Song of the Day #1,327: ‘Dress Up in You’ – Belle & Sebastian

More than 1,300 songs into this Song of the Day project, I’m still occasionally surprised to discover something I haven’t posted on the blog.

Recently, today’s SOTD — a standout track from Belle & Sebastian’s 2006 album The Life Pursuit — popped up on my car stereo and brought the same smile to my face that it always does.

“This would make a good Song of the Day,” I thought to myself, then immediately assumed it had been one already.

But a search revealed that I’ve never blogged about ‘Dress Up in You.’ In fact, I’ve featured only 11 Belle & Sebastian songs on the blog in total, and none since April of 2011.

Considering how much I love Belle & Sebastian, those numbers are pretty anemic. Fewer than 1% of my blog entries have been dedicated to a band I consider among my very favorites. Contrast that to the 30 songs I’ve posted by R.E.M.

‘Dress Up in You’ is an elegant little song about jealousy in which Stuart Murdoch sings from the perspective of a woman who has been overshadowed by a rival she once outshone.

I love so many things about this song: the slow fade in, the plucky piano, the inquisitive bass, the phrase “you’re made of card.” But I especially love the horn solos at the middle and end. Nothing beats a horn solo in a pop song.

I’m the singer, I’m the singer in the band
You’re the loser, I won’t dismiss you out of hand
Cos you’ve got a beautiful face
It will take you places

You kept running
You’ve got money, you’ve got fame
Every morning I see your picture from the train
Now you’re an actress!
So says your resume
You’re made of card
You couldn’t act your way out of a paper bag

You got lucky, you ain’t talking to me now
Little Miss Plucky
Pluck your eyebrows for the crowd
Get on the airplane
You give me stomach pain
I wish that you were here
We would have had a lot to talk about

We had a deal there
We nearly signed it with our blood?
An understanding
I thought that you would keep your word
I’m disappointed
I’m aggravated
It’s a fault I have, I know
When things don’t go my way I have to

Blow up in the face of my rivals
I swear and I rant, I make quite an arrival
The men are surprised by the language
They act so discreet, they are hypocrites so fuck them too!

I always loved you
You always had a lot of style
I’d hate to see you on the pile
Of ‘nearly-made-it’s
You’ve got the essence, dear
If I could have a second skin
I’d probably dress up in you

You’re a star now, I am fixing people’s nails
I’m knitting jumpers, I’m working after hours
I’ve got a boyfriend
I’ve got a feeling that he’s seeing someone else
He always had thing for you as well

Blow in the face of my rivals
I swear and I rant, I make quite an arrival
The men are surprised by the language
They act so discreet, they are hypocrites, forget them
So fuck them too!

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,327: ‘Dress Up in You’ – Belle & Sebastian

  1. Dana says:

    Great song. I have consistently enjoyed the B&S songs you have featured and the ones that pop up from my inherited iPod collection.

    And you’re right–nothing beats a trumpet in a pop song–it’s one of my favorite instruments when used in this way. Best use of horns in a song? I’d go with “Shipbuilding,” although “Zanzibar” might give it a run for its money.

  2. Amy says:

    While this song deserves a comment, I have to first comment on the fact that you have kept this blog going so long. It is quite remarkable that you have featured over 1300 songs over the past several years. Some marriages don’t last that long!!
    This is a great song, and I agree with Dana that I often find myself enjoying their songs when I stumble upon them, though I never seek them out. There should be a way to create a giant Meet in Montauk playlist!

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