Talking Heads: “This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)”

Talking Heads: This Must Be the Place (Naïve Melody)

Stop Making Sense

“I don’t sing many love songs. The only one I do I sing to a lamp.”

— David Byrne

There’s a reason I picked the live, 1984 rendition of the final track of the Talking Heads’ fifth studio release Speaking in Tongues.

It’s better.

Better in the same way that girlfriends can be better, and in the same manner that it would be better if you would run far, far away.

David Byrne’s yelping is inarguably more visceral. Weymouth’s bass line, which penetrates the entirety of the piece, feels rawer, purer.

The quote above is lifted from a sort of pseudo-interview that is featured on the anniversary release edition of the Stop Making Sense DVD. And I don’t think anything truer could be said about the songs featured in the performance, or about Byrne’s discography in general.

For the most part, Byrne focuses on everyday things – civil servants, buildings, TV shows – stuff that simply does not require any understanding of the metaphysical. But “This Must Be the Place” is a different sort of beast.

You got light in your eyes

And you’re standing here beside me

I love the passing of time

 

The song is principally made up of several images – none of which particularly make sense in any logical sense. Images of home, images of things coming into being and consequently passing.

I’m just an animal, looking for a home

Share the same space for a minute or two

And you love me till my heart stops

Love me till I’m dead

 

This is  song about family, nostalgia, the shock of realizing you are alive, marriage, relationships, loneliness, and, most of all, about love.

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