This song by 10cc and written by its band members Eric Stewart and Graham Gouldman, was played on the radio while I was driving last weekend.
Immediately it reminded me of myself as a teenager – which I was at the time it was released. Music does that, doesn’t it, takes us straight back there.
And I realised, too, that I feel differently, as I listen to it now…
Back then I sang along – loved the melody – and didn’t really think about what the words meant other than the fact that I probably found them amusing.
Now I’m different – older, and doing the sort of work I do – I hear a man struggling to express his feelings. He deflects with humour as so many of us do (not just men) when to say something heartfelt in a serious way just feels way too much – and so he sings these words instead, tongue-in-cheek.
The line “You’ll wait a long time for me” particularly resonates, and I feel sad when I hear it now.
I looked it up. According to Wikipedia (at the time of writing this blog):
Stewart came up with the idea for the song after his wife, to whom he had been married for eight years at that point, asked him why he didn’t say ‘I love you’ more often to her.
Stewart said, “I had this crazy idea in my mind that repeating those words would somehow degrade the meaning, so I told her, ‘Well, if I say every day “I love you, darling, I love you, blah, blah, blah”, it’s not gonna mean anything eventually’.
That statement led me to try to figure out another way of saying it, and the result was that I chose to say ‘I’m not in love with you’, while subtly giving all the reasons throughout the song why I could never let go of this relationship.”
This makes me think about the difference between words and deeds. Many might say words are cheap and, as the old saying goes:
“Actions speak louder than words.”
I came across this again in a book I’m reading right now: ‘The Gifts of Imperfection’ by Brené Brown in which she talks about the difference between professing love and practicing it.
Talking about how we show other people whether we love them (or not) in the way we treat them each and every day, she says:
“… I don’t just want someone who says they love me;
I want someone who practices that love for me every day.”
What more can I say?