Wednesday 21 January 2009
Killer Opening Songs (Sting - A Thousand Years)
You get home at the end of a hard-working day. You remove your shoes, take your clothes off, put some music on and make a beeline for the bathroom to have a cold/hot shower (depending on which part of the hemisphere you live). As the water runs down your body you find yourself singing at the top of your lungs to the chorus of a Killer Opening Song.
Imagine that you come out of the bathroom, towel wrapped around your midriff or upper body depending on your gender. And you find that Killer Opening Song spreadeagled on your bed. It's bathing you in its sexy stare, its hair remaining still whilst the wind caresses the curtains of your bedroom wildly. You remove the rectangular piece of absorbent cloth from your (insert body part here) and the Killer Opening Song, still in bed, still staring at you, beckons you over.
Have you ever made love to a Killer Opening Song? Have you ever canoodled with an Introductory Album Track?
In case you haven't, let me tell you what it feels like:
Your heart makes a funny sound; a rapid succession of light beats or taps, like rain. You, curiously, feel liberated, strange, though, you never felt imprisoned before. This is music that sneaks into your brain under the door. This is a song that fills you with glee, it makes you jump high in the air and execute a split mid-flight. This is a K.O.S. that casts a spell on you and for days, sometimes weeks, to come you will be in its sole company. Musical promiscuity is a big no-no. This is a tune that causes a mild outburst of OCD (Obssessive Compulsion Disorder) in you. From now on, your regular walk to work, your commute on the train, your meals even, will be dictated by this track's duration. 3:53; 4:02; 3:20. They are numbers to others, they are magical digits to you.
Moreover, this is a song that sends you straight to the album's lyrics section.
A thousand years, a thousand more/A thousand times a million doors to eternity/I may have lived a thousand lives, a thousand times/An endless turning stairway climbs/To a tower of souls/If it takes another thousand years, a thousand wars/The towers rise to numberless floors in space/I could shed another million tears, a million breaths/A million names but only one truth to face/A million roads, a million fears/A million suns, ten million years of uncertainty/I could speak a million lies, a million songs/A million rights, a million wrongs in this balance of time/But if there was a single truth, a single light/A single thought, a singular touch of grace/Then following this single point , this single flame/The single haunted memory of your face/I still love you/I still want you.
Notice the simplicity and yet, oh, the beauty of this Killer Opening Song. Thousands vs single, million vs one. The dichotomy that lies within us, humans. We're a tiny particle, we're that single, minute, Lilliputian particle in the midst of many, thousands, millions, and yet... I still love you, says the singer.
Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner has written many a fine Killer Opening Songs before but with this 1999 outing, Brand New Day, he took pop music to another level. Sting found fame with the British band The Police in the late 70s and early 80s and when he decided to become a solo artist after the trio disbanded, many thought (and hoped) his career would falter. It has luckily turned out to be the opposite and he has confounded his critics time and time again with albums full of cross-cultural forays. Enjoy.
And before I forget, the question again: Have you ever made love to a Killer Opening Song before?