Blur – Tender. “Tender is the night”
Towards the end of the month and the year and a sweet, sentimental anthem, not to say dirge, yet also earworm.
Ponderous and lumbering, its ungainly stomp and its call and response singing is quite endearing.
Damon Albarn was born the same year as me, so we are definitely of the same generation. Brought up in East London and Essex with Quaker influences on his life, i often find things in his songs that touch me or that chime with my own experiences.
A very charismatic and confident performer, there’s no way I could ever have done many of indeed any of the things he’s done with his life. Nevertheless, it’s been interesting to follow his career and listen to the music he has made. I think it’s good to have someone as creative and experimental, yet with pop sensibilities and an ear for melody in existence.
Tender, the song, is a bit of a round, a song sung in parts, round and round, endlessly. It’s the sort of rousing thing we’d sing at Quaker events, though usually with more direct themes of peace and fellowship. It’s got a hopeful, encouraging message, which is good because it’s a notorious earworm, particularly the Graham Coxon refrain “Oh, my baby. Oh, my bay-bee! Oh, why? Oh my!“particularly that Oh my is a very English expression. Understatement and pathos, as we are encouraged to knuckle down and get on with it.
Pretty valuable message for Britain right now, I’d say.