Archive for Neil Tennant

It’s A Sin – Pet Shop Boys

Posted in Biographical, Music with tags , , , on January 31, 2021 by telescoper

I couldn’t resist posting this, given the impact of the TV series of the same name. If you’re following It’s A Sin you will find this track featured in Episode 4 which is set in 1987, when this track was released. Quite a lot of 80s synth-pop sounds rather dated to me nowadays but this doesn’t at all.

Rather than being directly about the AIDS crisis it’s really Neil Tennant‘s general reaction to his Catholic upbringing, hence the section of the Confiteor that you can hear from time to time:

Confiteor Deo omnipotenti vobis fratres quia peccavi nimis cogitatione, verbo, opere et omissione. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

Although I wasn’t brought up a Catholic – and have therefore never been very good at guilt – the lyrics still have an impact:

When I look back upon my life
it’s always with a sense of shame
I’ve always been the one to blame
For everything I long to do
no matter when or where or who
has one thing in common too

It’s a, it’s a, it’s a, it’s a sin
It’s a sin
Everything I’ve ever done
Everything I ever do
Every place I’ve ever been
Everywhere I’m going to
It’s a sin

In fact, Neil Tennant went to St Cuthbert’s Roman Catholic Grammar School, literally just yards from where I grew up in Benwell in Newcastle upon Tyne.  Given his age – he was born in 1954 – he would have been there while I was living in Benwell Village, though obviously we never met.

The video was directed by Derek Jarman who died from AIDS in 1994.