nothing but a song

strange how songs remind you of so much, even when you are hearing them for the first time. recently saw ‘flashbacks of a fool.’ the film is good, though prone to fault-finding among those who seek to dissect everything critically. what struck me most about the film (apart from daniel craig’s perpetual pout) was the song ‘if there is something’ by roxy music. it holds the film together, if nothing else. bryan ferry wailing about the things he’d do, even “grow potatoes by the score,” and the otherworldly sax sounding so painfully evocative…how it fits at the ending so flawlessly as if the last scene was shot FOR the film!

what is it about that songs that made me sit up at three in the morning? nothing comes to mind except lost innocence. as Ferry, towards the end says, “the hills were higher (when we were young)…the trees were taller (when you were young)” – that exactly is the crux of all our love songs, of all the films we adore, the essential holy grail of nostalgia. it is the lament of simplicity sacrificed, the memory of our days when everything was possible, when we could just be! words like ‘consequence’ has much simpler meaning, time was nothing but numbers and a dance of mechanical hands.

all that sums up why floyd’s ‘high hopes’ will always bring a tear to the eye, why the piano section of clapton’s ‘layla’ will make our throats swell up.
that is why we will keep playing those songs over and over again, and sit up at three in the morning to write about ‘nothing but a song.’


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