Sunday, 11 September 2011

31 Songs (A Scottish Fiction Rip Off...) - Song 3

I'm a bit behind with my 31 songs feature, so with out further ado, I present song number 3.

Song 3

That music has the power to invoke feelings is a given. In fact it''s probably the reason that so many of us completely immerse our lives in music. Some songs make us happy, others sad. But more than invoking just raw feelings, music also has the power to bring back memories. Combine the two and it often leaves one with a strong feeling of attachment to a song.

Growing up as a child of the 90's, it was impossible not to feel the heavy presence that Brit Pop played over the music scene. One band more hovered more than others and it was Oasis. I was nine in 1995, and as a nine year old it was so easy to be engulfed by the aura that surrounds Oasis' third single from their album '(What's The Story) Morning Glory'. 'Wonderwall' is probably Oasis' best known track. It's one of the few that cracked stateside, and it's lasting effect on British society is evident from the amount of drunk men who think they can sing it at kareoke. It's easy now as a 25 year old to be dismissive of Oasis. They were never that creative, they heavily borrowed without disguising it from numerous sources, and they had an terrible attitude which often overshadowed their music. However despite the doubters and despite the snobbery that sometimes gets thrown at them, 'Wonderwall' is a bloody good song.

From the footsteps, and the groove of the record at the start, to the instantly recognisable chords strummed on Noel's acoustic guitar, to bare honest lyrics there are so many things to love about this song. Firstly the acoustic guitar part, which countless buskers have butchered since, is a thing of absolute beauty. It works so well in amongst the drums, bass and lead, filling the gaps between verses like cement between bricks. It's Noel at work in the background of what really is one of his masterpiece songs, keeping the whole thing tied up together, looking on as his little brother takes vocals. I also love the fact that the verses one and three are the same bar the line "That they're gonna throw it back to you", which changes to "That they'll never throw it back to you". It breeds familiarity even upon first hearing. And what seems familiar seems like something we can love, something we can cherish.

It's the little things about the song that stick as well. The gap at 2 minutes 6 secs which leads to a gloriously simple drum fill. The fact that on the second, "I said maybe..." refrain, Noel provides the vocal returns. It's so infectious that I now subconsciously do it at almost every opportunity. At the end of each line, I find myself singing along. My own personal favourite is after, "But I don't know how", where I think the song is crying out for a "I said I don't know how!" And this leads me to the main reason why I love this song.

'Wonderwall' is perfect, absolutely perfect for sing-a-longs. This is a much more redeeming feature than drunk men singing kareoke. I have spent many a night with my friends singing along to 'Wonderwall' backed by my friend Dave's guitar. Campfires, weddings, house parties, bus journeys, anywhere and everywhere. And yes it was normally accompanied by copious amounts of alcohol, but let's not be snobby. The memories that Wonderwall invokes in me is of good times. Times with my friends, singing together, enjoying what ever night we happened to be on. Which brings me back to memories and feelings.

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