Comments 5

Put Me In Your Suitcase…

Let me help you pack
‘Cause you’re never coming back
No, you’re never coming back

Cook me in your breakfast
And put me on your plate
‘Cause you know I taste great
Yeah, you know I taste great

Devendra Banhart “At the Hop”

The first time I heard this song was on a mix tape that my friend made me. I was leaving Johannesburg and moving back to my hometown Durban. Paul was the Creative Director at the company I worked for – I always remember making fun of him. He was this 40-something, glasses-wearing, non-drinking, vegetarian that lived in hip Melville and listened to strange folk music. I always thought he was cool in an odd way and loved hanging with him, as friends.

At the time I was in my early twenties – young, a little self-obsessed, partying and definitely still eating meat.

Put me in your dry dream
Or put me in your wet
If you haven’t yet
No, if you haven’t yet

Light me with your candle
And watch the flames grow high
No, it doesn’t have to try
It doesn’t have to try

I never listened to that CD properly until years later. This was the first song on it. It was a CD full of little gems that spoke to my heart, even though I didn’t know who the artists were or the names of the songs.  The point is, I didn’t appreciate it at the time. In fact, I had no clue how he felt, no realisation whatsoever.

Put me in your blue skies
Or put me in your grey
There’s gotta be some way
There’s gotta be some way

Put me in your tongue tie
Make it hard to say
That you ain’t gonna stay
That you ain’t gonna stay

I heard this song again today on Spotify. And because I love it so much, I’ve been wondering for years who sang it… it was Devendra Banhart all along. It took me right back to that place, sitting in the art studio making fun of Paul with his packed veggie lunch. I wonder what he is up to today, I wonder if he’s happy, and has kids, and is still a weird hippie who lives in Melville.

Wrap me in your marrow
Stuff me in your bones
Sing a mending moan
A song to bring you home

All this has made me think… how many of these experiences happen to us every day, people who are in our lives and we don’t realise their value or impact. How present and perceptive are we really? And how strange is it that 10 years later I’d be sitting here listening to this very same song and thinking I’d love to be hanging with that quirky 40-something vegetarian.


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