At my wedding last May, I insisted that the DJ play ‘You Are the Light (By Which I Travel into This and That)’ by Jens Lekman. It is, without question, one of the top five songs of the decade.
It’s about a man who gets arrested when his girlfriend asks him to vandalize a car belonging to her father. The narrator is taken into custody for a period of time, which he gets through by picturing the woman’s face and imagining their “melody being played on a grand piano.” He also rocks what could be the ultimate music-
nerd-in-love lyric of all time: “Yeah, I got busted, so I used my one phone call to dedicate a song to you on the radio.” The song is ridiculously upbeat, featuring a driving horn arrangement and a swinging, dramatic melody with an infectious chorus.
I imagined our guests dancing joyously, clapping their hands in unison, at once realizing that this was our ‘Last Dance’ or ‘Paradise by the Dashboard Lights’, that it made perfect sense for us on so many different levels. As it turned out, though, there was a lot of free booze and I only vaguely remember it being played at
all. If I’m not mistaken, my wife and I were outside smoking cigarettes with some friends, so I have no idea if the scene I imagined played out. I have my doubts, of course (and images of my relatives requesting ‘Last Dance’), but that doesn’t really matter, I guess.
Jens Lekman plays the Mercury Lounge on
Wednesday, July 19.