Love Machine by Girls Aloud
Photo by Hello I’m Nik 🇬🇧 on Unsplash
The theme of this week’s song, Love Machine by Girls Aloud, is the challenge of relationships. And whilst the song is about a man and a woman’s relationship, our reflection will focus on the fact that it can just as well be applied to how we live in a fractured, divided society.
Step One – Create the other. How do we ignite divisions in our relationships and society? We make other people different to us in how we think and talk about them:
Ladies you’re damn right, you can’t read a man’s mind. We’re living in two tribes and heading for war.
Step Two – Justify ourselves, not others. We begin to rationalise our own mistakes but when it comes to others, we expect more. Inequality in expectation:
Well nobody’s perfect … [but] … You gotta hang about in limbo for as long as I take, next time, read my mind and I’ll be good to you.
Step Three – Well, we’re worth it! If you want the best, you need to accept it comes with risks. Any of the difficulties we might display in our behaviours are not only rationalised away, but also worth putting up with:
We’re gift-wrapped, kitty-cats. We’re only turning into tigers when we gotta fight back.
The remedy – yet the song also offers us an alternative vision. How do we go beyond recognising our all too common problematic relationship defaults? The song suggests some easy to follow ideas:
- Come take my hand, understand that you can. We need to give other people permission to support us, be vulnerable.
- You’re my man, and I need you tonight. This means recognising we need to learn to trust other people as well as our own self-reliance.
- Come make my dreams. We may even need to allow ourselves to dream and envision a positive future with the other person.
- I need a squeeze a day. Welcome the other person’s positive affirmations when they meet your needs instead of turning them away.
- Searching for a language that the two of us can speak. Find a common ground which you both understand.
- Oh, it’s very new … this feeling’s very strange. Recognise that transforming our attitude to relationships with ‘the other’ might feel a little alien and uncomfortable, but that this is part of the journey.
Taken from the album: