Anglo For Your Ear: Take That’s “Babe”

On the list of Take That ballads, this 1993 single ranks right below “Patience” and “Back For Good.” The harmonies are tight and skilled here, and while singer Mark Owen doesn’t have the chops of Gary Barlow or Robbie Williams, but his almost spoken vocals work well for the track’s narrative. The song tells a story of a young man returning to his hometown in hopes of reuniting with an old flame. However, his former love’s family orders him to keep his distance. Owen finally tracks his girl and, in the bridge, makes the shocking discovery: “Just as I looked away, I saw a face behind you/A little boy stood at your door/And as I looked again, I saw his face was shining/He had my eyes, he had my smile.” Every rock star’s worst nightmare, I’m sure.

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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