"Yours and Mine" / Fountains of Wayne
If you've been paying attention, you should be a Fountains of Wayne fan by now. But just to seal the deal . . .
From Welcome Interstate Managers (2003)
Wistful, plangent, bittersweet -- here's a Fountains of Wayne song that hits all those notes at once.
It's a wisp of a song, only 1:02 minutes, a simple acoustic strum. It's not telling a story, it's not sketching in characters. It feels personal, and true. The setting is cocktail hour: "In about an hour the sunlight's gonna fade / And you and me will divvy up the wine / Like everything else here / Yours and mine." I picture white fluffy towels with those cutesy titles embroidered on them, a 1960s cliché of just-wedded domestic bliss.
The other verse switches to Sunday morning, and another cozy scene: "Picking up the paper / Coffee's been made / It's Book Review and Face the Nation time / Like everything else here / Yours and mine." I'm guessing these aren't suburbanites, but Manhattanites (picking up the Sunday Times from a newsstand, a Manhattan ritual).
Still . . . is it just me, or do I detect a shadow here? All this divvying up, the parceling out of whose stuff is whose, taking their separate sections of the paper. I'm flashing to one of the saddest songs ever written, the Kinks' "Property," in which a divorcing couple splits up their household goods. (I know that the FOW guys know this song; they're longtime Kinks fans.) Maybe this couple isn't there yet, but if their names are still chalked on everything in the apartment -- well, things could go south.
The song does start with a fading sunset, and listen to how Collingwood's vocal curls sadly downward on "yours and mine." (And spikes upward anxiously on "everything".)
I'd think I was reading too much into this if I didn't know that Adam Schlesinger and Chris Collingwood are such subtle songwriters, and such insightful storytellers. Would they really be content with a simple ditty about a happy couple? I'd love to know what you think, because I'm still up in the air.
And whichever way you read it -- it's a beautiful little song to close out the weekend. Shall we all pour a glass of wine and toast Fountains of Wayne?