Just maybe…I need someone to save me…I need a wonderwall.
I never even stopped to consider what a wonderwall was until very recently. According to Urban Dictionary, it’s someone you’re completely infatuated with. And that makes sense, we always bestow the things we love with heroic features. Our wonderwalls can save us, even when we seem unsaveable.
Over the last five years, a time when I’ve lost a bit of faith in the goodness of people and the rhymes and reasons of fate, music has been the thing that saves me over and over again. I’ve found my wonderwalls in the likes of The Naked and the Famous, the youtube channel Mr. Suicide Sheep, and my old fallbacks, the music of Weezer and New Found Glory.
But now, I need something new to save me, and I’m saved by another wonderwall. And that wonderwall comes to me in the form of Roxanne Andrighetti’s cover of Oasis. That cover, that song, takes me back to several times and places. It takes me back to 1998, high school, listening to this same song, Oasis was just the right kind of cool and British for me at the time …but with Roxanne’s touch, there is something sweeter about it. I don’t feel as desperate as my high school self. I don’t need to pretend or put on airs. Then it takes me back to 2008 when I actually knew Roxanne. She and I both lived in Nagasaki. For me, it was a strange and distant land…a new start…for her, I don’t know…maybe a distraction on her journey to greater things. She was desperate to be a musician, writing songs late into the night, coffee pumping through her veins…and here I am in 2018…I am desperate to write a novel. Can I move on from Wonderwall? Not quite yet, I need a few more lines. “Just maybe…you’ll be the one to save me…”
It’s a rainy day at work and I find myself listening to Roxanne’s cover of “Je l’aime a mouri” by Francis Cabrel. Roxanne doesn’t know it but I’m writing a character in a novel who is in love with French culture. She is haunted by the ghost of her dead sister who was also in love with the French language. When Roxanne sings the song it makes me think that she knows my fictional characters without ever having met them.
Someday, I will learn more about the song, but for now, I just listen. And you should too.
The song’s title means I love you to death.
I don’t know how I feel about the song yet…it lingers in my mind, creates thought worms that will someday sprout into new ideas…I think of lovers in the park. A guy with a girlfriend’s head in his lap, or a girl with a boyfriend’s head in hers…and they’re dreaming of impossible futures. Je l’aime a mourir, he whispers. But her mind is off somewhere else…
What is she thinking of?
She’s thinking of what changes and what stays the same…that’s the theme of Roxanne’s “Slip Away.”…”Life is too short, but can be so sweet…” she sings and the girl with the lover’s head in her lap finds her hair growing ever so slightly grey…his hair is growing even greyer. He is slipping away…away even faster than she and the horrible thought occurs to her that there will be a day when there is no head in her lap to call her own… “clinging to memories of times gone by” Roxanne sings…The head in her lap is gone and she knows that the sweetest things can slip away.
Before this moment slips away, reader. Have a listen to “Slip Away” here
There were many more wonderful songs I listened to in the days before I started writing this little essay, a time when I really did need a wonderwall. “Les Feuilles Mortes” was one of my favorites. I wanted to ask Roxanne more about the song…I was tempted to look up information on the net. But then I thought about my time…I thought about the purpose of music for me…the purpose is to go deeper into a moment…a rainy day, when the world is slipping by, in so many grey hairs of hopeful lovers in the park, in so many tragedies, major and minor, that the only thing to do is listen…listen to the raindrops in between the melody.
And then, I come back…to a word…to a song…
I come back to wonderwall. Roxanne, there are many things that I’d like to say to you, but I don’t know how…just maybe, your music will be the thing to save me…