Sunday, 13 December 2009
32. Take Me Out, Franz Ferdinand (2004)
This is the taste of bourbon, gold spilling out of a bottle, swirling around glasses, tickling our tongues. A dark, dusty living room, old sofas, crinkled corners, a television blinking at us through the fog of the night. That strange, lovely spring, the two of us staying up until it was light, talking and laughing and kissing and drinking, MTV2 oblivious to our new lives. This song was its theme tune. This video, all angles, colours and shapes, its reason for being.
I still have my thin-cased, promotional copy of Franz Ferdinand's first album. Even when most of my CDs sit glowering at me now, asking me why I never pull them out of their shelves and unsleeve them – their digital cousins being my usual companions – this one sits there smugly, knowing it is still loved, knowing it is still played. Take Me Out is the reason why. Its first chord like a clarion call, spurring me into action, reminding me why music was there, reminding me what it could do. The repeated bass notes straight after it, like the thuds of a drum, a soldier marching his troops into war. The deceptively slow pace of the song at its start, its stately, slow build-up, its military might. The arrival of the crosshair, the boy who is "just a shot away from you", the brilliant double meanings that give this song its power. "I know I won't be leaving here with you" – a phrase just at home at the nightclub as it would be on the battlefield; "I say, take me out" – the idea of submission, surrender; by his fire, in his arms.
The song exploding into its second section, and me sitting there with him, far away from anyone we knew. A new couple in hiding, a girl with her head marked, letting these words become her new language. They told me I was lonely, and he was here waiting for me. They also told me if I moved, then this could die.