24 February 2007

Living Tears

I was telling my cruel-hearted Allemande how tears spring to my eyes when I hear Mike and Mechanics' "Living Years" and how I would definitely get blubbery at the video.

She scoffed and giggled and watched agog as my tears flowed. She did acknowledge that Mike Rutherford had a cool aesthetic, ascetic face.

But suddenly when the lights come up in the church and there's the choir, SHE  started sobbing.

"So beautiful, so beautiful."

I have heard that many sons of fathers find it hard to hear without misting up. Rolf Harris is said to have wept live on camera.

I love the sheer everyday ordinariness of the congregation - that bald guy - and Rutherford looks so cool swinging out on the Fender.

The song came on the radio once when I was sharing a beer with a tough mate. I commented that it could have been written for my feelings over my own dad. Without pause, expressionless, he shook his lantern jaw: Close but no Romeo Y Julieta. It defined precisely how he felt about his father.

What a feat, to have written a song that reduces strong men to tears, each of whom believes it to most closely capture their particular situation.

Musicianly note: That dampened bass bit that Mike R plays doesn't actually fit the song and shouldn't work. Also, it is THE most impossible song to play on a simple acoustic guitar - thank gawd, or I'd be weeping into my ouzo every second gig.

Check out the 'live' rendering.

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