MUSICAL artists are fond of posing questions and leaving it to the poor old listener to work out the answer. Here are some you’ll struggle to answer.
Should I Stay or Should I Go? – The Clash
Like a gran trying to decide whether to get rich tea biscuits or Bourbons, singer Mick Jones dithers about whether to stay or go. Unhelpfully, no details of his circumstances are given to help you judge. However he does reveal that if he goes ‘there will be trouble’, but if he stays ‘there will be double’. Clearly the answer is to go. Basic damage limitation.
What Difference Does it Make? – The Smiths
Before becoming a far-right fanboy, Morrissey was noted for his feelgood hits about people being killed by buses and trucks. But The Smiths’ 1984 single What Difference Does it Make? left listeners scratching their heads. What difference does what make, Morrissey? A solar storm? Depressed currency markets? An outbreak of Dutch Elm Disease?
Don’t You Remember – Adele
‘When will I see you again?’ mopes Adele in yet another song about being dumped. The rest of the song is her badgering her former partner about getting back together. Badgering. Non-stop badgering. More badgering than The Wind in the f**king Willows. In this failed relationship the best answer might be ‘never’, ie. a clean break. But really Adele should ask a qualified counsellor, not her fans.
Who are you? – The Who
If you were singer Roger Daltrey posing the question, the answer was likely to be ‘Pete Townsend’, ‘John Entwistle’ or ‘Keith Moon’. It wouldn’t even be a particularly surprising question, given the amount of drink and drugs The Who quaffed. But on a deeper level, who, indeed, am I? An individual with free will, or just a series of sense perceptions giving that illusion? They really need to consult a philosophy professor.
Are We Human? – The Killers
Are we human, or are we dancer? Perhaps the deepest question posed by a song since Haddaway asked What is Love?. It’s the kind of song that leads to the same existential angst as when you click the ‘I am not a robot’ button on a website, then wonder if you are, in fact, a robot who has been programmed to think they are human.
When I’m Sixty-Four – The Beatles
‘Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m sixty-four?’ Ah, the irony of Paul McCartney and Heather Mills separating in 2006 when he was 64. Heather’s departure may have been caused by the thought of knitting a sweater by the fireside, or maybe it was Paul listening to Wings. Either way, in this case the answer was a clear ‘no’.