The Fruit Of Another

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For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are. – Hebrews 4:15

Squeeze, not nearly as big here in the states as in the U.K., was headed by the latest songwriting duo of the late 70’s/early 80’s to wear the “next Lennon & McCartney” moniker. The driving forces behind the band were Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook; in this case with an album (East Side Story) produced by Elvis Costello (EC also sings background vocals on the track) and powered by the ever-soulful Paul Carrack (Ace-“How Long”, Mike & The Mechanics-“The Living Years” and his own “Don’t Shed A Tear”) standing in on lead vocals.

“Tempted” was their breakthrough hit in the U.S. and, according to Difford, was written during a cab ride on the way to the Heathrow Airport to go on tour. As Chris explains “I was obviously envisioning a good time on the tour, as the (song’s) chorus suggests.”

And they just kept on squeezing out super sweet, superbly crafted, hook-laden grooves for a decade. This one, in particular just has that low, funky groove you just can’t help but sing along to. It’s the bass line, the punctuated percussion, and then Paul’s vocal melody inserted in perfect time. Just like a sweet temptation always seems to come along at just the perfect time.

And why not, certainly we’ve all had our temptations in life. No one can resist them all. Except one…and we all know who that was.

I bought a toothbrush, some toothpaste

A flannel for my face
Pajamas, a hairbrush
New shoes and a case
I said to my reflection
Let’s get out of this place

And oftentimes when we’ve succumbed to that temptation, that’s what we all want to do: run. Put on our best Forrest Gump imitation and boogie. But we really can’t…its always there, no matter where we go; haunting us.

Passed the church and the steeple

The laundry on the hill
Billboards and the buildings
Memories of it still
Keep calling and calling
But forget it all, I know I will

The mind will try to convince itself that we’re going to put this all behind us. Sure we will.  Just put a little space and time between us, and you’ll see.

Tempted by the fruit of another
Tempted but the truth is discovered
What’s been going on, now that you have gone

Nothing new here. The truth will out. And then the game is lost.

Alarmed by the seduction, I wish that it would stop

It’s like we’re traveling down this long road and we can see it stretching out ahead of us for miles and miles. And we know that it’s going to happen again. We can see it looming there on the horizon. And we wish that it would stop, but at the same time we eagerly await the next time. We are helpless. The car doors are locked and we can’t get out.

I bought a novel, some perfume

A fortune all for you
But it’s not my conscience
That hates to be untrue
I asked of my reflection
Tell me what is there to do

No matter what the mind commands, the body fails to obey. And, you can’t cover it up or make good with gifts or sweets. What’s done is done.

Yes, it’s tragic. But there is hope. Even though Jesus never gave in to earthly temptations, He understands the human condition, all our frailties and failings, and holds out His hand anyway. His is a love many times scorned, but offered unconditionally.

As The Boss once sang:

They say Eve tempted Adam with an apple, but man I ain’t going for that. I know it was a pink Cadillac…

So, jump on in and climb in the back. Because the road to temptation…well, it goes on forever.

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