Waxahatchee - “Grass Stain”26 listens
The Beatles - “For No One”2409 listens
— Amy Efaw, After (via a-quiet-old-soul)
I’m currently rewatching My Mad Fat Diary (it’s probably my 70th viewing) and it just dawned on me. The song that is playing when Rae “hyperventilates” outside of Finn’s house becomes diegetic in the following scene in his room. This means the music we, the viewers, hear is present within the narrative of the scene and is actually playing when Rae is sitting in the armchair in Finn’s room. While this may not appear to be a huge revelation, when I begun to listen to the lyrics of the song playing, this time from Finn’s perspective, as he is functioning as the DJ in these scenes, it added another dimension. First,
Bob Marley’s “Is this Love”:
Is this love - is this love - is this love -
Is this love that I’m feelin’?
Woah! Oh yes, I know; yes, I know - yes, I know now!
Yes, I know; yes, I know - yes, I know now!
Finn invites Rae to “come round to [his]” because he “has some really crap reggae he wants to show [her]” and selects this song because he wants her to hear it! By his own admission in the finale he is “no good with words” but this, music, is the thing he feels he knows the most about and is his way of declaring his feelings for her (while also attempting to gauge her feelings before making a fool of himself.) This interpretation is reinforced by the lyrics in the next song he selects.
The Smith’s “There is a Light that Never Goes Out”:
And if a double-decker bus
Crashes into us
To die by your side
Is such a heavenly way to die
And if a ten-ton truck
Kills the both of us
To die by your side
Well, the pleasure - the privilege is mine
I thought oh God, my chance has come at last
(but then a strange fear gripped me and I
Just couldn’t ask)
Just in case you want to argue that “There is a Light That Never Goes Out” (the only record we see him place onto the turntable) is merely the first song on that LP, think again. I checked (yes, I’m that obsessed) and it is the ninth track out of ten on The Queen is Dead. It was selected with a purpose in mind. Not to mention that The Smiths’ music wouldn’t ever be considered reggae, the genre of music he claimed he wanted to share with her.
Both of the songs that Finn plays, not including Babylon Zoo’s “Spaceman” (which we all know is a special song for the couple despite the fact Rae despises it) are love songs. Ugh! The nuance in this series (and everything else in it) just slays me! No matter how many times I watch it I’m consistently surprised and thrilled. There is always something more to discover and appreciate. My Mad Fat Diary is a rarity. It’s a show that features brillant and heartfelt performances and unbelievably strong writing. Then, there’s the fact that so much consideration is put into everything, especially the soundtrack, which is particularly brilliant and apropos when you think about how the main romantic paring is a bit music obsessed and snobby, makes it a series that you can’t afford to miss…
Also, once you watch it it will eat up your life. Ask anyone and they will tell you. You can’t escape the obsession. It will get you!
Tom Bidwell, hurry up with that second season/series! We are dying here.