A post about Bryan Ferry, not about politics

Hauling mulch around a garden on a rainy day made me contemplative, so I contemplated Bryan Ferry’s surprisingly conservative “Let’s Stick Together.”

I spent another day tackling the garden in my new house. Wednesday was mulching day, and a friend helped me shift 6 cubic yards of mulch from a mountain on my lawn to the planting beds. There are still 12 cubic yards to go.

Although mulching is hard work, I kind of enjoyed it. It rained today, which kept me cool, although it made the mulch soggy and heavy. Still, there’s a purity and honesty in this type of labor. I spent my days reading and writing about politics, which can be very disheartening. With mulch though, it’s all shovel then spread. When you’re done, things look wonderful.

Thursday will be a day of rest, however, because we’re expecting endless thunderstorms. I’m delighted. I adore lightening and thunder but you couldn’t pay me to work in the garden with thunderstorms rolling through. I think I’ll knit and, if there’s a break in the weather, go to an indoor shooting range to try out different guns with an eye to buying one. I have small hands, so I’m kind of picky.

But I promised a post about Bryan Ferry. I love Bryan Ferry. I’d never heard of him before I lived in England in the early 1980s but once I did hear him, I loved his smooth, airy, crooning. Naturally, once I started curating my own playlist on Spotify, Bryan Ferry’s songs showed up.

In all the years of listening to Bryan Ferry, though, I never really paid attention to the lyrics. Indeed, thanks to poor sound systems, I very seldom could have paid attention to the lyrics, even if I’d wanted to. For most of the pop songs I was listening to, I could catch about 70% of the lyrics. Over the years, I developed a habit of putting the music on in the background very softly while I worked. Mostly, I was typing to the melody and the beat, not paying attention to the words.

While mulching, though, I was listening and my iPhone has a better sound system than any other I’ve owned in my life. So it was that I finally heard what Bryan Ferry was singing about in his 1976 song, “Let’s Stick Together.” (It’s actually a 1962 song that Wilbert Harrison wrote, but I think that Ferry made it famous.)

I first heard the song in 1981 and this is what I thought the lyrics were:

Something something something something something “let’s stick together,” something something something something “leave one another never” something something something “come on, come on, come on, let’s stick together,” something something, etc.

Those are not good lyrics. Today, though, as I said, I finally¬†heard the lyrics and discovered that they’re all about staying in a marriage, both because of the marriage vow and because it’s good for the child for the parents to stay together. Really!

And now the marriage vow is very sacred
The man has put us together now
You ought to make it stick together
Come on, come on, let’s stick together
You know we made a vow not to leave one another never

But now you never miss your water till your well runs dry
Come on now baby give our love a try
Let’s stick together
Come on, come on, let’s stick together
You know we made a vow not to leave one another never

Well if you’re stuck for a while consider our child
How can it be happy without its ma and pa
Let’s stick together
Come on, come on, let’s stick together
You know we made a vow not to leave one another never

Well if you’re stuck for a while consider our child
How can it be happy without its ma and pa
Let’s stick together
Come on, come on, let’s stick together
You know we made a vow not to leave one another never

Talk about a traditional message. Even in 1976, it was an idea that was on its way out. Can you imagine a pop icon recording such a song today?

It shouldn’t be a surprise, therefore, to learn that Ferry is conservative(ish) in his politics.