Whistle For the Choir

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Single cover.

Whistle For the Choir is a rock song by The Fratellis. It was originally released as track 4 on the album Costello Music on 2006-09-11, and was later released as a single on 2006-11-27, and later still on an iTunes EP. For most versions of the single, the B-side is Nina, although the blue vinyl b-side is Lay Down Easy.

The song was composed by Jon Fratelli, Barry Fratelli, and Mince Fratelli. On the album recording, Jon sings lead vocals and plays guitar, Barry plays steel guitar, and Mince plays drums and sings backup vocals.

After finding the Fratellis in an indie playlist, I sought out more of their work. Only Costello Music had been released so far, so I listened through the album and, while I initially focused on their more upbeat tracks, I kept enjoying this slower song. Eventually, the lyrics, with their more genuine version of a relationship, really grew on me and became my favorite song of the bunch. Musically, I love the basic instrument setup, and the steel guitar, especially before the final chorus. As for the lyrics, I love all the lines like, "If you're lonely, why'd you say your not lonely?" and "It's 4 in the morning, and I'm walking along, beside the ghost of every drinker here who has ever done wrong," as well as, "So if you're crazy, I don't care you amaze me." I also really like the use of asyndeton in the last verse, "You talk, I die, you smile, you laugh, I cry."

When I was younger, I thought the idea of guy pining after a woman who was out of his league was the height of romance. Later, I realized that parasocial relationships are actually very unhealthy and juvenile. This song has elements of parasocial ("I may be a beggar and you may be the queen.") as well as the manic pixie dream girl trope ("if you're crazy, I don't care you amaze me."), but I think there is more going on here than that. I view this song more as a, "we're both really screwed up, but we can see past all that and still adore one another."

Lyrics

Well it's a big big city and it's always the same.
Can never be too pretty, tell me your name.
Is it out of line if I was to be bold and say, "Would you be mine?"

Because I may be a beggar and you may be the queen.
I know I may be on a downer, I'm still ready to dream.
Though it's 3 o'clock, the time is just the time it takes for you to talk.

So if you're lonely, why'd you say you're not lonely?
Oh, you're a silly girl, I know, I heard it so,
It's just like you to come and go.
And know me, no you don't even know me.
You're so sweet to try, oh my, you caught my eye.
A girl like you's just irresistible.

Well it's a big big city and the lights are all out.
But it's much as I can do you know to figure you out.
And I must confess, my heart's in broken pieces,
And my head's a mess.
And it's 4 in the morning, and I'm walking along,
Beside the ghost of every drinker here who has ever done wrong.
And it's you, woo hoo,
That's got me going crazy for the things you do.

So if you're crazy, I don't care you amaze me.
But you're a stupid girl, oh me, oh my, you talk,
I die, you smile, you laugh, I cry.
And only, a girl like you could be lonely.
And it's a crying shame, if you would think the same.
A boy like me's just irresistible.

So if you're lonely, why'd you say you're not lonely?
Oh, you're a silly girl, I know I heard it so,
It's just like you to come and go.
And know me, no you don't even know me.
You're so sweet to try, oh my, you caught my eye.
A girl like you's just irresistible.

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