Here is a lightweight piece of pop that makes me smile. In some ways, it’s just the perfect pop single, airy nothings in a romantic vein with a sweet neat hook of melodic progression and –clincher-a gorgeous, chugging, shuffling percussive beat driving the whole thing.
I heard it first on the radio in January 1989 –I know this because I was staying in a guesthouse in Bournemouth, where I had gone for an intensive TEFL course –increasing our work options to include teaching abroad. It was a strange and unusual four weeks (five weeks? Six weeks?) With little spare time as such; though, in my single bed somehow I still managed to read ‘Swallows And Amazons’ (never read it before) and Doris Lessing’s ‘The Fifth Child’. Did I have a little transistor radio? I imagine there must have been one, because I remember lying in bed one morning and hearing the song.
No epiphanies or anything. I knew it wasn’t great art –but that beat, that sound, those hooks got to me and I hummed and sang fragments of it for the rest of the day. And even now if I ever hear it by chance (a relatively rare thing) the same thing happens. Cha-chung der-der-der-der-da, cha-chung der-der-der-der-da etc ‘I feel like a kid with a teenage crush…’
I could project backwards and suggest that it had caught my attention because there was perhaps some distinct lyrical significance for me especially the opening lines ‘ I talked to my baby on the telephone long distance..’ i.e. there was a splendid wife back in our home in Factory Road, who had let me do this, despite the fact that she was caring for a two month old baby, as well as another child of eighteen months. Hopefully I did realise that this was an extraordinary woman whom I should ‘never let slip away’ ? Shamefully, though I was grateful and missing her – don’t get me wrong – my realization of this was probably at a less than conscious level. The fact that, 28 years later, she hasn’t ‘slipped away’ is more to do with her resilience and godly faithfulness than my ‘letting’ or ‘not letting’. But –for the record –I’m very grateful. ‘She’s good for me.. and I know it [has made!] me happy.. to never let her slip away..’
[Ha – for the record – yeh, for this one too]