Thursday Thoughts – When the going gets tough…


…the tough go shopping, according to my sister at least. According to Billy Ocean the tough get going, which sounds very macho but doesn’t really make a lot of sense. In fact the whole song is a bit of lyrical conundrum. Consider the following verse:

I’m gonna get myself ‘cross the river
That’s the price I’m willing to pay
I’m gonna make you stand and deliver
And give me love in the old-fashion way

I mean, what?

And what does he mean by love in the old-fashion way? How old fashioned? Are we talking Sixties style drug induced haze? Or Victorian night dress and those hats with a tassel, like in a Dickens adaptation? Come on Billy, be specific!

When The Going Gets Tough was a big hit in 1985. At about this time the celebrated evangelist Billy Graham was touring the UK. I remember the following conversation between a couple of my friends, ┬álet’s call them Phil (serious, well meaning and softly spoken) and Roger (cheeky wide boy in a leather jacket).

Phil: I know it’s not your sort of thing, but I’m going to see Billy Graham next week and wondered if you’d like to come.

Roger: Dunno, how much is it?

Phil: It’s five pounds

Roger: Yeah, alright then.

Phil: Really?

Roger: Yeah, I mean he’s not my favourite singer, but a fiver’s dead cheap for a gig like that.

(awkward pause)