“Acquiesce”, Oasis


“Acquiesce” is one of my favorite Oasis songs.  It’s huge and booming and important.  When I first bought The Masterplan I would play this song repeatedly.  It’s hard to believe that it’s from a compilation album of B-sides.  But as it says in the liner notes, Noel and Liam “believe a B-side is no excuse not to care.”  It’s a really great song.


I don’t know what it is

that makes me feel alive

I don’t know how to wake

the things that sleep inside

I only wanna see the light

that shines behind your eyes


Yes.  This.  “Acquiesce” was originally recorded in 1995 as the B-side to “Some Might Say,” but I had not heard it until the 1998 compilation The Masterplan was released.  The first few words of  “Morning Glory” and the brief strums of the guitar at the beginning gave me everything I needed to know that this was going to be an amazing fucking song. 


It’s a very Liam song, from the moment he starts to sing the first lyrics.  What I have always loved about his style is the way he enunciates the last syllable of the last word in every line.  And you can just imagine him singing this song, his hands behind his back like he’s being held captive, straining his neck upwards to barely reach the mike, just being an incredible performer and not giving a fuck.  I also love that Noel sings the shit out of the chorus, his powerful voice (much more powerful than Liam’s) carrying the word believe for miles above our heads, the audience feeling the energy in his spirit and worshiping his lyrical prowess.  I feel like Liam and Noel are singing to each other, sort of a call-and-response thing.  This is a song meant to be played to a stadium crowd.  And you should never listen to it on an iPod.  Not even once.  It loses something; its hugeness is missing when you play it on such a tiny instrument.  Good music is always lost when you minimize it like that. 


The first stanza of lyrics could not have been more poignant or necessary for me in 1998.  My best friend and I had broken up a year earlier, and I was really trying to figure out my shit.  I had a new BFF and was out and about every night with the gays, waving my titties all over town.  And I had a lot of fun!  My new BFF was, thankfully, very much unlike the previous one.  He was not possessive or pushy or stifling in any way.  We were not codependent.  I could breathe.  And I sure the hell let loose whenever and wherever I wanted!  I was trying to figure out what it meant to be alive, but now I was doing it through experience instead of reading about it in books or watching movies.


“Acquiesce” is about friendship.  I always thought it was specifically about the Brothers Gallagher, but they have denied this.  I still think it has something to do with them, but whatever.  It’s an excellent piece of music and lyrically brilliant, and I could relate to it in a lot of ways back then.  And now that I am 40, it still matters to me, perhaps even more.


Because we need each other

 We believe in one another

And I know we’re going to uncover

what’s sleepin’ in our soul

‘Cause we need each other

We believe in one another

And I know we’re going to uncover

What’s sleepin’ in our soul

What’s sleepin’ in our soul

What’s sleepin’ in our soul

What’s sleepin’ in our soul


I have always been searching for something.  All of us are seekers in some way, but I don’t know that all of us really understand that, recognize it, and live in that state of discomfort and uncertainty and anxiety while they move through this world and find themselves.  I am always aware of it, though I did get sort of lost for a while when I was going through all the shit that happened after my best friend and I stopped talking in 1997.  Throughout our three-year friendship he and I had many, many deep conversations about our boredom, our desire to do more with our lives.  We never actually tried doing anything more—well, I wrote a lot, since I always knew that was what would eventually get me through, and I have to say that I wrote pretty much every day back then.  Once he and I were no longer friends I shifted gears and became more of a party girl.  I didn’t stop writing.  But eventually, the nightlife took hold of my soul and the pursuit of my dreams was kind of put away for a long while.  I still had those dreams, but I did not do much to achieve them.  I was just L-I-V-I-N, as Wooderson in Dazed and Confused so Zenfully proclaimed.


My ex-BFF was my soul mate, I thought.  Without him, what could I do with myself that would have any meaning?  My new BFF was far more awesome in every way, of course, but for three years I had planned my whole existence around being best friends with the other guy for the rest of my life!  Now I had to change course completely. 


I hope that I can say

the things I wish I’d said

To sing my soul to sleep

and take me back to bed

You want to be alone

when we could feel alive instead


Whenever a relationship ends we think of all the things we could have said to change things, save the relationship, or get out of it sooner.  I didn’t stay BFF-less for long, as the new friend I found and I had met through the other one, and we clicked right away.  When the new BFF and I started hanging out it was really refreshing and relaxing.  I never had to worry about what he would say or if he would just shit on one of my ideas because he didn’t want to go along with it.  He was awesome!  I rarely saw my ex-BFF when my new friend and I went out, so I didn’t really have to deal with any awkwardness.  He did call me about a year and a half after we stopped talking, and though I was angry at first we talked for almost five hours.  But I did say all the things I wished I had said before. 


There are many things

that I would like to know

And there are many places

that I wish to go

But everything’s dependin’

On the way the wind may blow


Who doesn’t feel like that?  I love learning.  I’d stay in school forever if I didn’t have to worry about paying for it and having job.  I’d love to just keep earning degree after degree after degree.  I’d love to take cooking classes and art classes for fun.  I’d love to travel all around the world, experiencing different cultures and foods and traditions.  I’d love to learn a bunch of languages.   But you need time and money to do all of these things.  And I have little of either right now.  I’m staying optimistic.  And that’s always the lesson I get from Oasis’ music.  Fuck this shit and carry on!

2 thoughts on ““Acquiesce”, Oasis

  1. Pingback: Love Letter to Noel Gallagher | What I Like Is Sounds

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