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Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Dos: Day 226
Sun. Aug 25, 2012

“Sweet Song”
Blur

2003

“♫ I believe
I believe I believe
I believe/ That is
the way it should
be/ I hope you
feel the same
♫”

Last night, I feel asleep to the irregularly dissonant Moroccan beats from blur’s original exquisitely rough demo for “Sweet Song.” I remember hearing Graham Coxon say, “I quite like that, “at the beginning of that the same demo, not knowing that “Sweet Song” was originally written for him by his songwriting partner and best friend Damon Albarn. “Sweet Song” is definitely Damon’s lyrical olive branch to Graham. It’s probably the most beautiful love song Albarn has ever penned for blur. “I wrote this looking at him on the wall. It was inspired by Graham and missing him.” Damon said. You can feel the ache in the loss of a best friend. Not many singers would be that intimately honest. “Sweet Song” contains all the things he could never say to his songwriting partner, Graham, so Damon put in song. Albarn was actually inspired while in a waiting room he saw a picture of Graham, after Coxon walked out on blur, on the front cover of this issue of Dazed and Confused.

Why did Graham Coxon leave blur? I believe his departure was due to feeling under appreciated in the band. This next exchange reflects the unspoken tension between the band members of blur and guitarist Coxon. ““Coxon’s unfailingly tasty guitar parts are the highlight of many a Blur track. Damon comments, “He just makes the songs better. It’s integral to the whole thing.” Alex: “He’s the best guitarist of his generation.” Graham’s response to his bandmates’ praise: “Fuckers. They never talk like that when I’m in the room.””

Ben Hillier, producer of Think Tank, had a front row seat watching the dissolution of the original blur unit when Graham left the band. Hillier talked about how Coxon’s leaving affected Albarn the most when, as he explained, ““A lot of the songs on that record are about Graham. Damon channeled his feelings into that album. “Sweet Song” was done when the legal negotiations for the split with Graham were starting, and that was pretty horrible. Damon would have been quite emotional when he sang it in the cracked, vulnerable way he does. Like Graham, Damon can’t fake it. The most successful songs on Think Tank are sad songs like that.”

The irregular heart-back-beat in the demo of “Sweet Song” reflects the intimate friction between Coxon and Albarn. It took Graham walking out of blur for Damon to finally complete the song that expressed his true feelings to his best friend Coxon. The album version of “Sweet Song” is one of the loveliest compositions Albarn ever wrote for Coxon. A true love song for a friend filled with sincerity, sadness and a vocal fueled with tenderness for his distant partner. Want to know how much Graham Coxon means to Albarn and blur, play Think Tank’s “Sweet Song.” and listen to Damon’s gentle musings. I realized drifting off to sleep last night, even in such a fractured state, Damon still found a way to put his personal bitterness aside to capture his sweetest sorrow. This intimate moment for his musical partner Graham Coxon was the beautiful lyrical dedication of “Sweet Song.”

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