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Some Belle & Sebastian loveliness ♥

Current favorite song: Belle & Sebastian‘s “Little Lou, Ugly Jack, Prophet John” (featuring Norah Jones), from their latest album, Belle and Sebastian Write About Love. It’s gorgeous in every way. Here’s the song (there’s no video, just audio and a still image) and its lyrics. It’s so very lovely & poignant & enchanting:

What a waste I could have been your lover
What a waste I could have been your friend
Perfect love is like the blossom that fades so quick
When it’s blowing up a storm in May

Travel south until your skin gets warmer
Travel south until your skin turns brown
Put a language in your head and live on a train
And then come back to the one you love

Yeah, you’re great, you’re just part
Of this lifetime of dreaming
That extends to the heart
Of this long summer feeling

Quiet night you see the TVs glowing
Quiet night you hear the walls are awake
Me and you are getting out of the party crowd
Can I see what’s underneath your bed?

Can I stay until the milkman’s working
Can I stay until the café awakes
Do you hate me in the light, did you get a fright
When you looked across from where you lay?

Yeah you’re great, you’re just part
Of this lifetime of dreaming
That extends to the heart
Of this long summer feeling
All the history of boys
I invent in my head
Little Lou, Ugly Jack, Prophet John

What a waste I could have been your lover
What a waste I could have been your friend

♥ ♥ ♥

  1. I’ve loved this band since Century Of Fakers.

    September 28, 2011
  2. “Perfect love is like the blossom that fades so quick”

    No, no, no!

    Perfect love is like the tree that grows so strong.

    What is a lifetime of dreaming without the wistfulness of autumn, and the sadness and solace of winter?

    Just musing…

    September 28, 2011
  3. I know that this is going to sound shallow and petty in the extreme, but I find it hard to get into musicians who are so openly religious. Quote from Stuart Murdoch:

    ““I think if you have a gift for anything, it’s a gift from Heaven, a gift from God. If you do anything good, that’s where it comes from.”

    Ugh. What sloppy reasoning. Being Glaswegian I should love this lot, but I just can’t listen to them without being constantly reminded that the guy singing holds some extremely questionable views.

    September 29, 2011
    • pete #

      I had a teacher in a drawing class that had a student in her portfolio class that was a clergyman. She said he claimed to be channeling god when he made these horrible, tiny, cramped works. So, flustered, she finally broke down and said, “Do you really think you can understand what god is saying to you?” I suppose, if there’s a moral, it’s that whatever motivates a work, throwing it out regardless of whether it’s of quality dependent on that motive is baby and bathwater. Because we lose the critical edge to recognize work for being crappy one way or the other.
      Also, otherwise we’d run the risk of getting bad art from only sane people and good work from only those of some intellectual immaturity and only take the bad. It’d be nice, don’t get me wrong, if one was only the other, but a certain taking what is given is appreciating beauty for beauty’s sake. Rather than endorsing their usually ephemeral ideas of what keeps creative workers going maybe we could appreciate our own appreciation and think less of the context of its having been made.
      Anyway, let me know if that’s a bit too muddy, I slept in and have a terrible caffeine headache.

      September 29, 2011
      • I agree with you- my grievance is irrational and counter to the spirit of appreciating art for art’s sake. However, I think that the way in which an artist presents themselves- their publicly professed beliefs and ideologies- necessarily informs the way in which their art as a whole makes me feel. One of my musical heroes is Kurt Cobain, and I think that it was his liberal, anti-religious, pro-feminism, pro-choice, pro-gay pronouncements were as much of a contributing factor as his music in my embracing him and his band.

        I also think that there may a generational thing going on here- I can listen in awe to Mozart, a very religious composer, whereas modern religious composers turn me off. Perhaps I can let Mozart away with “it”, due to the fact that the intellectual tools necessary to question authority were far harder to come by during the European Renaissance than they are nowadays for young, educated bohemian Westerners. I grew up in Glasgow in the 90s just like Stuart Murdoch did. I would have been a part of the same trendy, hipster “scene” as he was. We both grew up in a largely secular society- that such an obviously talented and educated Western hipster ended up being swayed by the nonsense that is Christianity is just depressing, and I find it hard to ignore such facts when I listen to his music.

        However, as I have admitted, I fully realise that this is a problem for me, and that a more rational recation would be to accept that his faith and his music are two separate entities, and that I should be able to appreciate the one whilst disliking the other.

        September 29, 2011
        • pete #

          Meh, in the clear light of coffee I see it less as a problem and more of your own personal context/specific threshold. Which you’re more than entitled to and is a sign of your own beauty. Though that you can see it makes you wiser than a great many who use their ideologies to commit cultural murder, or attempt to.
          Also, I don’t think it’s a generational thing. I love Bach, and that’s really hard to justify. Maybe the cultural milieu is over-ridden in some cases by whether the person would be a genius w/out it.

          September 29, 2011
  4. Miranda –

    What exactly do you like about it? I can appreciate the lilting melody, and of course I love Norah Jones’ voice; but I’m not sure I’m enamored of the seeming lack of self-esteem in the lines where the singer asks if he/she is still attractive to the other person in the light of day….


    September 29, 2011
  5. I completely missed that album, but if that song is anything to go by then I’m in for a treat when I do get my hands on it. He sounds so much like David Gates at the start you could be forgiven for thinking you were listening to a Bread song. Sweet sweet tune.

    October 31, 2011

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