Punkklassieker du jour: Our Wedding

Een van de leukste grappen uit de punkgeschiedenis staat op naam van Crass. De laatste track van Penis Envy, het feministische thema-album van de groep, is een suikerzoet liefdesliedje getiteld “Our Wedding”, een song die heel subtiel volledig gehakt maakt van alle conservatieve opvattingen over het huwelijk. Écht leuk werd het pas toen de band de song aanbood aan Loving, een tijdschrift gericht op het exploiteren van de gevoelens van jonge meisjes. Loving trapte met open ogen in de val en bood “Our Wedding” aan als gratis bijlage bij het tijdschrift. Toen de grap bekend werd, rolden er binnen de redactie koppen.

Drummer Penny Rimbaud schreef er later het volgende over:

We were recording an album called Penis Envy, the last track of which was “Lipstick On Your Penis” based on the old standard “Lipstick On Your Collar”. Penis Envy was fronted by the women of the band, it was a very feminist album and “Lipstick” was about the institution of marriage being little more than prostitution. Having recorded that track, we realised it would almost certainly lead to a copyright prosecution, so we decided to completely rewrite the lyrics. What we ended up with was so convincingly schmaltzy that we had the idea of trying to sell it to a teenage romance magazine called Loving. It was one of those magazines which feeds lies to young girls, sets them up with ludicrously impossible fantasies which they can’t follow, won’t follow and don’t follow. Magazines like that just create heartache, they remove young people from themselves, set them up to be knocked down.

Anyway, we called in at Loving‘s IPC offices as Creative Recordings and Sound Services (CRASS) and said “We’ve just made this recording and think it would be suitable for your publication.” They jumped at it, saying “It’s great, fantastic. We’re about to do a special brides [bribes] issue. How about us doing it as a free flexi?” Which is precisely what it became. They advertised it as “Our Wedding”— an “absolute must for your wedding day”. They’d bought it hook, line and stinker, but the lyrics were frightful, banal shit about the social fantasy of marriage, you know, things like never looking at other girls or guys once you’ve fallen for it. It was total rubbish, but they happily gave it away with their magazine. Now, what kind of loving is that? Shortly afterwards a friend in Fleet Street exposed the scam and The Star printed the glorious headline “Band of Hate’s Loving Message”. I think there were a few sackings at Loving magazine.

De tekst lezend vraag je je af hoe iemand in godsnaam in deze flauwekul kon trappen. Hier “Our Wedding” in al zijn weerzinwekkende, hilarische en suikerzoete glorie.

All I am I give to you
You’ll honor me, I’ll obey you
Rich or poor or come what may
We’ll forsake all other love
Just we two, one flesh, one blood
In the eyes of god
I am yours to have & hold
I’m giving you my lie….

Never look at anyone, anyone but me
Never look at anyone, I must be all you see
Listen to those wedding bells
Say goodbye to other girls
I’ll never be untrue my love
Don’t be untrue to me [repeats]