I apologize for the absence; I’ve been working through some things. But here’s another intersection of Becoming Phoebe and music.
There is a scene in the book in which Phoebe expresses her opinion that what Caitlyn listens to aren’t really love songs, because love is hard.
“I was the other way. I just wanted to fit in so I liked the same silly love songs everyone else did.”
I grimaced. “Those aren’t love songs.”
“What do you mean? That’s all they’re about.”
“No.” I shook my head. “They’re about something else. Passion, maybe. Or just silly. They make love sound easy. It’s not. Love is
“I’m not sure I like where this is going,” Caitlyn said evenly.
I pushed on. “Love isn’t the fun stuff. Love is about having a bad day and knowing that you can go home and if the other person has
had a good day, that will make your day better. And it’s knowing, when you’ve had a good day, that it’s your responsibility to make
your partner feel better.”
“All right,” she replied. “I can buy that, but I’m not sure how that refutes anything I said.”
“A love song needs to explain that you need someone so badly that you can’t imagine giving them up, even on those days when they’re
really annoying or when they’re doing something destructive.”
Caitlyn looked at me for a moment then levered herself to her feet. She took two steps and sat down in my lap, facing me. “Did I do something recently to prompt that, or is it just a general observation?”
I had a couple of different pieces in mind as real love songs when I wrote this. At the top of the list was Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes.” The whole So album is in the Phoebe playlist I’ve mentioned, even though a couple of the tracks on it (“Sledgehammer” comes to mind) aren’t really appropriate to the book. The songs that are, though, fit so well that the album went on.
The best version of “In Your Eyes” comes from a 1987 concert film, P.O.V. Unfortunately, for more than 25 years, it was only available on VHS. Fortunately, in 2012, he released a complete remaster of So, with a couple of different deluxe editions. One really expensive limited edition had the Athens concert that formed the core of P.O.V. on DVD. I’m not shelling out the $120 it would take to buy it, but I do have the $20 version that has the audio from the show, and tracks from this are on youtube.
I’m including two videos here, one taken from the VHS, which has lousy sound, but the visuals of joy, especially that of Youssou N’Dour, is amazing. And there’s a strictly audio cut from the 25th anniversary album, which has great sound but no visuals. It takes both to really appreciate this version.