ROBERT FORSTER – “Baby Stones”

A friend of mine had just got dumped, and they were trying to write to their ex and say some stuff, they didn’t know exactly what because they didn’t know exactly what they felt: you can sympathise, I’m sure. And I wanted to tell them to quote Robert Forster – “Every man for the rest of your life will be less than me”. It would have been a dreadful idea and as it happens also true.

I don’t know what baby stones are: I like to think it’s something to do with the way Forster sounds like he’s playing hopscotch at points in the verses, turning words into lines then running new words together into one: “The old men who sit on / Tree / Stumps / Know / Iamanunfortunateman”. You can’t write it down properly but it works when he sings it: he sounds weatherbeaten. He sounds like he’s been round the block once too often and knows a little too much, but not so much that he’s not surprised when his lover tells him she wants to see other people. This song’s his reply – it swings between reasonable and proud. I think that’s realistic – let’s hope I don’t find out if I’m right.

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