Being Boring

Album: Behaviour (1990)
Charted: 20
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • Neil Tennant was interviewed on British TV's The South Bank Show in October 1991 where he talked about this song: "A lot of songs come about personal experience. The song 'Being Boring,' which I think is one of our best songs... I was reminded of a party we had when I was living in Newcastle as a teenager, and it quoted the Zelda Fitzgerald quote: 'She was never bored mainly because she was never boring.' A very good friend of my from that era, my best friend really, had died of AIDS. So it was a kind of an elegy for him, for the part of myself in Newcastle, all my friends in Newcastle when I went to London, then what I was doing then and he wasn't there. And so it became a really elegiac song."
  • The double CD About (The Pet Shop Boys) containing a BBC Radio 1 documentary about the duo had the following commentary on "Being Boring":

    Neil Tennant: "This was just the period where Kylie Minogue made her best records, you know, like 'Better The Devil You Know.' To me, actually 'Being Boring' was also an attempt to do a Stock-Aitken-Waterman thing, believe it or not. We were always fascinated about the way Stock-Aitken-Waterman would change key for choruses. And so to be musical about it, the verse of 'Being Boring' was in A minor or D minor, maybe, after we went up a semitone into A flat for the chorus. Which we would never have done before. It wasn't an attempt to be mature, it was actually an attempt to be like Stock-Aitken-Waterman.

    Maybe one reason the album being melancholy was my friend, Chris Dowell, dying as well. He died in 1989 and 'Being Boring' was kind of about him. I don't think he really cast the shadow on the whole album, maybe set a mood that we followed through.

    'Being Boring' was about three phrases of our life. The first verse is all my friends in Newcastle, and this friend of mine was one of them. It just described that what we and our aspirations were. And then the second verse I moved to London with an idea to go to Polytechnic. And it describes an excitement of that. And then the third verse is looking back at what's happened and I'm doing what I'm doing, and he's dead. I mean, it's quite simple. When you got your best friend you just know he'll always be around, and that not being the case."
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments: 2

  • Martin from London, United Kingdom7" edit - even at nearly 5 minutes it feels too tight, which I think partly explains its relatively ordinary chart positions.

    The 12" extended mix is, however, a sublime piece of work. The lyrics are touching and the instrumental section in the middle lifts it way above the 7" in my books.
  • Susan from AirdrieIn my opinion,this is their best song and best video ever. I think of it as an anthem to a time in my life, long past, but which was one of the happiest times. It's funny about Neil Tennant's comments because I feel that it's a wistful song; happy yet mournful at the same time.
see more comments

Laura NyroSongwriting Legends In Their Own Words

Laura Nyro talks about her complex, emotionally rich songwriting and how she supports women's culture through her art.

Tom Bailey of Thompson TwinsSongwriter Interviews

Tom stopped performing Thompson Twins songs in 1987, in part because of their personal nature: "Hold Me Now" came after an argument with his bandmate/girlfriend Alannah Currie.

Fire On The StageSong Writing

When you have a song called "Fire," it's tempting to set one - these guys did.

Dar WilliamsSongwriter Interviews

A popular contemporary folk singer, Williams still remembers the sticky note that changed her life in college.

Women Who RockSong Writing

Evelyn McDonnell, editor of the book Women Who Rock, on why the Supremes are just as important as Bob Dylan.

Jeff TrottSongwriter Interviews

Sheryl Crow's longtime songwriting partner/guitarist Jeff Trott reveals the stories behind many of the singer's hits, and what its like to be a producer for Leighton Meester and Max Gomez.