Song of the Day, May 21: Under the Mask of Happiness by Graham Parker

ParkerMaskToday’s song is Under the Mask of Happiness by Graham Parker. By the time he recorded The Mona Lisa’s Sister, Parker had started strong, worked with an amazing backing band, then lost and found his way a few times, all the while fighting with label after label. He finally found his groove again, turning out a career high point. One of the best songs on the disc, Under the Mask is classic Parker with a clean new edge. He dissects happy relationships with almost giddy abandon, looking at the ways we wear ourselves out pretending that everything is fine.

Look at them walking look at them kiss
What a picture of domestic bliss
Laughing and laughing like clockwork toys
Until they’re broken girls and boys

Smart, biting, precise, and accurate, it would be painful indeed if there weren’t a strong thread of compassion woven into his delivery. It’s a great song, powerfully delivered.

Enjoy this bit of dark romantic commentary today.


About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

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