Something Good

If you haven’t already, I urge you to listen to Marianne Faithfull’s 2002 album Kissin’ Time. If you have already heard it, please direct your attention to the very end. There you’ll find one of my very favorite songs out of Marianne’s long storied career. It’s a cover of a hit by Herman’s Hermits. The Hermits were a British Invasion band known for goofy, upbeat songs suitable for young teenagers. Most of their hits have been relegated to the nostalgia circuit or dismissed as novelties of their time. Hardly a match for the whiskey-soaked aesthetic of Marianne Faithfull, one would think. Therein is the surprise, and testament to Faithfull’s powers as an interpretive singer and her sharp ear for material. She takes a larky pop song about a date that went well, and makes it… exactly her aesthetic. It’s a life affirming coda on a record concerned with the ups and downs of life. In the hands of a woman who’s lived, suffered and learned it means something else than the fluffy, youthful optimism of the original. When you’re a woman of 57, you don’t take it for granted that you’ll meet a new guy who likes you, there’s no expectation that there’s going to be another new date with another new love. When you find love after a lifetime of losing it, it’s an unexpected gift, a thing to celebrate and treasure, with the knowledge that it may be your last hurrah. Love is different when you’re older, and love songs are different, even if the words are the same.

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