The greatest love songs cover all kinds of love, and that, I think, is this song’s triumph. It’s not just about romantic love — you can sing it to your lover, but it would be just as true if you sang it to your child, your best friend, your mother. Furthermore, it’s not about sweeping statements and dramatic declarations. It’s a jolly, rollicking little tune which takes as its message the one thing we have all sighed to our loved ones at some point in our lives when they have come through for us when we needed them the most: “God only knows what I’d do without you”. It’s a song of simple but glorious gratitude. And it makes me terribly happy.
I see songs in colour and line. This might sound strange but that is one of the many ways I experience music: I visualize it involuntarily. As soon as it fills my ears, it fills my head with tinted pulses and waves and I revel in the sensory experience no matter where I am – whether on a train, walking on the street or at my desk at work pretending to be very busy and important. Sometimes, when a song is just that good, I have to stop what I’m doing altogether – distracted beyond all pretense – and just sit there with a glazed look in my eyes, simply appreciating.
This song, by the Cardigans, is all dark blues fading into black, like a night sky. It is definitely a night song – I can’t listen to it during the day, it wouldn’t feel right. It’s coy, but bold, but also understated. I love the well-placed echoes; the pureness of the vocals against the slightly grungy music. Here’s my take on it.