Reflector #4: The Go-Betweens – “No Reason To Cry”

Maybe “No Reasons To Cry” off Oceans Apart is not specifically about Lisbon, I might be stretching it here a bit.

“Reflector” is a series Atlas correspondent David Soares has undertaken to bring to your attention songs by non-Portuguese bands inspired — in many cases, rather mysteriously — by the westernmost European nation.

The career of this group from Brisbane, Australia started back in the late ‘70’s, they split up in 1989 but reformed for a second stint at the turn of the century. Maybe “No Reasons To Cry” off Oceans Apart –  the last LP before the passing of their co-founder Grant McLennan in 2006 – is not specifically about Lisbon, I might be stretching it here a bit (it will happen again). But the first verse goes:

For days we fought across the globe
You bit my tongue on a Lisbon Road
We staggered home to the black hotel
Blew our money at the wishing well
December sun didn’t make us sing
Wounds too deep to keep anything

One could argue they just needed the name of a city with two syllables to fit in that line, that would also be exotic enough. The truth is they played here a few times and had quite a large following. So much so that in the 80’s on a train journey from Lisbon to Porto between two gigs, they had the luxury to be accompanied by an unrequested (and probably unnecessary) bodyguard.

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