Wednesday, October 13, 2010

"I Think We're Alone Now" (1967)

55. Tommy James & the Shondells, "I Think We're Alone Now" (March 11, 1967, #4)

This is a long-time favorite perhaps fallen somewhat in my estimation from overuse as much as anything. But it has been awhile since I've had even tiny fits of obsession with it. I'm living on the memories now. Yeah, the appeal is juvenile; clearly intended to be: "Children, behave," it starts. "That's what they say when we're together / And watch how you play / They don't understand." No, but pretty quickly we do: "And so we're running just as fast as we can / Holdin' onto one another's hand / Tryin' to get away / Into the night." Yes, we see! Two more crazy mixed-up kids in love with one another in a big crazy mixed-up world. A world that doesn't understand. If only it could. Just look: the driving beat, under all the teenybop foofaraw—the claptrap drumkit and wheezy organ and Tommy James's teen twang and all of it—is a human heartbeat, caught briefly in the breaks that expose the bass player. And hearing just that can have the effect, like dark drumming scenes in black and white movies, of making you want to sprint suddenly like when you were a kid and just a few doors away from your own house after dark, pick up and run as fast as you can, out of adrenaline and fear and jumping joy to have to have the power to leap to it and move like that. Tell me how sex or anyway making out with an attractive young partner at the end of that wouldn't make one's feet move all the more fleet and quickly. Then tell me this song hasn't roared through you like fire. Imagine. You might be alone now.

No comments:

Post a Comment