SOUNDTRACK OF MY LIFE – THE SONGS OF ANDY PARTRIDGE (XTC)

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Anyone who has been following Power of Pop closely enough would be aware that I am a massive fan of the English band XTC.

Recently, I have been reading Complicated Game: Inside the Songs of XTC, a book co-authored by Partridge and Todd Bernhardt.

Reading the entry highlighting the song “That’s Really Super, Supergirl” (off the Skylarking LP), I realised that I really connected with many of Partridge’s songs that dealt with the ‘loser in love’ protagonist.

Thus, I collect for you kind reader the songs that I closely identify with in XTC’s repertoire – and raise my hand to confess that I am a loser in love.  But these wonderful songs make up for all that pain somewhat …

I can’t hold you down
If you want to fly
Can’t you see I’m all broke up inside
Well just you use your two X Ray eyes

Hurt like Kryptonite
Put me on my knees
Now that I’ve found out just what you’re doing
With your secret identities

That’s really super Supergirl
How you saved yourself in seconds flat
And your friends are going to say
That’s really super Supergirl
How you’re changing all the world’s weather
But you couldn’t put us back together
Now I feel like I’m tethered deep
Inside your Fortress of Solitude
Don’t mean to be rude
But I don’t feel super
Supergirl

I won’t call again
Even in a jam
Now I realise you could be on a mission
Saving some other man

That’s really super Supergirl
How you saved yourself in seconds flat
And your friends are going to say
That’s really super Supergirl
How you stopped the universe from dying
But you’re never going to stop me crying
And I feel like you’re trying hard
To sweep me like dirt underneath your cape
Well I might be an ape
But I used to feel super
Supergirl

That’s really super Supergirl
How you saved yourself in seconds flat
And your friends are going to say
That’s really super Supergirl
How you’re changing the world’s weather
But you couldn’t put us back together
Super Supergirl
How you stopped the universe from dying
But you’re never going to stop me crying
Super Supergirl
I’m here in your Fortress of Solitude
Don’t mean to be rude
But I don’t feel super

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https://youtu.be/W0jyu6pAnUg

I put on a fake smile
And start the evening show
The public is laughing
I guess by now they know
So climb from your high horse
And pull this freak show down
Dear Madam Barnum
I resign as clown
You said I was the master of all I surveyed
But now I’m sweeping up
The last in line in your circus parade
Children are clapping
As I fall to the floor
My heart torn and broken
And they just scream for more
If I’m not the sole fool
Who pulls his trousers down
Then dear Madam Barnum
I resign as clown
You tread the high wire
Between truth and lies
Your safety net just walked out
Much to your surprise
Strike up the band love
And let the show begin
For this is the last time
I’m painting on a grin
If I’m not the sole fool
Who pulls his trousers down
Then dear Madam Barnum
I resign as clown

The disappointed
All shuffle round in circles
Their placards look the same
With a picture and a name
Of the ones who broke their hearts
The disappointed
All congregate at my house
Their voices sob with grief
That they want to be chief
Of the tribe with broken hearts
Once, I had no sympathy
For those destroyed and thrown away by love
Seems, your ring upon my finger
Signifies that I’ve become the spokesman of…
The disappointed
Will bear me on their shoulders
To a secret shadow land
Where a sombre marching band
Plays a tune for broken hearts
And day grows darker now
Everywhere, everywhere
The disappointed
Are coming in their millions
They’re spilling from the bus
At a monument to us
Made of bits of broken heart
The disappointed
Are growing every second
They blot the sun to black
At the bottom of the pack
I’m the king of broken hearts

H-A-T-E
Is that how you spell love in your dictionary
K-I-C-K
Pronounced as kind
F-U-C-K
Is that how you spell friend in your dictionary
Black on black
A guidebook for the blind

Well now that I can see my eyes won’t weep
Now that I can hear your song sounds cheap
Now that I can talk all your corn I’ll reap
I’m not so sure that Joey wed a Virgin Mary
There are no words for me inside your dictionary

S-L-A-P
Is that how you spell kiss in your dictionary
C-O-L-D
Pronounced as care
S-H-I-T
Is that how you spelt me in your dictionary
Four-eyed fool
You led ’round everywhere

Now that I can see it’s the queens new clothes
Now that I can hear all your poison prose
Now that I can talk with my tongue unfroze
I’m not so sure of Santa or the buck-tooth fairy
There are no words for me inside your dictionary

Now your laughter has a hollow ring
But the hollow ring has no finger in
So let’s close the book and let the day begin
And our marriage be undone

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