The wisdom of Depeche Mode

My hubby is a clever clogs who knows stuff about numbers and spreadsheets, but his actual area of expertise (apart from knowing every Seinfeld line ever spoken) is song lyrics. I don’t know if he listens extra carefully to songs or is just good at surmising what the singer is likely saying. Either way, it’s a special talent.

This morning, in a spot of procrastination, and to save some money on hiring a painter, I decided to repaint our outdoor furniture myself. Cue overalls and loud music. I was in the mood for Eighties so for the first time in decades listened to the cult classic 101. 


It was a proper, paint-splashed step back in time.

And step aside Bono, Martin Gore is a genius lyricist. His words are timeless and resonate as much today (perhaps more?) as when they were written. Hubby wasn’t around to recite the full lyrics to me, but google was:

Everything counts in large amounts
The grabbing hands
Grab all they can
All for themselves after all
It’s a competitive world
Everything counts in large amounts
(*I’m not sure what was meant in the line about Korea, but a good lyricist needs to be a bit cryptic).

Take my hand
Come back to the land 
Where everything’s ours
For a few hours…
Has nothing on this
You’re breathing in fumes
I taste when we kiss….
Let me see you make decisions
Without your television

People are people
People are people so why should it be
You and I should get along so awfully…
Now you’re punching and you’re kicking
And you’re shouting at me
I’m relying on your common decency
So far it hasn’t surfaced
But I’m sure it exists
It just takes a while to travel
From your head to your fist
I can’t understand
What makes a man
Hate another man
Help me understand

Profound, right? Written for our times?

Profoundity aside, few things cheer me up as much as botched song lyrics. I can dine out on it for years.

Two of my faves (from friends of friends):

Shivers in my foolish pride 
(Je ne sais pas pourquoi)

I like the mogen pogen
(I like to move it move it)

I couldn’t think of any more real life examples so I googled ‘misquoted song lyrics’ and actually ROTFWL. These are too good:

There’s a bathroom on the right
(There’s a bad moon on the rise)

Don’t go, Jason Waterfalls
(Don’t go chasin’ waterfalls)

Hold me closer, Tony Danza
(Hold me closer, tiny dancer)

And I’m sorry—my best:

I blow bubbles when you are not here
(My world crumbles when you are not near)

If these don’t cheer you up immensely you may be dead inside. It’s a cruel crazy world so sometimes you gotta grasp onto the little things. Like cuddles with your kids. A dip in the ocean. A steaming cuppa. Botched song lyrics. And this jar of gooseberry jam. Made by me, with gooseberries grown in our garden, and picked by my son.

Pure joy!

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