Saturday, 26 July 2014

Celebrating Deacon Blue

 Hello, dear readers!

 The Commonwealth Games have begun in one of my favourite cities - Glasgow. To celebrate, I have decided to finally write the blog post I have been intending to write for a while about the music of one of my favourite bands, Deacon Blue.

 I have mentioned Deacon Blue's music in the past - back in 2011, in 2012, and then in early 2013, as well as on a special post commemorating the birth of Prince George just over a year ago. However, I am now going to devote a whole blog post to their excellence.

 I first discovered them through a mix tape my mother used to play in the car when I was younger. The first song I remember hearing and liking is Queen of the New Year.

 I have talked quite a bit about this in my Musical Royalty post, so here I will just add that it was the perfect introduction to Deacon Blue: such a happy, dance to-able song that made me keen to hear more of their music.

 If it were the only Deacon Blue song I knew, I would love them for it alone, so imagine how much I love them now I have heard a whole set of equally wonderful works.


 The second song of theirs I remember becoming familiar with is Loaded.

 I didn't really like this at first; I found it too negative and sad. Years later, as a teenager, I came to like it. One day my brother, now about the age I was when I first heard it, grumbled about how negative it sounded. It intrigued me that we both reacted that way at the same age.

 I think children are much more in tune to the "vibe" of a song; whether it is positive or negative, perhaps because they don't really understand the lyrics, or they don't pay attention to them.

 That being said, I still don't really understand Loaded's lyrics!


 When I was about ten I made an "official" list of my favourite songs. I now can't remember any but the top three. Bat Out of Hell was third, and two songs were forever grappling for first place. One was In Between Days by The Cure; the other was Your Swaying Arms by Deacon Blue.

 However, when it came down to it, I think I always knew that I liked Your Swaying Arms better. I liked In Between Days as a brilliant piece of music, but I liked Your Swaying Arms for the feelings of deep love that overflowed from the words and the performance.

 As a kid, I thought "Your Swaying Arms" was a pub! I knew a couple of pubs that were the Something Arms. As I've come to understand it better, I've come to love it even more. I love the lyrics so much; I would like to choose some to showcase but they are all so incredible!

 I wouldn't call it my favourite song any more. It isn't that it's gone down in my esteem; it is right where it always was. It is simply that I have since heard songs I like better. But it remains probably my favourite Deacon Blue song, for its simple beauty and the sheer amount of love behind every word.


 The next song I would like to share is Chocolate Girl.

 Chocolate Girl was the first song on the second side of my mother's tape and I always loved hearing those firm, confident opening bars setting the scene for the rest of the side. It is a great opening song - some just are. It is the sort you start concerts or albums with.

 As a kid I liked it, but didn't see it as being in my little group of favourites. As a teenager I rediscovered it and realised that instrumentally, it is a lot better than I gave it credit for. I really love the cry of the guitar from the second chorus onwards after each line. ("So he calls her the chocolate girl (de-de-de-de), Cos he thinks she melts when he touches her (de-de-duh)").

 I've really come to like it.


 Next up is When Will You (Make my Telephone Ring). 

 For a while when I was about twelve I saw this as my favourite song; however, I think a large part of that may have been the fact that I thought it was super-cool to like Deacon Blue. I did like the song, though. 

 As I've got older I've still liked it, and have realised that I can sing it decently (I hope!). One day I might do it on Karaoke or record a version.

"The wonder of it all... was you."

"I want you, in everything, in everything... in anything."


 That is the end of my "original" Deacon Blue songs; the ones I discovered as a kid. Now I am moving on to the ones I first discovered when I was maybe fifteen.

 First up, probably their most famous song: Dignity.

 I actually did hear this as a kid but I heard a very slow acoustic version that I didn't like. It was only as a teenager that I wondered, "What's all the Dignity fuss about? Maybe I should listen to it again," and found the actual original song. And I really love it.

 I previously discussed it in 2012, and I will repeat what I said then: "Isn't that what everyone wants; dignity?"

 It's what I want; it's something I'm still working on, two years later.

 I'll get there.


 The penultimate song I'll be sharing is Fergus Sings the Blues.

 This is not only the penultimate track on this list, it is the penultimate "old" Deacon Blue track I discovered. I have since heard their newer songs as they have come out, but Love and Regret is the only older track I heard after this one. 

 I was at sixth-form college when I heard Fergus, so I associate it with memories of sixth-form, which was one of the best times of my life. It is a lovely, upbeat song about travelling, and I'm so glad I found it. Deacon Blue do upbeat so well, but they also do slow and emotional beautifully.


 And that note brings us to our final song. Love and Regret.


 I first discovered this on a bus journey home from sixth-form. I enjoyed the bus journeys as the college was quite a way out into the countryside and the scenery was very nice. Normally I wouldn't listen to a song for the first time on a bus, as the sound of talking makes it hard to hear it properly. 

 This time, for some reason, I did, and I'm glad because now whenever I hear this song I'll be rolling home again, though the cornfields, with the sky blue above me and the road wide and clear ahead.


 So, you can see how the music of Deacon Blue has shaped my life and holds valuable memories for me. Glasgow should be so proud of this incredible group. There are other Glasgow groups/artists I like such as The Silencers, The Blue Nile and Eddi Reader, but I think that ultimately, Deacon Blue are my winners. Gold medals for all the members!

 Enjoy the rest of the Games.

 Thanks for reading,

 Liz x


Songs: Queen of the New Year - Deacon Blue - 1989
Loaded - Deacon Blue - 1987
Your Swaying Arms - Deacon Blue - 191
Chocolate Girl - Deacon Blue - 1987
When Will You (Make my Telephone Ring) - Deacon Blue - 1987
Dignity - Deacon Blue - 1987
Fergus Sings the Blues - Deacon Blue - 1989
Love and Regret - Deacon Blue - 1989

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