surinenglish

Battered and bluesed

It may have been the tardy autumnal chill in the air, or it may have been the early evening dusk descending stealthily over the urban landscape. Actually, it may also have been the fact that I was in a kebab shop ordering a doner with all the trimmings at 6.30pm for reasons with which I'm still not fully au fait.

Anyway, whatever the cause, yesterday marked that glorious moment when for the first time this year, I bathed in the merest hint of one of the most marvellous sensations known to man - melancholy.

Melancholy gets a bad press, often being lazily lumped together with much more negative human traits like abject sadness or supporting Manchester United. This is grossly unfair. Melancholy is a magical source of cleansing and creativity and must surely have been resting lightly on the shoulder of Paul McCartney when he wrote Yesterday. Had he simply been feeling a bit sad, instead of penning the achingly beautiful line 'Suddenly, I'm not half the man I used to be,' he'd probably have ended up with something like 'God, what a loser I am, maybe it's my personal hygiene.'

That, of course, is why Beck will never be the Macmeister. (He did actually write the truly terrible lyric 'I'm a loser baby, so why don't you kill me?' I know, I know - dreadful. Amazingly, it was actually a hit.)

So much of our finest art, literature and music has sprung from the infinite well that is melancholy that I'd be using up my word limit here even referring to a fraction of the work in question, but I'm sure it's an interesting game you can play at home over the cornflakes.

Having said that, a special mention must surely go to Leonard Cohen who, it would seem, lived in a permanent fug of melancholy, or at least was possessed of one of those little dark clouds that sit permanently atop the head of cartoon characters who can't shake the blues.

The blues - that's another example; a whole musical genre born of the same source, albeit just the one song rehashed ad infinitum.

Taking all of this into account, then, I imagine you're thinking that having been blessed with a sprinkling of autumnal melancholy yesterday, I was able to channel some of its mysterious magic and produce a song of extraordinary, yearning beauty.

Actually, I just asked for some extra chili sauce on my kebab and toddled off home.

Quite sad, really.