[personal profile] accozzaglia
After spending the last three days of just listening to my entire Prefab Sprout library on repeat (inclusive, about 23 hours worth of content), I finally came to an answer that dogged me for nineteen years: "What's your favourite Prefab Sprout song?" It's a vexing question, because I could only say, "They're my favourite band. There are just too many to choose from."

But that wasn't the total truth. I never found any of the Sprout albums in my top five, all-time favourites-if-I-got-shipwrecked-on-an-island, like, ever (Jordan: the Comeback and Steve McQueen tend to jostle for the best Sprout album, though recently, From Langley Park to Memphis seems to make more sense with time). Which, given that they remain my favourite (if not slightly nostalgic) music group, is a bit strange. Andromeda Heights began the slow dive of my thinking of the music as a relic frozen in time, rather than a living thing. A couple of pretty good songs have happened in that time since, but nothing on the order of what it was before the original lineup dissolved and everyone's lives changed course (mostly to start families and try new careers).

For some reason, after first hearing it when I was 17, today was the day I arrived to an answer. It's "Bonny".

I was telling [livejournal.com profile] heinousbitca this earlier:
"I love every take of it: original, remaster, live recording (two concert bootlegs), disc-at-once ('live' at Acapulco Rolf's!), cover* (James Fogle!), acoustic re-recording (2006), and in Leeds 2000, it was the only song we heard played twice at the show — to raucous, pint-addled applause (I should know, as I was on my second pint of brown when some woman, arrived late, shouted, 'Oh, did I miss ''Bonny''?' Paddy, grinning underneath his crazy mountain man beard, broke into a rockin' reprise and brought down the house)."

I suck with lyrics, but I actually know every word to this one, sort of like the motor memory of tying a shoelace. As I said to heinousbitca, "If there was karaoke of it, I'd sing it before an audience. And it's one where the lyrics could be sung by a girl or a boy about love lost [without having to change a thing]. It's sort of like the genesis of what EBTG captured in 'Missing', but poignantly better."

"Bonny" is chock-full with nearly perfect one-liners:
  • "All my life in a tower of foil"
  • "No one planned it, took it for granted"
  • "Words don't hold you, broken soldiers"
  • "Save your speeches, flowers are for funerals"

And two of the best stanzas out there I can think of:
"I count the hours since you slipped away,
I count the hours that I lie awake,
I count the minutes and the seconds too,
All I stole and I took from you"

and later . . .
"All my silence and my strained respect
Missed chances and the same regrets
Kiss the thief and you save the rest
All my insights in retrospect
But Bonny don't live at home."

* Oh, I was wrong. I did stumble into a cover that was positively terrible. Apparently, I'm not alone in that conviction.

So I guess that settles it. All the old, unanswered questions of life are starting to really dwindle in number as they no longer remain a mystery.
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