Thursday, 4 April 2013

"The Riddle" all nonsense. Well of course it was

When I enjoy a morning coffee in Costas, they currently play quite a lot of 80s music in the background, and some of it is not bad. Whoever does the UK playlists for Costas and Starbucks evidently knows their stuff.

Today I found myself whistling along to Nik Kershaw's "The Riddle", and thinking about the nonsensical lyrics. A look at the video made me wince, and I decided the only honourable explanation was that he made up the lyrics with  tongue in cheek, and released it as such to see if people made anything of it. I was pleased that my research brought up this interview:

"My producer (Peter Collins) came over to my house just before we commenced recording on the second album to hear how I was getting on with the writing. He went away saying he thought it sounded great but didn't think I had the first single. Incensed by this, I went straight up to the spare room and got the chords and melody together for the Riddle. This must've taken all of twenty minutes. Knowing time was short before we started recording I jotted down some jibberish with the intention of writing the real lyric as we were recording it.

... we decided to stick with what we had. "Let's call it the Riddle", I thought. Then people would think it was actually about something. 

.. to make matters worse, the marketing and promotions people at MCA decided to make a competition out of it (without telling me). The response was unbelievable. We got sack loads of mail with elaborate and detailed analysis of the song. Line by line, word by word. Some were the size of small novels. Some even made sense!! People stopped me in the street to give me their thoughts and theories..

It all got a bit out of hand and, very quickly, passed the point at which I could come clean without pissing off a lot of people. In short, "The Riddle" is nonsense, rubbish, bollocks, the confused ramblings of an 80's popstar.

Please forgive me. I knew not what I did."

Nice tune though - I was initially attracted to it as having a similar melody line to Chris deBurgh's "Spaceman" song and (I may be the only person to make this link) with a version of "Stairway to Heaven" that I knew.