Pulp Countdown (1 WEEK!!!): Do You Remember The First Time?

Toronto – There are two things that make Pulp‘s His ‘n Hers a classic album: simplicity in storytelling and potent, nostalgic emotion. At its heart and soul, this record is about broken hearts in a rear-view mirror. Yet oddly, it’s not at all bitter, but really the opposite–whenever I listen to this album now, I’m struck by how perfect its memory of positive pain is. Listening to songs like Do You Remember The First Time? now, it’s hard not to longingly remember a time when I wasn’t entirely jaded by the idea of a relationship.

Romance is just better when you’re young.

Some folks may argue with me here, and I’m not saying you can’t fall in love at any advanced age. But no matter how hard one may try, it’ll never encapsulate the magic (or horror) of the first time. Not because it’s better or worse, but mainly because you’ve already jumped in the pool so to speak. The first time you swim, you remember it. A lot of things are like that by virtue of their novelty–first day of school, first job, first crush, first love/first unrequited love, certainly the first time you had sex, and so on and so forth.

We had briefly discussed the idea of “youth is wasted on the young” in last night’s podcast, and seeing as we’re all in the depths of our 30’s now, it all rings so true. So maybe that was the case for His-n-Her-era-Jarvis Cocker as well, who would’ve been exactly our age at the time he wrote and released “Do You Remember the First Time?” (likely 30 or 31).

Initial impressions of this song suggest that this is in reference to losing one’s virginity, but when you start listening to the lyrics (and this is really where the album makes the most impact), it becomes more vague. Maybe he’s talking about the first time he had sex with a woman he loved. Maybe he’s talking about the first time he nailed someone he thought he loved. Maybe he’s talking about being the “other man” in an on again-off again. Maybe he’s talking about being gay. The scenarios are endless, but the longing remains the same.

Everything is better when you look at it in hindsight, from far away.

Everything that is, with the exception of my first time. I was 17, shut my eyes, and hoped for the best. I’ll spare you the rest of the details, but I suppose that was TMI for most, anyway.


You say you’ve got to go home
cos he’s sitting on his own again this evening.
I know you’re gonna let him bore your pants off again.
Oh God, it’s half past eight, you’ll be late.

You say you’ve never been sure,
though it makes good sense for you to be together.
Still you bought a toy that can reach the places he never goes.
Oh, now it’s getting late.
He’s so straight.

Do you remember the first time?
I can’t remember a worse time.
But you know that we’ve changed so much since then, oh yeah,
we’ve grown. Now I don’t care what you’re doing,
no I don’t care if you screw him.
Just as long as you save a piece for me,
oh yeah

You say you’ve got to go home.
Well at least there’s someone there that you can talk to.
And you never have to face up to the night on your own.
Jesus, it must be great to be straight.

Do you remember the first time?
I can’t remember a worse time.
But you know that we’ve changed so much since then,
oh yeah, we’ve grown.
Now I don’t care what you’re doing,
no I don’t care if you screw him.
Just as long as you save a piece for me,
oh yeah

Be Sociable, Share!

Posted on by Allison in Primavera

About Allison

Crankypants.

Add a Comment

OpenID

Anonymous