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Suddenly find myself very intrigued by Contrariwise, a blog featuring pictures and stories about literary tattoos. My favourite is this one featuring the line ‘I want to run to you’ from an M83 song called ‘Run Into Flowers’.

For a good, solid year this song was my soundtrack to everything; a constant point of reference at a time when everything shifted. As such, it seemed only fitting to etch a memorial to it into my skin. As you do. However, after I had this tattoo done I quickly discovered two things:

1. I had misunderstood the heavily distorted vocals in the song. Where I had heard, harvested and believed ‘I want to run to you’, the song actually says ‘I want to run into’. Flowers we can only presume.

2. The words I did end up having tattooed across my shoulders are far more famous as a lyric from a Bryan Adams song. I heard the song for the first time a few weeks after the tattoo was done. Timing is everything.

Nonetheless, I feel it stands as a proper memorial to the time. Misheard as they may have been, these words were my version of events. So rather than being a flat tribute to a band, the tattoo became instead a personal and flawed declaration of love for a piece of music that seemed to permit a lot of what followed. And one that has absolutely nothing, at all to do with Bryan Adams. So stop asking.

Oh dear. I don’t have any tattoos, but I think if I ever was to get one, it would probably be words rather than pictures because to me, words have always been a lot more powerful. You’d want to double check the spelling though – you’d look like a prize dill sporting a spelling mistake for the rest of your life.

Whot an ideot.

I’m also loving Marc Hayne’s article Fifty Years Of Popular Songs Condensed Into Single Sentences.

The White Stripes, “My Doorbell” – Using metaphor, I want to do it with you.

Carly Simon, “You’re So Vain” – We used to do it, but then you did it with someone else, and now I’m not going to do it with you, although I wish we were still doing it.

Kate Bush, “Wuthering Heights” – I’m an 18th-century fictional character and I want to do it with another 18th-century fictional character.

There’s plenty more where they came from.

That Tattoo Isn’t Funny Anymore – Owen

Run Into Flowers – M83

The post title is the opening line from the Owen track.

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