The hangman and his noose

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This is the post where I gush about Shake Me Like a Monkey by Dave Matthews Band. I’d reviewed Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King for the Indian Express about a year ago. I loved the album from the moment I heard it, Shake Me, especially, got stuck in my head. I just can’t seem to get tired of it. Could it be the contradictions in the song? It’s about as intimate a thing as love and it’s got a big oomphy feel, with brass blaring and an exhilarating drum, not to mention Dave Matthew’s now tender, now lusty vocals. In my opinion – and I’ve reflected on this for a few months now – this is simply the perfect love song. It nails love and all its contradictions – it’s earthy and crass, but also soars above our dirty little world. Matthews asks his lover to shake him like a monkey and asks us if we know what it is to feel the light of love inside us. I don’t know of another person who has managed to say such crude and beautiful things in the same breath with such ease (except Marquez in Love in the Time of Cholera). It’s desperate and sublime and it’s, in the end, such a celebration. Listen to the song and you’ll know what I mean.

(The title of the post is a reference to a line in the song where Matthews lists all the things that go together. Ha.)

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