Kiss You in Four Places

Tim Dunlop stares into the Hunters and Collectors song Throw Your Arms Around Me.

Author: Tim Dunlop, Crikey.

Date: 5 June 2009.

Original URL: http://blogs.crikey.com.au/johnnys/2009/06/05/kiss-you-in-four-places/

 

Article Text

I’ve noticed a lot of men like the Hunters and Collectors song, ‘Throw Your Arms Around Me’, and I’ve never been able to figure out why. Not that it isn’t a great song, but it definitely seems to touch something in otherwise reticent males that gets them, well, a little teary eyed. Anyone ever in the audience when the Dougs performed the track — which they did often — will know what I mean. The Dougs themselves treated it as if it was some sort of sacred text.

It’s a boy song in the same way that Beaches is a chick flick.

But why?

Okay, the melody is great, very engaging; easy to convince yourself that you can sing along with it. Fine. But the emotional impact I presume comes from the lyrics and I must admit I find them a bit stupid. I mean, technically, they are weirdly abstract (though I guess ‘four places’ is very specific) and as far as I can tell, there is no underlying intent beyond ye old basic love song material.

I will come for you at nighttime
I will raise you from your sleep
I will kiss you in four places
As I go running along your street

Seriously, does anybody not laugh at that “kiss you in four places” line? Especially as the alleged kissing is meant to take place while running along a street? The next bit isn’t much better.

I will squeeze the life out of you
You will make me laugh and make me cry
And we will never forget it
You will make me call your name
And I’ll shout it to the blue summer sky

This sounds more like a stalker’s fantasy than an actual love song, more in the vein of ‘I’ll be Watching You’ than ‘Love Me Tender’ or ‘Unchained Melody’. And this:

I dreamed of you at nighttime
And I watched you in your sleep
I met you in high places
I touched your head and touched your feet

Okay, so it’s a bit easy to take the piss out of the lyrics of a pop song. We all know that that isn’t the point. The literal meaning isn’t the point. The emotional effect of songs is often something to do with the intangible way the words — the sung words — combine with the music to create a mood or effect and attempts to dissect it and figure out why miss the point and destroy the process.

I accept all that, but still: I will squeeze the life out of you? Kiss you in four place/As I go running along the street? Really? Why does this evoke a such favourable from the men in the audience?

Come on guys: what’s the attraction? Why does this particular song touch a soft spot (or four soft spots) with so many Australian men?

 

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