We've gotten sporadic again with our loved and beloved Friday We're In Love (With The Cure) piece and I take full responsibility. I've been hiding out in a bit of a funk I've been in denial about, listening to my fair share of The Cure in the meantime, which is what we should all do when the melancholy mood strikes. Robert and company have been keeping their eye on me, specifically Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me and The Top. My next week's pick comes from the latter but today we're discussing "Sugar Girl" off Kiss Me x 3. Because of album time restrictions, Kiss Me came with a limited vinyl (orange, no less) featuring "Sugar Girl," "Icing Sugar," and "A Japanese Dream" to name a few.
When I first heard this song I was a teenager and dismissed its under the big top, carnival-style opening as a happy song which I had no use for at 14. Turns out not only was I wrong about the mood of this song, it wasn't I who didn't have time for the song, it was the other way around. I wasn't ready for it. I'm not quite sure I'm ready for it now, but here we sit.
The song in its entirely only consists of about a paragraph's worth of lyrics but The Cure manage to masterfully stretch that to three-plus minutes, partly due to the magical carnival-esque reverie we start off with.
"Oh, I wish I could find it funny, you laughing like that, But instead I change into a rage." Is it just me, or have we all been there? I can't speak for anybody else in the room but I know I almost always feel like I'm on the polar opposite emotional plane of whatever the majority seems to be feeling. There's a somber room? I burst into a fit of giggles. There's a comedy on? I feel isolated, alone and may or may not be sniffing back some tears. This lyric is so full of meaning and makes infinite sense to me. I see this as a relationship of two people that will never get it together. They love each other but will never be what the other wants and needs.
This point is further driven home: "I wish I could find it funny when you never come back, But I don't suppose I'll ever know how to keep you, Goodbye Sugar Girl, goodbye Sugar Girl." Has she left in the physical or figurative sense? Either way, they can't be together and our protagonist will always feel alone and frustrated because of her, whether he has her or not, because no one will ever truly have her. Not even herself. Goodbye, Sugar Girl.
This series is an open love letter Heather and I started together for many reasons, the obvious and most important being the brilliance and depth of the music of The Cure. I've never told her this but one of the reasons I pen these pieces each week (okay, so we're not doing so hot at the weekly thing but we're trying, people!) is furthering the case for the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame to right one of their grievous, inexplicable wrongs: the continued omission of The Cure from what is supposed to be hallowed halls. I would like to say I'm surprised another year will go by without them being enshrined but I'm not- just disgusted and annoyed.
I'm not going waste time with reductive thinking patterns and the whole "How can _ be in the Hall of Fame and not The Cure?" Yes, some are crap bands and undeserving acts have been voted in but that's not why The Cure belongs. They belong because of the enduring beauty of their music and the influence it has had on generations of listeners.
"Boys Don't Cry" wasn't their first single but this 1979 gem was one of their earliest works and remains a favorite. Among the things I love about it is how this was, in a sense, their jumping off point. They were better at the ground floor than so many other bands will ever be and they only got better. That's a Hall of Fame legacy.