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So I am finally getting around to my absolute favorite Brannan piece. More than any other this one speaks to me. First off, because of the title. Having been to Denmark and falling madly in love with that country, I was over the moon to find a song on Rob Me Blind when it was released that bore it as a title. I’ve got a thing for all things Scandinavian. Even married myself a man of real Viking descent – seriously – straight down the line from Blue Tooth himself (yes, he really existed, folks – he’s not just a piece of technology that we all swear by).
So yeah, when I watch Vikings on History Channel – it’s sort of a religion for me. My entire Fae Wars series stems from the Norse origins of the Fae. So yeah – Denmark. It was the first damned song I played when I bought the album on iTunes.
The romantic leanings in the opening verse grabbed me hard and refused to let go. The imagery was tight and emotive – deftly measured and realized.
Hey there, baby, have you got a light?
I’m not smoking, but I’m afraid I might
Have fallen down a dark carpal tunnel and landed in your kiss
And in the water from your big, brown eyes, I swam away from a quarter life crisis
I was listening to this song when the idea of Angels of Mercy really began to take form. Where Rob Me Blind was where Elliot was firmly rooted – having something that you aren’t sure will remain yours, Denmark was where I realized I could root Marco, my stalwart and true to his word jock boyfriend.
It was important for me to write this series with the premise in mind. I wanted to pose the question –
And it was important that Marco’s character was the strong one. The one who never wavers. He is the rock that Elliot will come to realize he must cling to if he wants to keep what Marco has become to him. But being the gay kid on campus who keeps to the shadows isn’t an easy thing to deal with when you’re dating the most prominent guy on campus. True enough, Brannan uses brown eyes in the verse and neither of my boys are but, I attributed it to literary license when it came to my story. The sentiment still rang true.
In fact, I buried elements from Denmark into the prose of my book whenever Marco was near Elliot. My way of keeping him rooted to the song.
You told me horror stories in room 426
Of wooden boys falling for girls made out of matchsticks
I shoulda strapped you to me with padlocks and glue
So I could spend the rest of my life wearing nothing but socks… and you
My boys are very sexual (as all teens are when left to themselves). I know I was all over the fucking map (literally) when I left my virginal days behind me. I was fairly insatiable about it. We were boys – we didn’t have to worry, like our straight counterparts, about pregnancies and the like – so we just had at it whenever the moment came up, so to speak. Marco and Elliot spend a fair amount of time having sex in the book. But I was careful to use it when it propelled the story forward, taking the boys deeper into the revelations of what being gay and pleasing another man meant for each other.
But it is in the chorus where Marco’s character truly comes to the fore. This is where my guy grounds himself. He even paraphrases Brannan’s line back to Elliot (even if he has no idea that Elliot is a fan of Brannan’s work – it just seemed the right thing to do. If I were a gay teen, I probably would be celeb crushing hard on Brannan myself. Hell, the hubby thinks I do now – well, not really but he teases me about it from time to time).
We got a lot of maybes to muddle through
But my emotional rabies are fixed on crashing through to you
Though governments and distance stand between us, well be fine
Cuz I’m gonna tear this world apart, baby, until you’re mine
This song is deeply moving, not only rhythmically – which Brannan expands his musicality greatly in this (and the other pieces on Rob Me Blind) piece. It has a drive that serves as the emotive undercurrent. The rhythm of the piece is what really helps sell the song (here we get Brannan’s acoustic version – which is deeply emotive and alluring all in it’s own right). I really fucking LOVE the shit out of this song.
And here we come to the next verse which, for me, is how Marco sees Elliot. Elliot is the magic of life to him. The boy moves about in his world and Marco can’t help but be spellbound. It happens from the first moment he spies him on campus – but all doesn’t prove to be an easy road to the love of his life. Elliot, being the out gay kid, has been taunted, teased and abused by jocks on campus. It’s just the way things work. Just when Marco thinks he can come to Elliot and profess his love he overhears what Elliot thinks of jocks in general. And more to the point, how Marco himself has become the poster child for everything bad about the jocks who have hurt him in the past – even if Marco has never said or done one malicious thing to him in the past. How could he? He’s been secretly in love with him the whole time.
You’ll be an artist, I’ll be your hands
Well go the farthest from our lives we can
I’ll swim the ocean, whisk you away
Til were in Denmark, you’ll hear me say
Love the last verse of this song. It holds every element that I imbued in my boys. Elliot is the artist, Marco is the hand who guides him. Marco keeps telling Elliot that once they’re free of their high school days, he’s gonna whisk Elliot far away from their small town life.
They just gotta get there first.
So yeah, Denmark. For me, my first novel, and the boys who inhabit it, we are all deeply rooted and grow from the lines of this song. Jay couldn’t have given me a greater gift than that – and it isn’t lost on me that it never was the point for him. He has his own story about the song – and now, I have mine.
Denmark – I fucking love the country, and now I’ve got an anthem – a theme song for the series. Thanks Mr. Brannan, I’ll always be in your debt.
Please check out his site with links for his upcoming shows. I am definitely a late comer to the Brannan bandwagon whenever he pulls through my city. But now that I am going this year, I am making it a goal never to miss when he swings through town. I hope you take advantage of the opportunity as well. Also be sure to check out his web store at the following link.