Song of the Week: “Detectorists” by Johnny Flynn

This is the theme song for a BBC Four show called Detectorists, which is about two metal detectorists who are hoping to find the treasure of a lifetime in ploughed tracks and open fields. I haven’t watched the show, but it sounds delightful, especially if it involves traipsing about the countryside looking for treasure. I’m a country girl at heart and spent many summers of my childhood doing just that. Plus, I’m a big fan of British television.

Even though this is a theme song for a TV show, “Detectorists” sounds like it could have come from any of Johnny Flynn’s other albums. The guitar lick that runs throughout has got a folksy jaunt to it. The lyrics are whimsical and tender. “I need the call of the songbirds. They sang the wrong words. I’m waiting for you. I’m waiting for you.” Those lyrics are followed by a hummed and harmonized melody. It’s keening. It’s beautiful. The song finishes gently, and I find myself wanting more but not in an unfulfilled way—more of a nostalgic way. This is a sweet, earnest song. It’s a comfort to the ears.

By the way, Johnny Flynn also stars in his own BBC show called Scrotal Recall. It’s an attention-grabbing title, to say the least, but from what I’ve seen so far, it’s a funny show with a lot of heart and a lot of open-mindedness about sexuality and relationships. He also stars opposite Anne Hathaway in an upcoming movie called Song One. Keep an eye out for it in late January. A soundtrack should be released soon. Until then, it is my hearty recommendation that you listen to every single thing Johnny Flynn has ever recorded.

Here are the full lyrics in case you’re interested.

Will you search through the lonely earth for me?
Climb through the briar and bramble?
I’ll be your treasure.
I felt the touch of the kings and the breath of the wind.
I knew the call of all the song birds. They sang all the wrong words.
I’m waiting for you. I’m waiting for you.

Will you swim through the briny sea for me?
Roll along the ocean’s floor?
I’ll be your treasure.
I’m with the ghosts of the men who can never sing again.
There’s a place follow me, where a love lost at sea,
Is waiting for you. Is waiting for you.

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