Watching me like you never watch no one
Don't tell me that you didn't try and check out my bum
Cause I know that you did
Cause your friend told me that you liked it.
Any song whose opening lyrics include the word 'bum' and where the underpinning theme is heartbroken defiance rather than sentimental longing is a winner in my humble opinion. For those who are unacquainted with this piece of music, it's Merry Happy by Kate Nash and I think you should have a listen.
Merry Happy was the fifth song from Nash's number one album Made of Bricks and was released in March 2008. Although not commercially successful, I loved it immediately. Listening to it now catapults me straight back to my time in Australia and gives me a bit of a funny feeling in my tummy, a combination of nostalgia, excitement and poignancy. At the end of 2007, I was a pale Pom wandering around Sydney aimlessly, dazzled by the sights, and trying to work where on earth I should begin my antipodean adventure. All the while missing Blighty quite a bit.
I purchased Made of Bricks with my first temp job pay and played it to death on a clunky, tinny CD player bought from Target. Clad in beautiful tea dresses and chunky heels and with a fiery flow of auburn hair, Nash's indie pop/rock/punk style really resonated with me. Her cockneyfied vocals, perky piano riffs and discernibly enunciated lyrics was like a home from home for me. Her prose was chirpy and kooky, with references to cups of tea, CSI, mates who are fitter (and birds pooping on your head) and brought a taste of London Town to my little room in Darlinghurst.
I went to see Nash at Oxford Art Factory in Paddington, Sydney with my sister in the new year of 2008. She was engaging, hilarious and belted out some brilliant tunes. However, a quick Google search will leave you in no doubt that Nash's work is not everyone's cup of tea, and often polarises opinion.
Yet for those who've had their heart yanked out, stamped on and displayed for all to see either now or in a past life, then Merry Happy is the song for you. It's a great big potent tonic. It laughs in the face of heartbreak, of silly boys who muck you about and don't want to stick around. It piddles all over the belief that you are supposed to be a total wreck when you have been unceremoniously dumped and shows you that actually, you can be quite alright, thank you. It persuades you to go away, find yourself, take a deep breath and laugh. Dance at discos, eat cheese on toast - do whatever you can to be, well, just you.
Listening to this song steadies me during wobbly moments, makes me smile, conjures up images of being alone somewhere far, far away on my own and not being in the least bit scared. It invigorates me and makes me feel I can do anything if I give it a bloody good go. It is defiance and hope with an accompanying piano and a cheeky grin.
Go find your sunset.