Monday, 10 May 2010

'I Want You' - Elvis Costello And The Attractions (1986)

“It’s knowing that he knows you now after only guessing ...”

When I was in the lower sixth, a girl in the year above me brought me in this song to borrow. This is back in the days when sharing music meant carrying around the 12-inch vinyl in a Woolworths carrier bag from class to class.*

I wish I could remember the girl’s name – I haven’t seen her since the last day of that term. I’m certain it began with ‘S’ and I’m going to make a guess and say it was Suzanne. I had never heard this song before and only knew Elvis Costello through the odd hit on the radio. I’m not sure what prompted her to march up to me that early summer day with this record. We were really only passing friends – sharing a registration class at the start and end of each day together. And I didn’t read anything into the title. But I was more than curious to get home that day and hear this song.

It was traumatising. In a good way. An exorcism. I still find it harrowing to this day and mentally prepare myself to listen to it once a year. It’s one of those songs that is so very personal, yet speaks to everyone’s experiences. If you’re going to listen to it today, I suggest you don’t do it at work or on the tube or with anybody else in the room.

So very raw. So very beautiful. I thank Suzanne for introducing me to this song and you, dear reader, can thank me next time you see me.

Spotify linky:

* Unfortunately, I've never tracked down the original 12-inch of this record that I borrowed all those years ago, so the pic is of a compilation CD that includes the song as the final track - nothing could possibly follow it.

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