(All text in italics by Jarvis Cocker, from the song ‘Sheffield: Sex City’)
My first autumn,tears on my cheeks.
It’s way past bedtime, the moon hung low,
the air sick and heavy with that end of summer feeling.
Why is it so hot? On the cathedral green,
the three of us made great plans to grow up.
He wanted more so he said, “Can I kiss you?
Can I kiss you properly?” Twirling
around my bedroom to ‘Wuthering Heights.’
Ten o’clock on Tuesday evening. He has a drink
and tries to hold my hand, thinks he’s the one.
Who needs this shit anyway? I leave and scatter
his heart across the east midlands railway line.
Oh babe. Oh I’m sorry. His words come to me
in the middle of the night, hazy and desperate.
I don’t know why you bother, really.
More than a year between us now
and he never stopped. Get it together.
I wandered the streets the whole night crying,
but I did get over it, though the lights still remind me,
the sound of the train, the winter, the flats.
We got it together tonight. We made it. Cheap vodka,
a sticky dance floor & your eyes & your necklace,
& your mouth around a cigarette. I kept thinking
of you and almost walking into lampposts.
The Sheffield rain piercing the puddles on the
pavement. My head spinning. Calling your name
in the rain. The lights jazz danced across
your ceiling. The world is going on outside.
On your record player Morrissey crooned:
“Maybe in the next world.” When it was over
we went outside and I thought, “the city’s out to get me.”
The rain had finally stopped. On a hilltop at 4am,
beneath the lights of the I love you bridge,
we sat, reading the words over and over
‘til the sky painted itself grey with dawn.
We moved through there like ghosts in a place
filled with ghosts. A million twinkling yellow
streetlights. We finally made it. She never married him,
you know, but I’m still rubbing up against walls,
making love to the idea of a love that will last.
The city knows all our secrets.
Like when he first touched me and whispered,
“The whole city is your jewellery box”, but I am always
romanticising someone else’s tragedy, gliding,
like a sleepwalker, through a life I have never lived.
But it’s ok now, we got it together we made it.
We really did this time.