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Title: ‘Hit Me’
Where to find it: ‘Bloodsports’ (2013, Suede Ltd)
Performed by: Suede, whose name on American Spotify “The London Suede” annoys me to high heaven
Words by: Brett Anderson

I’ve always preferred male singers to female ones. I sing in a lower register than most women – I was lead alto in school choir – so it’s more comfortable for me to sing along to men’s voices, so I’m not reaching up and beyond my range. And don’t ask me why, but I’ve always preferred the unique sounding men’s ones. Specifically Morrissey and Brett Anderson of Suede. It had been such a long time since Suede had put out anything new, and I was really sceptical when their new one ‘Bloodsports’ was announced. Many questioned if it would be any good, after having gone on hiatus (well, really, a true breakup) and making it without Bernard Butler, with the rest of them having not worked together in years.

To my pleasant surprise, I actually really love the new album, and one huge reason about this is that the starry-eyed vocal quality of Anderson’s is still there, espousing the power of love of all things. Though of course being Brett Anderson, there are always ‘Barriers’ to it actually happening. There was always something special in the way he was romantic (and depending on the song, sexual) in his words. There was something dangerous too; I always sensed that he was not someone who loved easily but if you happened to fall in love with him, he’d latch on like the Scorpio I dated as my first boyfriend many moons ago and would never let go.

First, the words:

Verse 1 (long version)
You touch the place where we meet
Where you and I become she and he
I’m not as strong as I pretend to be

You feel the scratches and scars
You feel the possibly we call ours
But drop me once and I’ll fall to bits

Chorus (x2)
Come on and hit me
With your majesty
Come on and hit me
With all your mystery

La la la la la
La la la la la
La la la la la
La la la la la

Verse 2 (short version)
I remember when we touched, we are young
You feel my pulse and we become one
But drop me once and I will fall to bits

Chorus (x2)
Come on and hit me
With your majesty
Come on and hit me
With all your mystery

La la la la la
La la la la la
La la la la la
La la la la la

Chorus (x2)
(So) Come on and hit me
With your majesty
Come on and hit me
With all your mystery

La la la la la
La la la la la
La la la la la
La la la la la
La la la la la
La la la la la
La la la la la
La la la la la
La la la la la
La la la la la

Now, the analysis:

I remember when I was younger and telling my father that I would have preferred to have been born a boy because it’s in my nature to be honest and if I’m blunt, so be it. You know what you’re called when you’re a woman who acts like that, right? I don’t like how in Western society (and even more so in Oriental ones ::groan::) women have to wait until the man makes the move. We’re not allowed to. We have to stand around, look pretty, and wait for him to come to us. From a psychological standpoint, some “experts” have said this stems from the fact that the man has to feel like he’s the one in control and he’s the one calling the shots. I’ve always been an individual and fiercely independent, so this goes against everything I believe in.

The reason I really like this song? It’s so simple, yet it so clear in showing the vulnerability of a man in love. And let’s face it, whether it’s because they are inherently macho or it’s society that’s made them like this, men in general aren’t readily willing to show or admit their feelings to the women they are interested in. They have to be really, truly in love for anything like that to surface. Are they afraid of getting hurt? Are they afraid of being vulnerable, to admit they can be like us women and their outer armour can be penetrated when their defenses are down? Well, hate to say it fellas, but some of us women prefer those non-macho, emotion-rich types. I want to be with someone who not only can empathise with my feelings but has his own feelings and can show those feelings to me without feeling like he’s any less of a man. I don’t want to be in love with a brick wall.

Both halves of the first verse are structured in the same way: the first two lines are optimistic, and romantic for Anderson’s style of writing. He’s acknowledging there is a strong connection there. (Um, “you touch the place where we meet”? Hello, sex.) But is it love? He can let down his guard because they’re at the place “where you and I become she and he”. (By the way, I love how he swapped the usual order of “he and she” to “she and he” – he’s giving her more respect, opposite to the way on envelopes a doctor is addressed before his married wife, “Dr. and Mrs.”) He’s letting her into his world and letting her see him, warts and all (“you feel the scratches and scars”). And that’s perfectly okay, because they’re together and it feels right (“you feel the possibly we call ours”). Oh yeah, and grammar be damned! “Possibly” used as a noun. Why not?

Then examine the third lines. Both indicate just how vulnerable he is in this position. “I’m not as strong as I pretend to be”: he’s telling her (or us) it’s not a comfortable situation and it’s taking all of his courage to be able to give in to her, to surrender. “But drop me once and I’ll fall to bits”: he knows he’s on a knife edge between bliss and possible rejection or heartbreak, but he’s willing to take that chance for love.

You touch the place where we meet (1)
Where you and I become she and he (2)
I’m not as strong as I pretend to be (3)

You feel the scratches and scars (1)
You feel the possibly we call ours (2)
But drop me once and I’ll fall to bits (3)

The chorus has an interesting contrast too. He’s inviting her to “hit” him with who she is, a majestic, beautiful creature he’s fallen in love with. But he also reckons there is a mysterious element to her as well, and he’s excited about the prospect of learning more about her as “all your mystery” unfolds to him.

The next and final true verse is somewhat similar to those I described above, but with a further romantic twist. They’ve touched, they’ve been so close she could feel his pulse (a shortened, less elegant way of conveying the overused “you can / can you feel my heartbeat”), but he’s still feeling vulnerable. This, I think, is amazing. The song hasn’t come to any resolution; he’s not skipping around town without any inhibitions because of being in love. Don’t misunderstand all those “la las”. No, as a man he’s still feeling exposed. I feel that, because that feeling is real. And all too rare to be seen in my experience.

I remember when we touched, we are young (1)
You feel my pulse and we become one (2)
But drop me once and I will fall to bits (3)

Women aren’t allowed to take chances in love, and men don’t want to take the chances in love even though they’re allowed to. Huge disconnect.

Lastly, the song, in its promo video form. Remember what I said about Brett Anderson being dangerous? The video takes that literally. Initially, the video made no sense to me but the more I watched it, the more I “got” it. I won’t say anymore to let you come to your own conclusions.

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