‘Cause = Time’ by Broken Social Scene
From the album You Forgot it in People (2002)
I said many weeks ago when I started this series that I was counting down to an album turning ten. I may well have misled most of my readers as Broken Social Scene’s self-titled album was released ten years ago yesterday, however I never intended to feature a track from that album in this column, although every track on it is very much worth it. I felt as though I couldn’t talk about Broken Social Scene and not talk about ‘Cause = Time’ and the story of how I came to have Kevin Drew’s handwriting tattooed on my chest.
I’ve loved Broken Social Scene since 2004 and I really mean loved. For me there are only two bands that come close to BSS in terms of how dear I hold all of their work to myself; Queens of the Stone Age and Stars (I’d love to say Death Cab too but Codes and Keys, enough said). Every scrap of BSS material that I’ve heard over the years I’ve instantly loved, I even saw how the self-titled effort could have been perceived as divisive, there is more space in the songs compared to most of You Forgot it in People and would the band be so bold as to get a rapper to guest on one of the songs (the sublime ‘Windsurfing Nation’)? For me however, You Forgot it in People is the perfect album, from ‘Capture the Flag’ through ‘Looks Just Like the Sun’, ‘Anthems…’, ‘Cause = Time’, ‘I’m Still Your Fag’; all of it is sublime. You can drive to this album, you can angst out to it, sleep to it, fuck to it, dream with it. I could go on for hours and hours about the various intricacies of the album, but I like to try to keep my word count down to avoid boring people.
So, the song, the tattoo. For a really long time I obsessed over ‘Cause = Time’, combing over and over the lyrics and wondering if I could ever write anything as great (progress update: so far, no). It struck me that I’d want to get a tattoo of a Broken Social Scene lyric sooner or later and that it should probably come from this song. I regret every day that I was born a mere 47 days into 1990 so I would be unable to pull off ‘I’ve been alone since ‘89’, but the lyric that I went with, ‘this is the blood I love to share’, resonates a lot more with me than that very angsty first choice. Once I’d decided that this was a good idea I thought that I’d want a tattoo unique to myself, a very tough thing to do. I approached Kevin Drew after a show in Sheffield and asked him to write the lyrics in his handwriting, which he obliged. I had met Kevin before and have after this event and I have never told him about the tattoo, so my question to you is; is this weird? I’m of the opinion that I’m just an extreme case of fandom.
I’ve realised that I haven’t really spoken about the music this week but I couldn’t really contain my excitement into less than 500 words. The good news is that Stereogum did a brilliant article on the top 10 Broken Social Scene songs for pretty much the same reason why I wrote this, which you can read here.