Durham songwriter Paddy McAloon was in his late twenties when he wrote

Life’s a drive through a dust bowl, what’s it do, do to a young soul
We are deeply concerned, someone stops for directions,
Something responds deep in our engines, we have all been burned
Will heaven wait all heavenly over the next horizon ?

But look at us now, quit driving, some things hurt more much more than cars and girls.
Just look at us now, start counting, what adds up the way it did when we were young ?
Look at us now, quit driving, some things hurt much more than cars and girls.

Prefab Sprout – Cars & Girls

The lyrics now seem strangely prescient; and I’m sure that Paddy and my contemporaries have all been burned and do find that the pursuit of love doesn’t add up the way it did when we were young, but how did he know all of that when the album From Langley Park to Memphis was released in 1988?

I’ve been musing on cars as a metaphor for relationships for about a week now, prompted partly by one of my friends decision to invest in a new set of wheels.  For several weeks she has endured a torrid time emotionally due to her ex husband, his family, and his girlfriend, problems she could well do without when her emotions have been tested by another.  I’m pleased that the worst seems to be over for her, and part of her response has been the change of vehicle.  Meet Precious.APW_8942-Edit

Owning a new car is pretty special.  We take great care of them, nurture them, attend to their needs.

Or at least until the first scratch.  At that point the shine is lost (perhaps literally), and unless this is true love they are taken for granted.  In some cases neglected, forgotten or abandoned.

APW_8854_5_6Wandering round the farm where I was staying last week I made a surprising discovery in one of the barns.  Once upon a time this Rover 2200 twin carb was doubtless someone’s pride and joy.  Clearly the love ran cold.

I’m in love with my car
Gotta feel for my automobile

Queen – I’m In Love With My Car


4 thoughts on “Cars and Girls

  1. Oh yes, you really have something here. Cars.. definitely more than just a set of wheels. When I move from my Dubai life where I drive a Peugeot convertible (not as posh as that fab car in the pic) but still wind-in-the-hair fun, and arrive back in England where a Ford Focus is waiting for me, I can’t help feeling something is missing (apart from the sun). Surely time for a change. Love this piece and the metaphor.. and on that note, hope you don’t mind me linking an oldie: http://beckykilsby.wordpress.com/2012/05/11/took-her-nowhere/

    1. I don’t mind at all Becky, it’s a great poem that even before I followed the link had me wondering about the DB connection. Thanks for your comment. Liking the new profile pic too!

      Only later did it occur to me that I should perhaps have referenced another Prefab classic; “When love breaks down”!

      1. Ha! Those lingering lyrics.. flash a memory in an instant. DB.. source of much inspiration and a backing-track for much of my late teens/early twenties, therefore personally hugely evocative.. guess it works best when you recognise them. Thanks re. the poem and the pic!

        Maybe you need a Part 2 to incoprorate Prefab…

        Just remembered I have another on this subject (and promise this will be the last link!) http://beckykilsby.wordpress.com/2011/11/25/she-should-have-gone-to-specsavers/

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