instead of having it for real. So they use the factory-settings for Popular Love Song — ah yes, here’s gushy and gloopy and squishy and droopy.

Contrast that with Journey’s song, which has just as much ooph as songs which aren’t about love. (And I guess this’ll be the place where I mention that I like my chocolate al dente. In other words, let it have some substance. I don’t like bon-bons filled with cream, collapsing as you bite. I dislike the surprise of something being less solid than I expected. You and I both know there’s an analogy in there, but I’ll leave it and tell you that I don’t like my donuts filled with cream either. It’s no longer a dough-nut, in that case. Not a nut. Not a nutcase, as you know. No – when you fill it, it morphs into something else – now you gotta call it an éclair or something else with an accent. But hey, don’t let me stop you – I know some very saintly people who enjoy the inside surprise. Bon appétit, man.)

People so often connect what is good with what is anemic and limp. They perceive and proceed with incorrect stereotypes, dividing the world into 1) good people and things, which are Nice and Sweet but Boring and Weak and 2) bad people and things, which are Evil and Mean but Clever and Fun.

(In such a world, how can we be surprised that classic stories are being reworked to showcase the evil-minded characters as the ones worth cheering for?)

So when people go to write a wholesome love song, they think: I am now going to write a Wholesome Love Song. They sit down and try to imagine how that SHOULD sound.

They guess wrong.

You wind up with crap like “Up Where We Belong.” Ack. Pity the person who gets that one stuck in their head!

It’s just no good!

You wind up with songs where the vowels are stretched waaay tooooo faaaar. Where’s the pause button? Quick! Close the tab! Make it stop!

Yeah. Love songs don’t have to sound noticeably different than non-love songs. Both are about life and both can rock.

And hey, that reminds me of something —

You’ve heard how Jesus said to Peter, “You are the rock, and upon this rock I build my church,” right? I was thinking, maybe that’s just an abbreviation in the translation. Maybe he said, “You’re the rocket and upon this rocket I build my church.”



And nah, don’t tell me it would’ve been anachronistic, because I know perfectly well that people who use that word use it mainly to show that they know that word.

(I got ya figured.)

So anyway, I was left with only two songs, but look on the bright side: 50% of them were love songs, the best ratio so far!

1. Journey: Faithfully
2. Police: Every Breath You Take

From what I’ve seen so far, it looks like Police has only the one piece. Some artists and bands have only one. That’s why I’m impressed that Journey got in there again. You never can tell — one or even four successes does not ensure that the artist will be able to deliver on a later album. Take, for instance, Hall & Oates’ “Family Man.” At first glance, you’d think it’d be a winner, but it wasn’t. It was problematic because it is ostensibly about a guy who is faithful, but it’s that rather icky thing where he’s in a place where he’s needing to fend off all the chicks. What’s he doing there in the first place? What kind of a predicament has he gotten himself into that he has to decline between-the-sheets solicitation or invitation? It reminds me of Andy Grammer’s “Honey I’m Good.”

Yeah? I don’t think y’are.

And then of course, I couldn’t help but notice the artists who entered the top 100 time after time but who always made me groan. Culture Club, Diana Ross, Rick Springfield and Kenny Rogers were some of them. There was always something wrong, either with the lyrics (Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing” had a massive ‘ewww’ factor, for example) or the method of delivery. It’s too bad, because some of these folks were obviously talented. Michael Jackson and Mr. B. George both wrote their own stuff from the looks of it, and when they went to perform, they had new ideas too. You can see why these guys were popular. Not inspired, but popular, largely because they were innovative and interesting.

Oh well. I really was cheering for some of these artists, but they weren’t quite good enough.

As for Loverboy, well, I just want to puke.

But enough of that.

I think the bouncers have carried them out. They can go sit on the street with those ZZ Top pervs and their way-too-big beards. Good riddance!

Here are the two songs from 1983.

They made it all worthwhile.

Every Breath You Take – The Police
(Lyrics: Sting = Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner)

Every breath you take
Every move you make
Every bond you break
Every step you take
I’ll be watching you.

Every single day
Every word you say
Every game you play
Every night you stay
I’ll be watching you.

Oh can’t you see
You belong to me?
How my poor heart aches with every step you take.

Every move you make
Every vow you break
Every smile you fake
Every claim you stake
I’ll be watching you.

Since you’ve gone I’ve been lost without a trace.
I dream at night, I can only see your face.
I look around but it’s you I can’t replace.
I feel so cold, and I long for your embrace.
I keep crying baby, baby, please…

Oh can’t you see
You belong to me?
How my poor heart aches with every step you take.

Every move you make
Every vow you break
Every smile you fake
Every claim you stake
I’ll be watching you.

Every move you make
Every step you take
I’ll be watching you…

I’ll be watching you

Faithfully – Journey
(Lyrics: Jonathan Cain)

Highway run
Into the midnight sun
Wheels go round and round
You’re on my mind

Restless hearts
Sleep alone tonight
Sendin’ all my love
Along the wire

They say that the road
Ain’t no place to start a family
Right down the line
It’s been you and me
And lovin’ a music man
Ain’t always what it’s supposed to be

Oh girl you stand by me
I’m forever yours, faithfully

Circus life
Under the big top world
We all need the clowns
To make us smile

Through space and time
Always another show
Wondering where I am
Lost without you

And being apart ain’t easy on this love affair
Two strangers learn to fall in love again
I get the joy
Of rediscovering you

Oh girl, you stand by me
I’m forever yours, faithfully

Faithfully, I’m still yours

I’m forever yours

Ever yours, faithfully