Thursday, March 09, 2006

Ruby Soho, by Rancid


But all I’ve got is this blank stare,
And that don’t carry no clout at all

People who know about these things tell us that smell is more evocative of memories than anything else. I can see their point but, for me, it’s almost overshadowed by music. I associate this song so closely with two people that I can’t hear it without being reduced to an emotional wreck. And I suppose that’s a fair measure of the potency of music generally, and of this straightforward reggae-tinged punk song.

When you associate a song with a time when things are good, when you are close to certain people, and when it seems that things will continue in that vein forever, it is sometimes a surprise to realise that the song in question is in fact a sad song. Of course I objectively knew that already. But this fact was really brought home to me when all the things I had taken for granted came to an abrupt and unpleasant end. The death of a close friend is always hard, and so is a break-up with a person you had been so sure would always be there. I miss them both in innumerable ways, and when I hear this song, I am reminded why, and what those times were like. It seems fitting that it’s a sad song really. The really painful thing is that, while I am fine now, they are not, and so the memories will always be tainted. And that just breaks my heart.

1 comment:

monster paperbag said...

special songs evoke memories both painful and joyful.. for me, ruby soho is both a reminder of good times and innocence.. listening to the song now is indeed sad for me because i always wonder where have all the good times gone..