Monday, September 30, 2013

Consequential Lyrics #6: Erasure

"I ain't ever going home, cause I'm having a good time, I ain't ever going home cause my time has come..." I never understood why those lines from the Erasure song, Home meant so much to me, because I've always wanted to return home. The music of Erasure always felt so safe to me, even now I feel so assured by its warmth and familiarity. It was always sacred in that regard, because I always knew that its beauty could never be corrupted by the passage of time. For my closest friends and family, Erasure would be unique in that we all felt incapable of describing their consequence and yet, we appeared to be so assured that we all felt the same thing.

I always knew that Erasure would carry this great importance to me, after all I had spent most of my life listening to their 1988 album, The Innocents in an attempt to recall blissful childhood memories of the English village where I lived for a short time. The memories would crystallise as I would announce to everyone, "Hallowed Ground is the village green! Ship of Fools is my school!" When I finally returned as a twenty year old, I walked around its vaguely familiar streets and purposefully listened to The Innocents, meditating upon its unique connection to this precious era. Again, I felt stunted by the consequence of this music and I knew, however I framed it, I could never honour it adequately enough.

The entire Consequential Lyrics project has been about acknowledging and articulating the personal meaning of lyrics. It's so strange with Erasure, because their consequence seems to exist in this largely unexplored state. Yet we're still so keen to stress the importance of these songs, we grab each others arms' and shriek whenever a song like Drama! or Imagination comes on: "I can't believe I actually forgot how perfect these songs are..." Such a response like this would transcend timezones and there'd be a buzz of text message saying exactly the same thing. We could never do anything but agree, acknowledging that familiar jab of endorphins that is reliably released during the first few seconds of Always or In My Arms. 
For me, it's perfect music that's frequently associated with these truly perfect moments of assurance and connection. I frequently return to the recent memory of ambling down the Philosopher's Walk in Kyoto with my brother and my best friend, singing Yahoo! together with this boisterous, gleeful enthusiasm. Perhaps I was thrilled to be celebrating such personal music in such a public way (or else I was buzzing from committing such an extreme gaijin faux pas in such an iconic locale). Whatever the reason, I love idea that we just can't get over it. We can't move past that hysterical stage of preliminary gushing and analyse why Erasure resonates as it does.

I'm sure if we were pressed to do so, we could all sit down and analyse what makes music (or indeed, lyrics) consequential. We could tear apart the poetic devices in those lyrical fragments, the scenic allusions created by Vince's synthesizers, the feelings induced by tried-and-tested key signatures and chord progressions. We could even go so far as to elaborate upon those independently created personal meanings, those stories that seem to have absolutely nothing to do with the music itself. But then it all makes me wonder that if it were so easy to explain musical meaning, it probably wouldn't mean so much. That and there's a kind of relief that comes with just feeling... and knowing that others feel it too.

Wrap yourself up in every facet of emotion...

Consequential Lyrics #6: Erasure
Hallowed Ground
I Love Saturday
In My Arms
My Heart... So Blue (Orchestral Remix)
When I Needed You (Melancholic Mix)
All Through The Years


Anonymous said...

So thankful that I found your post about Erasure.

As my all time favorite band it warmed my heart to hear someone else share the exact same feelings I have about them.

Loved every second of it...thanks again.

Eleanor said...

Thanks so much for your kind thoughts about Erasure and my post! Really appreciate it :)