Monday, November 16, 2009

The Outfield -- "Your Love"

Holy crap. I was toying with the idea of mentioning that it seemed to me that a disproportionate number of baseball players use this song as their "at bat" music. (Hitters often pick a song to play on the PA system when they come up to the plate.) But, I decided not to, because I'd heard it maybe only like three times, and that's a pretty small sample size.

But, lo and behold, Wikipedia actually mentions this on its page for this song! So, I'm not crazy, and baseball players are weird. The players it mentions are: Gordon Beckham (3B), Kelly Johnson (2B), Frank Catalanotto (OF) and Eric Byrnes (OF). All white guys, and only two of them are actually outfielders, so at least Mr. Beckham and Mr. Johnson really like this song and didn't just think it would be funny to play a song by a band called "The Outfield." Although there are no bands called "The Infield" that I'm aware of, so I don't know if they had much of a choice in the matter. "Second Base" or "Third Base" would be good band names, but I don't think any group has harnessed this particular bit of genius either.

Speaking of baseball, this song has been a topic of discussion on a sports blog that I follow. So thanks to Joe Posnanski, whom I have never met or corresponded with, for the (sort of) recommendation, although he seems to think this song is just bad and not in any way awesome. I respectfully disagree.

Judge for yourself!

Josie's on a vacation far away / Come around and talk it over

I don't know whether to address my comments to lead singer Tony Lewis or songwriter and guitarist John Spinks. I think I will choose the latter, because "Spinks" is kind of a funny name.

OK, here we go.

First of all, poor Josie, whoever she is. This whole song is about her husband/boyfriend/whatever cheating on her, and all she gets is this cursory mention at the beginning of the song. It sounds a little suspicious too.

Q: Hey, John Spinks, where's Josie?
A: Oh ... uh ... she's ... on a vacation ... far away! Yeah, that's the ticket.

You think he killed her? I think he might've killed her.

So many things that I wanna say / You know I like my girls a little bit older

Regardless of what happened to Josie, our old pal Spinksie isn't doing much better by this other woman. "I like my girls a little bit older"? Really? Of all of these myriad things that you're just dying to say, that's the first thing that comes out of your mouth? Sweet mercy.

I just wanna use your love tonight / I don't wanna lose your love tonight

And this is the second thing? Christ almighty, Spinkasaurus. You're really quite the charmer, aren't you? I'm starting to think Josie is on a "vacation" about as far away as she can possibly get from you. Or maybe she's imaginary. "Josie" sounds kind of like a fake name.

Really, though, aren't "I just wanna use your love" and "I don't wanna lose your love" two absolutely contradictory statements? Just because two lines rhyme doesn't mean you should write them back to back, Spinkbones.

I ain't got many friends left to talk to / No one's around when I'm in trouble

And why might that be? Let's all just sit around and ponder that one for a while.

You know I'd do anything for you / Stay the night but keep it undercover

I'd do anything for you. Except publicly acknowledge the fact that we have a relationship. Other than that, anything. Come on, baby, you can trust the Spinkmeister.

I just wanna use your love tonight / I don't wanna lose your love tonight


Trying to stop my hands from shakin' / Somethin' in my mind's not makin' sense / It's been a while since we were all alone / I can't hide the way I'm feelin'

Somethin' in your mind's not makin' sense? No fucking shit.

Hey, Tony Lewis really has a nice voice, doesn't he? He sounds a lot like Sting when he sings that last verse. Just wanted to mix a compliment in there.

As you leave me please would you close the door / And don't forget what I told you

Yeah. Good sex there. Now get out and close the door. And don't forget what I told you about keeping this secret. Otherwise you might end up like Josie. Capisce?

Just 'cause you're right - that don't mean I'm wrong

Fundamentally, this is true. But you are wrong, Spinks. Very wrong.

Another shoulder to cry upon


I just wanna use your love tonight / I don't wanna lose your love tonight

Am I being too harsh on John Spinks? Maybe this song is about a guy who's really conflicted. He doesn't know whether he wants this to be a one-night stand ("use your love") or whether he really has feelings for this woman ("don't wanna lose your love"). Maybe. I still think it's more likely that these lyrics were carelessly slapped together and chosen more for rhyme and meter than for coherence. I think only one person knows the real truth: Josie. And she's not talking.


  1. You know, The Outfield is a British band, but they were never really popular in their home country. Perhaps that's because they for some reason chose to embrace the U.S. national pastime rather than cricket or badminton or fox hunting or whatever other wacky and dandy-ish sports they play across the pond. (The band was originally called "The Baseball Boys," so I think "The Outfield" is clearly a baseball reference.)

  2. I have to question whether "Third Base" would be a good band name. Doesn't seem like the image most rock bands want to project. "WE ARE THIRD BASE"

  3. So MTV-era one-hit-wonder 3rd Bass doesn't count? I think they might deserve bonus points just for the pun, to be honest.

  4. That counts, but after careful deliberation, I have decided to award them no bonus points.

  5. Their original name was "The baseball boys" I think the song is not that weird more like he's in love with the girl he's trying to hook up with.

  6. "Josie's on a vacation far away, come around and talk it over" should be one of the best verses in the history of rock. I don't know, it just feels right.

  7. I don't think you are being harsh. I couldn't agree more. I thought it was just me, so I decided to do a Google search to see if anyone thought what I was thinking...It did me laugh to see it typed on my screen. Josie is either dead or at best on vaca. This dude is an unstable man whore. Snap! We will still enjoy the tune because he has a great view and the music is catchy enough to leave a print in our minds...

  8. Just reading this made me laugh and made my day. As mostly a Country DJ, I can think of a few Awesomely Bad Country Songs.