tremble clef

Friday, June 16, 2006

Heaven 17, "Come Live With Me" (1983)

I feel like I'm reliving my past. I have a current summer reading list filled with a number of works by gay male writers, all of whom published their first books in the late 80s. Joe Keenan. John Weir. Stephen McCauley.

In the last writer's Alternatives To Sex, I read a line that makes me grimace and laugh, because it is sadly and hilariously true: "Going out with significantly younger lovers does wonders for a man's confidence, physique, and complexion, but it's always a disaster for his wardrobe."

Somewhere, sometime ago, two men are lying in bed, as you do. They may be more than a little drunk, or certainly very giddy. The younger one is regaling the other with a rambling but majestic, and slightly funny, dissertation about what he calls the greatest hits of pedophilia. He sings selections from that imaginary Rick Dees countdown. I will be your father figure, put your tiny hand in mine. Young girl, get out of my mind! My love for you is way out of line! Pretty young thing, repeat after me, say na-na-na!

And: "I was thirty-seven, you were seventeen/You were half my age, the youth I never seen. Scandalous! But, you know, actually it's oddly touching. A plea. A lament, if you will. It's not like the singer is clueless. My friends began to talk, I began to realize/If half the things they say are quarter true of me/Then how can I eclipse the youth you gave to set me free? He's asking his younger lover to leave freedom behind. Stop playing the field! Commit! Be with me. Come live with me. Kiss the boys goodbye. Come live with me. Kiss the boys gooooodbyyyeeeee, kiss the boys goodbye."

The then younger man sings a few more verses; almost the entire song, and his voice suddenly seems like it cannot be hushed enough for the still night. The men are quiet for a moment. Giggled out, perhaps, but one of them might be thinking about how those roles don't always line up that neatly. Then, eventually, they both drift off.


  • But did they have s-e-x before they fell asleep!?

    By Blogger xolondon, at 11:00 PM  

  • Excellentness.

    By Blogger John, at 2:16 AM  

  • You should see the British sitcom Manchild, about older men and younger women. Really funny.

    The Luxury Gap by Heaven 17 is a brilliant album, by the way, highly underrated

    By Blogger Guuzbourg, at 3:49 AM  

  • Luxury Gap is indeed one of my fave 80s album: "Best Kept Secret" for example is still wonderful after all these years.

    By Blogger Brittle, at 10:06 PM  

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