The Charlatans – Dead Love (2004)
from the album “Up at the Lake”
I love going through discographies by all the bands and artists that I love. It’s a project I’ve done for the past six or seven years or so. I started with the obvious choices, my favourite artist of all time, my most listened to artist and band, and I’ve slowly been working my way down the list ever since (I pretty much use the list of my most listened to artists on my last.fm page as a starting point for this).
The fact of the matter is that THIS is how I discover songs I’d never discover otherwise – so-called “deep cuts”, album tracks that aren’t well-known. And we all know, music junkies as we all are, that discovering a brand new song that you’ve never heard before is like a drug. You can’t stop yourself from playing it OVER and OVER again, every day, for a couple of weeks, until you almost end up hating it instead. The rush of hearing something completely new and beautiful to your ears is just simply what makes life worth living, at least for me, a HOPELESS music junkie of the third degree.
Now, part of growing up is challenging yourself and relationships, and it’s also about reflection, to see how far you’ve come and how you’ve changed. When I first heard this song, during the fall of 2014 while going through amazing discography (did they ever make a bad record?), this struck me as telling me something about myself and a past relationship from my youth that I really thought I’d forgotten about and that I was completely over by now – I wasn’t.
“How can you say love surrounds me?
When you know it drowns me
Drowns me like you do
And you see
I am sitting for you
Waiting on you
Just like I do”
Funny thing is, this isn’t my perspective, it’s my lovers perspective. Sometimes you just have to face the fact that you used to be an asshole. Just a bit of an asshole, anyway, and that you probably did some things to someone that you shouldn’t have done. I made someone wait for me, a long time, when I really had no intention of really treating them fair. It didn’t even occur to me that they were waiting for me, even less so that they’d be waiting years for me.
“How can you say love surrounds me and you?
You kill me
And break my poor heart up in two
It’s dead love”
It sure was dead love. This is just beautiful, just a sort of hopelessness, but also the singer and songwriter sort of resigning to his fate and admitting that it’s probably not worth it, but doing it anyway. I can’t ever remember myself being in the same situation, but through this song, I’m reminded of making someone else feel that way. It’s both a beautiful thing to love someone and pine for them, and sort of live by the hope that one day they’ll just turn around and see what you want them to see, and it’s also a bittersweet thing to also, at the same time, years later, know that they probably won’t.