I used to lovelovelove this song. “We are the artisans, and we’ve been crafted. . . “
I used to think that was such a great lyric. Actually, it still is. Nobody, not Taylor Swift, not this month’s flavour-of-the-month, or the erstwhile Kelly Clarkson would know what to do with a word like artisan. It’s one of the most beautiful words I know. [Some others being eternal, air, lantern, and jelly. Yes, the list is endlessly endless.]
Back to Spandau Ballet’s Round and Round. I first heard it over the telephone. Not the radio. The telephone. It was one of those late night chats over the telephone line, where you could be anyone or anything you wanted to be. But I was only 18 then, so I wanted to be myself, at least the little of the me that I could figure out at the time. (They don’t call it teen angst for nothing.)
The guy at the other end of the line, he put the phone to his stereo, and played the whole song, all 5 mins of it. It was the midnight hour. He was crazy about the song, it probably was how he felt at the time. And he wanted me to hear it. It ranks in my book as one of the most romantic things anyone has ever done for me. [Future post: My Top Five List: Romantic Things]
I don’t have to be so wise
You’re just my fantasy, And I will fantasize.
Something more or less to make things started
We’re the artisans and we’ve been crafted.
I wanna be your magical mystery,
I wanna be your final history; this is the news. . .
Nothing’s ever been so wild
all that I get to do is what I give to you.
This is all about the circles we’ve found
Through the ups and downs it goes round.
Oh, I was just beginning to grow strong
She was only eighteen summers long;
We were the news. . .
Round and round it goes
and oh don’t you know
This is the game that we came here for. . .
No, he never quite told me how he felt. Not that night, nor the next week, nor the next month, nor even the next year for that matter. And when he eventually did, it was a case of too much, too little, too late. But I did turn our long friendship into a short story which I wrote several years later. Catharsis.
We remained friends for a long time after, time that rolled into decades. And every time we met to catch up, we always found ourselves talking about the same old things—mutual friends, our parents and siblings, stuff we did a long time ago.
Round and round it goes. Strangely, our current news and views seemed to melt into surface ripples whenever we looked back through the shimmering corridors of time. Unfailingly, we would find ourselves being borne back on ceaseless waves into the past. [I am indebted, hugely, to F Scott Fitzgerald.]
But it is now 2010, and we–the artisans who have been crafted–no longer go round and round. But I am so glad we did, even if it was for a while and when we were so very young. It’s a big part of who I am today.