Song of the Day: Pulp “Like A Friend”
“Like A Friend” is a staggering great b-side by Brit pop band Pulp. The song starts off slowly with just an electric guitar and singer Jarvis Cocker‘s voice before building to an all-out alt-rock crescendo. The lyrics are some of Cocker‘s most amusing and moving: dealing with a friendship with (or possibly being “friend-zoned” by) a self-destructive. Cocker knows that the person is bad for him and takes up his time “like a cheap magazine”, but he knows he will always feel compelled to come to their aid. The song ends with Cocker reciting a laundry list of complaints but acknowledging that he is effectively trapped. The song is funny yet pointed and really captures Pulp at their confessional and tuneful best.
Don’t bother saying you’re sorry
Why don’t you come in?
Smoke all my cigarettes again
Every time I get no further
How long has it been?
Come on in now
Wipe your feet on my dreams
You take up my time
Like some cheap magazine
When I could have been learning something
Oh well, you know what I mean
I’ve done this before
And I will do it again
Come on and kill me, baby
While you smile like a friend
Oh, and I’ll come running
Just to do it again
You are that last drink I never should have drunk
You are the body hidden in the trunk
You are the habit I can’t seem to kick
You are my secrets on the front page every week
You are the car I never should have bought
You are the train I never should have caught
You are the cut that makes me hide my face
You are the party that makes me feel my age
And like a car crash I can see but I just can’t avoid
Like a plane I’ve been told I never should board
Like a film that’s so bad but I gotta stay till the end
Let me tell you now, it’s lucky for you that we’re friends
Though Pulp were often lumped in as the thinking persons Brit Pop third-way (with the battle for chart supremacy between Oasis and Blur an obsession of UK music magazines and newspapers of the early 1990’s) they had actually been around since 1978 and had a career as a minor selling post-punk act before they broke into the mainstream. The band mixed cheeky humor, class politics, sexuality and synthesizers to great effect over a series of records. The band initially broke up in 2001 but subsequently reformed for a tour from 2011-2013. While singer and lyricist Jarvis Cocker has gone on to a solo career, chances are good the band will reunite again in the future.