"Digging Your Scene" as written by and Robert Howard....
I just got your message baby
So sad to see you fade away
What in the world is this feeling
To catch a breath and leave me reeling
It'll get you in the end, its god's revenge

Oh I know I should come clean
But I prefer to deceive
Everyday I walk alone
And pray that god won't see me
(I know its wrong, I know its wrong)

Tell me why is it I'm digging your scene
I know I'll die baby

They put you in a home to fill in
But I wouldn't call that living
I'm like a boy among men
I'd like a permanent friend
(I'd like to think that I was just myself again)

Why is it I'm digging your scene
I know I'll die baby

I just got your message baby
So sad to see you fade away
I'm like a boy among men
I'd like a permanent friend
I'd like to think that I was just myself again

Why is it I'm digging your scene
I know I'll die baby

Oh come on baby
Come on angel


Lyrics submitted by stegzy, edited by heatherfer

Digging Your Scene song meanings
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  • +3
    General CommentI had to come revisit this single. It's that good. It's a truly excellent song guaranteed to take you back to the Greighties the minute you hear it. The moment it starts, I'm back in Sherman Oaks again, a Valley Girl teenager in fingerless lace gloves, Goth clothes, mousse gel, and pale makeup. A closer look at why this song is about HIV, consequences, denial, and shame...

    "I just got your message, baby
    So sad to see you fade away"

    If you grew up during the 1980s, and had gay male friends, this lyric is infamous and instantly clear, and hits you squarely in the face. Back in the 1980s, AIDS arrived seemingly suddenly out of nowhere, and your gay guy friends started falling extremely sick, very quickly. When HIV struck, back then, it was a death sentence. Everybody dreaded receiving (a) the terrible diagnosis of this mystery "cancer" causing sores, lesions, and the total crash of the immune system, or (b) that horrible phone call from your friend learning he "had it".

    Word of this mystery cancer swept through the nightclubs like a cyclone and immense fear hit right behind it. It was like a new Katrina every week. The Blowmonkeys allude to it:

    "What in the world is this feeling?
    To catch a breath and leave me reeling?"

    And then the most chilling line of the song:

    "It'll get you in the end.
    It's God's Revenge."

    Like now, homophobes in the Eighties liked to call AIDS "God's revenge" and quoted Leviticus and Romans freely to back it up. Gay men everywhere who were religious or once had been wondered openly out loud if indeed the Christians were correct, and this dreadful "superbug from the gay clubs that nothing can kill" - as William Burroughs called it, predicting the arise of AIDS decades before it arrived or had even been heard of, in his book "Naked Lunch" - was some terrible divine instrument of justice.

    "Oh I know I should come clean
    But I prefer to deceive"

    This is our lead singer shamefully admitting his conscience is driving him to come out in the open, instead of sleep bareback with men without telling them he, too, may have the virus, to come out openly as a gay man instead of pretending to be straight, and to at least go get tested. Instead, out of fear, he "prefers to deceive". This lyric requires no explanation.

    In the lead-up to the chorus, he cries, "I know it's wrong. I KNOW it's wrong."

    Then the chorus arrives, and he asks Gayness itself "why" he is "digging" its "scene". Classiest, most soulful musical way of asking oneself why they are gay I think there has ever been. "Why am I digging your scene?" he asks his orientation aloud. Because, as being gay and male in the 80s promised for a while, he knows the end result may be "I know I'll die." With this fatalist shrug, the song goes on.

    The singer then resumes his conversation with his dying friend (or, I suspect, doomed former lover):

    "They put you in a home to fill in..."

    This is a description of the AIDS hospices beginning to pop up around Britain in the early to late Eighties. The singer's poor former partner is so close to death - as happened quickly from AIDS in that decade - he has been placed in a home to wait for death, which the Brits called "filling in". However, the defiant young man of our song notes,

    "Oh, but I wouldn't call that living..." Because it's not. To lie in a bed hooked to machines, your skin patterning with mottled sores and wounds, catching every form of pneumonia that passes, unable to rally any strength to fight off even the common cold? For a vibrant young gay man, that is CERTAINLY not "living".

    The vocalist considers his life:

    "I'm like a boy among men
    I'd like a permanent friend"

    Which is kind of the unspoken motto of many gay men who frequented the clubs and dating services of that era (and arguably today): many view themselves, even to advanced age, as still "a boy", and desirous of being around "men" -- and like all of us, the search for love is only the innocent hope to find "a permanent friend". So here, he's citing his loneliness - and that's what drives him to stay downlow, as the first verse of this song found him - and not report who he is and how he loves... or love more carefully, getting tested and using protection.

    Then, finally, in probably the saddest lyric of the song, he says,

    "I'd like to think I was just 'myself' again."

    If you insert the quotation marks around "myself", the lyric becomes poignantly haunting. It's a wish to be the boy he was before his sexuality emerged, to be straight and, therefore (falsely), perceived "safe" from this terrible disease tearing holes in the fabric of gay civilization and threatening to kill everyone in its wake simply for wanting to be loved.

    The song repeats the first verse and chorus, then fades. We're left at the end with the haunting line, "I KNOW I'll die."

    Such a sad, sad song for such an uptempo, bright setting. With its Marvin Gaye instrumentation and gorgeous "sunset at the end of the perfect day" sevenths, "Digging Your Scene" poses on surface as a kicked-back, sultry, devil may care slice of Northern Soul. But a closer look betrays darkness, mortality and epic fear at the core.

    One of the best, most underrated singles, of the Eighties IMHO. Classic British new wave soul.
    heatherferon December 28, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIn my opinion, this song is rather shockingly about a young man who does not want to come to terms with his homosexuality, is self-loathing, and thinks being gay will result in contracting HIV. There's numerous places in the lyrics pointing to it. "God's revenge", anyone?

    The thing is, though, this is an incredibly f-ing awesome song, and in fact I'm going over to Amazon to buy the mp3 as in right now.
    heatherferon December 25, 2012   Link

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