Friday, September 5, 2014

Favorite Song Friday: Back to the Old House

Nostalgia is such a tricksy baggins. One tiny misstep and you plummet into precious sophomoric navel-gazing, and understandably, since generally nostalgia means looking back at a time when you were less world-weary, less pessimistic, more, well, young.

Morrissey stays well on the right side of that line with his sparse lyrics to this b-side, ever so lightly sketching out just the faintest of images, dropping hints as to what may (or may not) have happened with the most delicate of brush strokes, the lack of much concrete detail enabling the listener to identity more easily.

Johnn Marr's lovely fingerpicking and Andy Rourke's always wonderful bass provide a delicate and unwavering support for some of Morrissey's most gentle and, especially towards the end, unmannered vocals, his baritone leaving no doubt as to his adulthood, and yet his wistful wonderings of "are you still there? Or have you moved away?" followed by wordless pinings manage to make it clear that there are some things you never fully leave behind.

I would rather not go back to the old house
I would rather not go back to the old house
There's too many bad memories
Too many memories

When you cycled by here began all my dreams
The saddest thing I've ever seen
And you never knew how much I really liked you
Because I never even told you
Oh, but I meant to

Are you still there?
Or have you moved away?
Or have you moved away?

I would love to go back to the old house
But I never will
I never will

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