Affirmation – Savage Garden (1999)


Affirmation is a song soaked with virtue signalling and moral exhibitionism, but to give credit where its due it was released long before these phrases became part of the popular vernacular. This Australian song by the pop duo Savage Garden hasn’t aged particularly well, but I was very fond of it when it came out. The single was most successful in the United Kingdom where it reached #8, becoming the duo’s fourth Top 10 hit. I remember it being played incessantly on the radio. When Savage Garden sung it at the closing ceremony of the 2000 Olympics ceremony in Sydney – I’m not gonna lie, I had goosebumps even if it was lip synced.

I believe the sun should never set upon an argument
I believe we place our happiness in other people’s hands
I believe that junk food tastes so good because it’s bad for you
I believe your parents did the best job they knew how to do
I believe that beauty magazines promote low self-esteem
I believe I’m loved when I’m completely by myself alone

From Wikipedia: Affirmation is the second and final studio album by Australian pop duo Savage Garden. The album was released on 9 November 1999 by Columbia Records. It won the 2000 ARIA Music Award for Highest Selling Album….”Affirmation” was released as the fourth single from their second studio album of the same name….
The lyrics are a series of statements each starting with “I believe”, for instance: “I believe in Karma, what you give is what you get returned” and “I believe you can’t appreciate real love until you’ve been burned”. Darren Hayes has a teaching degree in early education and may have been strongly influenced in structuring the song lyrics in such a manner; by John Dewey’s seminal text on education “My Pedagogic Creed”; which also starts a new statement with “I believe”.

Another song from lead singer Darren Hayes which will feature in the music project is his fantastic cover of fellow Australian Delta Goodrum’s Lost Without You. I can’t watch that performance of him at the Arias without getting all glassy-eyed especially when they close-in on Delta’s reaction at the end.

“The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.”- Michel Legrand

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Posted in Music
10 comments on “Affirmation – Savage Garden (1999)
  1. badfinger20 says:

    Good song! A friend of mine played me this song back years ago…the lyrics are not your run of mill lyrics.

    • Yeh, it ok and I admire how he puts himself out there. I like it considerably less than what I once did. That’s what a hefty dose of cynicism and mellowing with age will do to you. I like their ‘Crash and Burn’ a lot.

      • badfinger20 says:

        What intrigued me were the lyrics…you don’t see lyrics like that everyday. They were trying something different.
        I hear you…I’m there…I try not to be so cynical…but it takes trying.

      • Yes, I agree, you don’t see that kind of transparency everyday. How would you class it? It’s kind of secular liberal pop inspiration music lol. Their other big hit ‘crash and burn’ has this similar moral bastion theme coursing through it. Darren was obviously onto something cause it sold a shit load of records. I’m sure he’d never have to work again!

      • badfinger20 says:

        When I first heard it I thought ok a rock song…with a liberal theme…he does capture some spiritual feel…not spiritual but the feel of it.
        You classified it perfectly…moral bastion…I’ll remember that.

      • Yes, there is a spiritual feel. I say moral-bastion specifically because there is a strong moral-crusade connection (I’m saying this a bit tongue in cheek of course) between this (Affirmation) and ‘Crash and Burn’. He states in the latter:

        ‘When you feel all alone
        And the world has turned it’s back on you
        Give me a moment please to tame your wild wild heart
        I know you feel like the walls are closing in on you…
        Let me be the one you call
        If you jump I’ll break your fall
        Lift you up and fly away with you into the night’.

        I just saw another post about Affirmation where the author put to his readership, which of the proclamations do you not agree with and why as a way of pondering your own values. Unfortunately no one responded, but a great idea none the less.

      • badfinger20 says:

        I see what you are talking about.

        Some people would be afraid of saying what they don’t agree with…In this climate… If it’s a hot button issue. I’ve seen bloggers harrassed because of it…

      • I hadn’t considered that. Yeh perhaps. The guy just has 4 followers so I figured it was because of a lack of readership.

      • badfinger20 says:

        It very well could be readership… it’s sad that people would be afraid to post an opinion

      • Well I hope they wouldn’t be afraid to post an opinion. It could be more of a question of time people can afford to go down those rabbit holes. Haha

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