Thursday 9 May 2019

Soul and Fire

When I was 18 I bought a cheap second hand electric guitar and enjoyed making a racket in the garage of my family home. I could play a few chords and that kept me amused for a while. Then I got some lessons and my tutor asked me to make him a tape (this was a while ago!) of songs I would like to learn.

One of the first songs I wanted to learn was the heartbreaking Soul and Fire by Sebadoh. I'm pretty sure I would have discovered this song via my friend Grant Mitchell as we regularly swapped mix tapes and devoured the NME and Melody Maker at school and Grant was heavily into Lou Barlow and Sebadoh.

The chiming guitars that introduce the song melt my heart to this day, Barlow's lyrics are so beautiful and poetic, his delivery is sublime as he reflects on love, infatuation, the thrill of discovery, divine intervention and the cruel change and pain of rejection.

I marvel at how perfect the first verse is. And then we learn that Barlow has been dumped and thinks of his love changing her mind, but wondering if he actually cares, deciding it is he that think their love is coming to an end. It's brilliant songwriting. The line saying goodbye was so much fun gets me every time.

I still tend to stick to the same six chords on the guitar as I didn't take lessons for long, but I do enjoy making the occasional racket.

Anyway, what prompted this short blog is the fact that Sebadoh will play Broadcast in Glasgow on Friday 4th October, tickets are on sale tomorrow.

If you've not heard Soul and Fire then please check it out.

Lyrics, recorded version, acoustic demo version and live video below.

It's all a matter of soul and fire
Infatuation or true desire
The thrill of discovery, divine intervention
Cruel, cruel change, pain of rejection

As you walk away, think of all the joy we shared
If you decide you need me, I'll be wondering if I care
Not there to soothe your soul, friend to tender friend
I think our love is coming to an end

King persuader, congratulations
Share her heart, you bought her soul
Princess confusion, come to me again
Saying goodbye was so much fun

When you walk away, feel the freedom in your heart
There's a joy in letting go, free to find a love apart
When I lose control, I need a kind forgiving friend
But I think our love is coming to an end
I know our love is coming to an end

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