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I Believe - Buzzcocks

Howard DeVoto was of course lead singer of Manchester punk band Buzzcocks before leaving to form Magazine in 1977. After that Pete Shelley, the band's main songwriter, took over the vocals. Sadly, Shelley died last Thursday and this is one of his best songs, demonstrating his high-paced punk musical sensibility and instinct for writing great pop songs, spiced with thoughtful lyrics that work on more than one level. This is the counter argument to John Lennon's "God", a list of things that people of all sorts claim they believe in, punctuated by Shelley's anguished scream:

"There is no love in this world anymore"

As the song progresses the beliefs get more romantic and believable and finally existential:

"......and I believe what I believe in Yes I believe in, I believe in I believe in the web of fate And I believe, I'm goin' to be late So I'll be leavin', what I believe in"

finishing on the one thing you DO know, where you are and what you are doing at that moment, which is the only thing you really can be sure of, even making a pun out of it with the self penned homophone "I'll be leavin' ". But then the Munch-like line is repeated again and again, each syllable shouted out separately and urgently as though yelling to someone who is on the other side of a giant abyss.

"There - is - no - love - in - this - world - any - more

There - is - no - love - in - this - world - any - more"

As the music fades, we can reflect that his despairing take on modern humanity is as striking an assertion as there is in punk.

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