take her in your arms

Lately, I have re(rerere)discovered one of my favorite bands of all time, Silly Wizard, a genius Scottish folk group from the late 70s and early 80s. F thinks I’m a big dork, but some of their reels just instantly put me in an excellent mood (similarly, some of their songs make me instantly sad and stranded-feeling).

The last three days, though, while I’ve been editing I’ve been listening to this song,* which I find unfortunately catchy. It’s an upbeat song about a love affair that has gone horribly awry becausethe man was an idiot and didn’t go and ask his father how to handle the situation. The father’s advice–if only the young cad had listened–would have been “take her in your arms, and tell her that you love her/take her in your arms and hold that woman tight” (because if you’re going to love a woman, then be sure and do it right).

I love this song not only for the catchy tune but also for the melodrama. The song compares love to suicide, in its jolly Celtic way:

It’s not the fall but landin’
that’ll alter social standin’

However, I’m not entirely sure about the quality of the advice. Would any real father tell his son to be forthright about his affections? I mean, I wish they did. But in my experience, men survive–and avoid getting screwed over–by keeping their cards as close to the vest as possible, keeping their woman under a pall of nagging uncertainty in the relationship, thereby earning her desperate sense of relief when they “come round” to settling down. I mean, haven’t we all seen kinda a lot of that?

On the other hand, F–who does not support my taste in music, for reasons I find stupid and closeminded, but that is neither here nor there–is a great practitioner of the father’s advice (as opposed to his own father’s advice, which was “make sure you meet her mother, so you can see what she’s going to look like in 35 years before you decide if you want to get involved”). F is very demonstrative and uses well-timed reminders of his affection to (manipulatively) end “discussions” and bad moods. He’s a clever turkey. He’s also the person I’ve been with the longest by far.

So maybe Andy M. Stewart was onto something.

*”Take Her in Your Arms” is actually not a Silly Wizard song; it was recorded by Andy M. Stewart, the Silly Wizard frontman, with his one-time collaborator Manus Lunny after Silly Wizard broke up in the late 80s.

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3 Responses to take her in your arms

  1. JES says:

    men survive

    Ah. Therein, the rub. As a guy, I’d suggest that what we actually do is not survive, as survival really “counts.” We’re just postponing a decision to survive. Survival (at least, as I’d measure it — other than literally, obviously) honestly doesn’t seem possible without that forthrightness you mention. By deferring ALL talk until the pressure on one side or the other becomes unbearable, we actually make things much worse over the long haul.

    F shows double skill (and, I’d say, value) in both talking about stuff upfront and knowing when talking is becoming counter-productive or, as they say — but F probably doesn’t say — just wanking.

  2. Pingback: The (Mostly Bogus?) War Between Men and Women

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