January 15th, 2013 5:37am

The Only Freedom That You’ll Ever Really Know

Belle & Sebastian “I Don’t Love Anyone”

The words of this song are from one point of view, but the perspective of the song is from another. The words are what you say and think when you embrace loneliness and feel fine with the walls you put up between yourself and everyone else. You tell yourself that you don’t feel anything, and you’re happy to be alone. You might not even be lying to yourself about that. Stuart is singing those words from the other side of that mentality, and with a joy and humor that reveals how flimsy those walls really are, and how easy it can be to just knock them down and get on with your life.

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Belle & Sebastian “If You Find Yourself Caught In Love”

It’s funny how Belle & Sebastian lyrics can often be overtly Christian in their themes and reference points, but they’re rarely pegged as a Christian Band. I think this is because Stuart Murdoch is never dogmatic, and always conversational in tone, and his faith is presented as just something that informs the world view of his stories. “If You Find Yourself Caught In Love” is as didactic as he ever gets, but it’s still this breezy song in which he’s mostly just telling the listener to either be thankful for the love they have in their life, or to take charge and find it for themselves. There’s a digression where he condemns war and brutality, but it’s just taking a simple message and increasing the stakes. The lines about surrending one’s will to God can be a bit much for a nonbeliever, but at its heart, the song is really just paraphrasing a far more famous tune: “All you need is love / Love is all you need.”

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