Monday 11 July 2016

Stormboy, prologue

You may not remember “Stormboy.”

But at the time, it was a thing, and if I were to play it you, and you were here at a certain time, you'd know the song immediately, oh that song, the one you don't know the name of or who it's by but you know it can sing along with a line or two, imagine that somebody famous did the song but it was no one that you'd ever heard of, not even at the time.

It was the finest single ever made.

If you weren't there, if you missed the Britpop thing because you wanted to avoid it or you were just too young, and someone tried to hum it to you or sing you a line, you would be forgiven for not knowing what the fuss is about.

The chords are only obvious, the playing not particularly great; the lead vocalist cannot really sing. No one who covered it ever got past the limitations of the song.

But the single itself joins all its strengths and weaknesses into something inexplicable and sublime; it speaks of hope and disappointment, loneliness, desertion and grief and the way we sometimes try to reach beyond these things and find contentment in them; I cannot ever do it justice. My voice is not enough.

I can't sing it to you.

And it felt like Sunday
And I called myself a stormboy
A battered and forlorn boy...

I can't even remember the next line.

I knew the Herons. I was at university with them, Adam, Ryan, Gwen and... well, you know.

Why this one song should have been so utterly sublime; why they never made another half as good; why now they are only three.

It's a mystery.

It's all a mystery.