Simon Norman

If James Blunt sung love songs in Antarctica and no one witnessed it, can we hope that he died? Yes, says SIMON NORMAN.

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The majority of you will have probably come across this week’s question many times before: if James Blunt sung love songs in Antarctica and no one witnessed it, can we hope that he died?

God, I hope so. James Blunt is almost certainly one of the contributing factors to the break up with my first girlfriend (the other major factor is Ben Pickup, who I know is reading this and who needs to know I’m still bitter). It’s not so much James Blunt as a person who I despise; he simply exemplifies the failures of modern music to provide naive teenagers with a realistic expectation of love.

At 15 I wasn’t much of a lothario, and I doubt anyone would disagree if I admitted inadequacy in this department five year later. Much of my knowledge of how relationships worked came from romcoms, and more importantly pop music. I was not well-equipped to deal with women.

As it was, after couple of what could charitably be called dates – some group trips to the cinema and a memorable evening on the sofa upstairs (she’d eaten scampi, and you could tell) – I went away for half term, only to return to the dreaded: “It’s not you, it’s me,” line. Specifically, it was her and Ben Pickup, but who’s keeping score?

In hindsight, it was a fittingly tragic end to a relationship I’d only ever been half into – but pop music hadn’t yet taught me how to deal with a break up. The closest thing I’d ever heard is the N*SYNC track Bye Bye Bye, but that was always more about the dance moves than any lyrical profoundness.

And so we return to James Blunt. Much has been said about how his guitar was strapped to the front of a tank in Kosovo. Or how he is quite possibly the poshest man in the world. Yet we cannot ever forget how utterly awful You’re Beautiful is as a song. It’s a song that is so linked to the aforementioned failed relationship that I can’t listen to it without laughing. It was “our song” for a summer, after I’d mistakenly thought it would be a great karaoke song at a friend’s birthday party.

That’s a summer of my life that I will never get back musically. I feel dirty even admitting to this. And so, yes: if James Blunt sang love songs in Antarctica and no one witnessed it, we can hope that he died.