33 years ago this week, back in 1984, “Careless Whisper” by George Michael was #1 in the UK Charts. The chart featured in Paul Gambaccini’s “Pick of the Pops” on BBC Radio 2 last Saturday. You probably know the song already. It contains the lines, “I’m never gonna dance again / Guilty feet have got no rhythm”. Do you have an opinion about that couplet? I have never had strong feelings about it but I have seen it praised and criticized with equal vehemence.
More than once I have heard people getting animated about the idea of guilty feet. “Guilty feet? What have his feet got to feel guilty about?” That sort of thing. On the other hand, many years after the single came out there was a piece about George Michael in a weekend paper in which the journalist singled out the line as one of the best that had ever been written about remorse for cheating on a loved one. That piece was in print, long before we read news stories on screens, and I have no way of tracking it down, no way of checking who wrote it. It could have been in the Independent or Independent on Sunday (when they were still printed), the Guardian or the Observer. The enthusiasm with which the journalist viewed the idea of guilty feet certainly surprised me.
There are plenty of lyrics that annoy me, especially those written by One Particular Artist who has been very popular in recent years. I’ll happily tell you about them over a drink or two but this Blog is not intended as a platform for ranting and raving. And sometimes you don’t feel strongly one way or the other about a lyric. Guilty feet? Whatever.