Love Me, Love Me Not: “Say You’ll Be There”

“You have to promise you won’t fall in love with me.”

– Jamie Sullivan in A Walk to Remember

At once desirous of affection but avoidant of its imperilments, the Spice Girls in “Say You’ll Be There” dichotomize romance into approaches that never coalesce into a harmonious whole.

Navigating a sporty (pun intended) cerulean Dodge Charger, the girls seek out male companionship largely lacking in the vast desert they have chosen to inhabit. They employ a man-finding satellite dish and thermal-imaging binoculars to capture traces of masculine presence while a bank of large, sun-reflecting panels signals the quintet’s location to would-be suitors. “I’ll give you everything, on this I swear,” they pledge to any chap within earshot. “Just promise you’ll always be there!”

However, when the ladies finally do chance upon a male specimen, their longing gives way to emotional self-preservation in the form of alter egos Katrina Highkick, Trixie Firecracker, Kung Fu Candy, Midnight Miss Suki, and Blazin’ Bad Zula. This fearsome five wield shooting stars, laser guns, boxing jabs, karate strikes, and a bondage fetish to emasculate any menace to the welfare of their hearts. “There is no need to say you love me,” they assert. “It would be better left unsaid.”

The incongruity in their courtship tactics results in an amorous life mirrored in the literal no-man’s-land that our heroines call home. Nonetheless, emboldened by their sisterhood and by their rallying cry of “Girl Power!”, Emma, Geri, Mel B., Mel C., and Victoria press forward in the pursuit of an elusive ideal between love and no love. We wish them the best.

From the album Spice

Written by Spice Girls, Eliot Kennedy, and Jon B.

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