Grrr. I was not planning on doing this, but Starbucks has forced my hand. I am so irked with them, except for Austin, who is unquestionably Employee of the Year. This is why : there is a very special song that I have had tucked away in my heart for years, and I have been waiting to share it with you. And then I walked into one of my offices (you might know it by its corporate name: Starbucks) and sat down at my desk (also sometimes called 'table') and pulled out my computer. Started to put on headphones because it seemed like a PJ Harvey kind of afternoon, but then the opening chords of my very favourite song in the universe exploded through the speakers and I recoiled in fury: Yes, this song is 25 years old. Its birthday is this year, and I have been so excited to share it, and I have been patient. There is only one song that can even begin to rival it for glorious Saturday morning wakeup glory (that would be Johnny Cash's The Man Comes Around).

It is a track that is so beautiful it will make you want to hop on a ship, head to Ireland, and soak in the foggy beauty of the sea life. It is one of those rare things that is both intimate and anthemic; Joseph Arthur and U2 with a wave of saltwater drenching its yearny melancholy. Strings, gorgeous strings seesawing against the workingman's spiritual poet-voice of Mike Scott. If you have ever heard this, then you know what it is: The Waterboys and their 1988 folk-anthem Fisherman's Blues. Wrenching beauty. And Starbucks yanked that moment away from me. I am prematurely letting you know before you walk in and they rob me again of the chance to introduce you to it. So my disgruntlement was obvious, because Austin came round with a fresh blend for me to sample, and then dropped by again with brownie, and then slipped back AGAIN with a coupon for a free tall caramel macchiato.

So I was somewhat mollified, but I still don't know that he'll be able to prevent them from playing it again. Some songs are just so good that they shouldn't be wasted on casual, inattentive listening. That is why I rarely listen to the radio: because it takes songs - even really, really good songs - and drives them into the ground until you grow weary of them. Some songs are too special to treat like that. So do not listen to Fisherman's Blues until you are properly prepared to respect it. And fall in love. And if you walk into a Starbucks and there's a song playing that has violins and makes you long for the ocean, then just walk out. Leave. Your first time hearing it shouldn't be in Starbucks. Or, if you see Austin, just ask him to turn it off.

Magdelana and Becca alerted me to his excellentness, and they are correct. Good job, Starbucks: I was about to boycott you forever until Austin saved the day. Remember, I can always take my business elsewhere, to the billions of other places in the area with free refills and complimentary WiFi. And brownie samples. Here's to you, Fishermen, even though I'm vegetarian. Here's to you, Austin.

The Waterboys

Fisherman's Blues
Fisherman's Blues

No comments:

Post a Comment

Love to hear from you. Thanks for your comments!