‘These Words’, by Natasha Bedingfield, 2004, from the album Unwritten
I was 19 when ‘These Words’ came out and dominated C4 and commercial radio for a few weeks. It had a catchy up-tempo beat, great lyrics (about struggling with writer’s block in the studio), Bedingfield’s strong and passionate voice and a classic video. All these helped me to love it, but what makes me never tire of it is the memory of one of the funniest, and most embarrassing, episodes in my life.
My good mate Tommy and I were on our way out to Taylors Mistake, a beach/peninsula just outside of Christchurch, to go fishing. He had picked me up around midday in his car and, with the summer sun high in a cloudless sky, we wound the windows all the way down and turned the radio up to full volume. The Rasmus – ‘In The Shadows’. Usher – ‘Yeah’. OutKast – ‘Roses’. It was going to be a great day.
Then ‘These Words’ came on. Perhaps it was the heat, but we went a little crazy – not merely singing along, but singing along to each other, gesticulating and grinning widely as we pulled up to an intersection on Moorhouse Drive. With the car idling, we put everything we had into our performance, our voices striving to reach Natasha’s high pitch. The world around us dissolved as we lost ourselves in it.
Halfway through the chorus, as our voices reached a crescendo, I noticed that a car had pulled up next to us. I froze. Then Tommy looked, and he froze. It was FILLED with hot girls – five of them, all staring at us in disbelief… and laughing uproariously.
For those that don’t know the lyrics to ‘These Words’, the chorus – which we were singing at full volume, as we looked into each other’s eyes, when the girls pulled up – goes like this:
These words are my own, from my heart flow
I love you I love you I love you I love you
There’s no other way to better say
I love you
I love you
Of course we stopped singing. Then, after a few seconds of begging the lights to change, now, please now, we started laughing too. And every time I’ve heard the song since, I’ve remembered that moment of sheer panic, followed by the realisation of how hilarious and absurd we must have looked.
Tommy and I never saw those girls again, but we’ll always have ‘These Words’.
View the music video and hear the song by clicking here. Thank you, Tommy, for being a good sport and allowing me to announce this to the world.