Two massive songs. Both ever on the radio. Both with most controversial of grammatical irks. Both favourites when I am realigning myself to my vocation… particularly those irks.
The Killers song Human has that strange line, “are we human or are we dancer”. Years before it was Deacon Blue’s Real Gone Kid and “Maybe now baby (maybe now baby)/I’ll do what I should have did”.
Both lines seem a little bit askew. They seem to be breaking grammatical rules. Yet, that is what I was so drawn to poetry for. Even at Primary school I loved the playing with words that coloured them outside the lines of grammar.
Of course they work. Give me another line from those two most popular songs and by two most popular bands. Playing loose with language and you leave memorable lines.
Best of all, by seeming coincidence, both songs speak to me of vocation and finding the reason that we are here on earth.
The Killers asks the big question. Who are we as human beings? What should we be living for? Just dancing? Or is there something more robust in humanity’s contribution to the planet?
Deacon Blue make the vocational more personal. I have always seen Real Gone Kid as a revelatory moment for Ricky Ross. He has spoken about it happening during a Lone Justice concert. I can understand that. Maria McKee’s charismatic exuberance always has the possibility of being a conduit to seeing life’s full potential.
“I’ll do what I should have did” irks with some but as I have already said is that freedom of the language that I think poetry gifts us.
To do what I should have has been my main question in life since long before Deacon Blue gave it a mantra and I have been revisiting the question. What should I be doing with my day? What contributions can I make on my world?
As I creep into my 61st I am reading the new Deacon Blue book To Be Here Someday and looking forward to seeing them play the Ulster Hall. You can be sure that when we are going mad to Real Gone Kid that I’ll be looking down my later years and asking… maybe now baby…