Loose Strife

An MP3 blog

Saturday, June 18, 2005

#7 – A Midwest wedding

“I’m Your Puppet” – Marvin Gaye

In beautiful Cleveland, OH for the wedding of a pair of old college friends. Everyone in our crew, the KUOM (“Radio OM”) posse circa 1990-4 at the University of Minnesota, is now coupled. There are a couple of married guys that come solo, their wives home with the kids so they can avoid the regurgitated reveries of yet another college reunion that isn’t theirs, and to grant their husbands the illusion of undergrad freedom for the weekend---a deposit in the bank of the endlessly negotiated settlement that seems to be wedlock.

Otherwise, I am the only single man. I get appropriately drunk and dance passably to old-school hip-hop (I’d forgotten that “The Humpty Dance” may have the funniest/nastiest bass line ever recorded) with the mother of the bride. She introduces me to a woman, apparently single, who smiles like she has a gun to her head.

The first dance selection is Marvin Gaye’s definitive reading of the Penn/Oldham classic “I’m Your Puppet.” A brilliant song for the tip-toeing Northern Soul melody and especially the lyrics, which capture both the bliss and the somewhat terrifying helplessness of that thing called love.

Pull the string and I'll wink at you, I'm your puppet
I'll do funny things if you want me to, I'm your puppet

I'll be yours to have and to hold
Darling you've got full control of your puppet

Pull another string and I'll kiss your lips, I'm your puppet
Snap your finger and I'll turn you some flips, I'm your puppet

Your every wish is my command
All you gotta do is wiggle your little hand
I'm your puppet (2x)

I'm just a toy, just a funny boy
That makes you laugh when you're blue
I'll be wonderful, do just what I'm told
I'll do anything for you
I'm your puppet (2x)

Pull them little strings and I'll sing you a song, I'm your puppet
Make me do right or make me do wrong, I'm your puppet

Treat me good and I'll do anything
I'm just a puppet an you hold my string, I'm your puppet
Yeah, I'm your puppet

Walking, talking, living, loving puppet
I'm hanging on a string girl, I'll do anything now

I'm a walking, talking, living, loving puppet, and I love you

I'm a smiling happy face when you want me to
Even make you happy when you're feeling blue

Is this a proper sentiment for a wedding song? Maybe a little too honest? (Or ironic? Post-ironic?)

At the last wedding I attended, the couple chose Nick Drake’s “Northern Sky”, a beautiful love song except that the line “Will you love me ‘til I’m dead?” always reminds me that the singer killed himself with sleeping pills---perhaps by accident, perhaps on purpose---all alone in his bedroom.

Why am I unable to see the simple joy in these moments, these songs? Am I sick? Or is pure joy simply boring?

Maybe I expect too much of songs.

More to the point: why am I sitting in my rental car in the parking lot of the reception hall posting and downloading off a hijacked wi-fi signal when I should in fact be experiencing the wedding I’m writing about?


Post a Comment

<< Home