Tuesday, October 25, 2005

"They Don't Know"

Let's go back to our teenage years, to the time when everything that happened to us as happening for the first time. Each experience was a huge step forward: bigger, wider and more important then the one before, each lesson learned had its impact immediately, and our first steps along the winding path called love was a wide-eyed, breathless, heady experiment in being grown-up. Remember how important it all seemed? How much each kiss, each promise mattered?
Along with Nick Lowe's "Tonight", Kirsty MacColl's "They Don't Know" must rank as one of the simplest, purest expressions of teenage love: so clear, fresh and pure that it could never be sullied by the kind of relationship dysfunction we all develop or uncover as we grow. The relentless carefree optimism, the certainty, the commitment, all those things that we've cast aside later in our lives as the demands of adulthood start playing with our priorities, shine so brightly through Kirsty's pure, ringing voice, her almost melancholy tone: "You've been around for such a long time now/Or maybe I could leave you but I don't know how/And why should I be lonely every night/When I can be with you, oh yes you make it right."
As with the Nick Lowe song, the songwriting is as simple and as elegant as it could ever get, but the honesty, the brilliance means you could never laugh, only smile with the nostalgia, the remembrance of a better time. "No I don't listen to their wasted lines/Got my eyes wide open and I see the signs/But they don't know about us/And they've never heard of love." It's a Sixties song, a bubble-gum song from an age of innocence, something to warm our hearts in this cold world.

1 comment:

Minerva said...

Ah yes - open eyed optimism...
When a love affair meant that doors opened instead of doors shut...