The Angry Corrie 9: Sep-Oct 1992
Mountaineering Melodies No. 7: Ben
Ben, you're always running here and there,
Michael Jackson: Ben, 1972
Ostensibly about a rat, we're able to exclusively reveal the androgynous, ethnically-confused one's most sugary early number is in fact a lament for the Scottish Highlands. The title gives the game away of course - although, if reissued, the more explicit modern Jackson would surely opt for 'Sgurr' or 'Stob' - even 'Bod'. Sorley MacLean insists on 'Beinn', but never mind him. The lyric itself isn't so clear, but the ben in question appears to be a not-quite-a-Munro such as the one discussed elsewhere on this very page. In bagger's terms these are quite evidently 'not wanted anywhere': in fact they're a bloody nuisance. There are also references to fellrunning - presaging Hugh Symonds? - and an unnamed bothy: 'a place to go'. Jacksonville perhaps? Other songs from Whacko's prepubescence embroider the hillwalking theme: 'Ain't no sunshine', 'We're almost there' - whilst of his later fixation with the leadsinger of the Supremes, one ought merely to ask: Diana Easter or Wester Ross? All that's missing is mention of the Disneyfreak's other favourite outdoor pursuit, rockclimbing. Perhaps he was just too young: only later would he release albums with such hinthint titles as Off the wall and Dangerous.