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Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Dos: Day 209
Wed. Aug 8, 2012

“1963”
New Order

1987; 1994

“♫ Johnny came
home with another
wife/ and he often
remembered how it
used to be/ before
that special occasion,
1963/ there is too
many ways that you
could kill someone/
like in a love affair
♫”

Through my late twenties and until most of my thirties, my relationship with my Papi was more distant than it is today. I used to jokingly tell my friends that my Dad and I only spoke every four years, during the presidential elections and soccer’s World Cup. I love debating politics with my father, the older I get I’m leaning further left and my Dad is more of an independent. It was through my father’s love of history and politics that we bonded over the myriad of theories over John F. Kennedy’s death.

As coincidences go, around this time, I started getting into the cerebral electronic pop music of New Order. On the B-side of one my favorites “True Faith” was this gem of a song, “1963.” During my first spin, I used to love watching the record rotate waiting for the crackling of the vinyl; I remember at the beginning of the song realizing “1963” wasn’t another bizarre love triangle it was about JFK’s assassination as lead singer and lyricist Bernard Sumner explained, ““1963” is the year that J.F.K. was shot. and my theory is that he actually arranged for the gun man, “Lee Harvey Oswald” to shoot his wife, Mrs. K. so that J.F. could do one with M. Monroe who committed suicide then she found out “Oswald” had hit the wrong target. Oswald was later shot by his boss (don’t know his name) for doing such a bad job and causing his hit-man business to go bust.

Quite an interesting theory that I would imagine would be plausible and I my father would definitely scoff at being very unlikely. Last night revisiting “1963” I thought of my Papi and the conversations we’d have about politics and soccer. Still, “1963” is such unique pop song that even my Papi would appreciate the historical sentiment in Sumner’s lyrics.

If you’re a novice to New Order, “1963” is one of the first songs you need to discover. In fact, one of the best B-sides was so good that, seven years later, New Order actually re-released “1963” as a single in 1994. “1963” told in the confused innocence of Marilyn Monroe’s voice. This cerebral electronic classic will make you believe. “1963” is historical/conspiracy lesson in less than six minutes. Can you handle New Order’s version of the truth?

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