Sarah Recommends: “The Things You Said” by Depeche Mode

I’ve been listening to Depeche Mode for thirty-one years. I didn’t plan on that. There is still a moody adolescent in me, swooning over dark romantic lyrics, a yearning for the thing I could never articulate as an eighth grader, when Music for the Masses was released. But if I couldn’t speak about the romanticism or the sex, I could speak about the lying and the betrayal found in this song. I remember I got the cassette for my birthday, and not soon afterwards going on a class field trip to Sturbridge Village. It was bitterly cold, and I don’t think I cared at all about what colonial life was like. What held my attention on the way home was Martin Gore’s voice in this song; so much that I rewound the tape three or four times.

I knew about being lied to, and about being vulnerable, only to regret it later. It was never a lesson I completely learned.

“They know my weaknesses (I never tried to hide them)”

A friend of mine on Facebook has been posting Depeche Mode videos lately; working up to when they play again. Today or yesterday she shared “Policy of Truth,” from Violator, and I said that an entire playlist could be compiled of their songs that speak to lying or betrayal. I don’t want this song to be so gorgeous. So haunting. So many 80s artifacts are flimsy or dated, and you want to pretend that they never touched you. This song is not that artifact.

(Song recommendation by Sarah Nichols)

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