Tonight a group of friends and I sat around and sang songs to guitar accompaniment - well, really, we accompanied the guitar. I love to sing, so I enjoyed this very much. One of the songs we sang was "Hallelujah." I love this song because it's so rich in biblical reference, but I also love it, in a bittersweet way, because of the lines in which he says, "Maybe there's a God above, / But all I've ever learned from love / Is how to shoot at someone who outdrew you." I've always hoped that there will come a time in my life when those lines won't be true for me, but there never has.
However, it's not all doom and gloom on the song front, because when I got back from the singing I got on Spotify for the first time. Unsurprisingly, I thought I'd begin by typing in The Divine Comedy. More surprisingly (to myself, although perhaps not to you), I thought I'd try listening to "Perfect Lovesong." I used to adore this song and listen to it all the time, but after Mr. Fallen I couldn't. I think Neil Hannon might have written it on his honeymoon, but in any case it contains the couplet, "We'll stumble back to our hotel bed, / And we'll make love to each other 'til we're half dead." The only places Mr. Fallen and I ever stayed together were hotel rooms, and we spent a lot of time doing just that, so understandably after we parted those lines had an unpleasant resonance - in fact, I stopped listening to the song because I would hear those lines coming and feel like I was getting stabbed in the stomach. But tonight, after two and a quarter years, I find I can listen to them. Maybe it's not my favourite song, but I can more than manage it. So time really does heal wounds.
The Divine Comedy also have the distinction of writing the song that contains the moment I most earnestly, but also most secretly, wish would happen to me. It's called "Geronimo," and it's about two lovers who have to run through the rain. They run to his flat, and the song ends with Hannon saying, "She puts on a record, / And sings into her coffee;/ He puts a blanket round her, / Sits her down, and dries her beautiful hair." It's not the blanket, or the sitting down, or funnily enough exactly any of it. It's the beautiful hair. I have an embarrassed hope, very quietly and abashedly, that someday a man will dry my gigantic, impossible hair, and tell me it's beautiful.
In any case, hurray! for song-singing. Let's do more of it. And what the hell: let's have a photo of Neil Hannon, because he's fab.