Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Love Song: Ur Doin It Rong.

So, at my last job they used to play a particular Lou Rawls song on the oldies station all the time (it is not, as I had previously thought, by Barry took me ten minutes of Googling to figure this out...I hope you appreciate my dedication).  The song starts like this:

You'll never find, as long as you live
Someone who loves you tender like I do
You'll never find, no matter where you search
Someone who cares about you the way I do
Whoa, I'm not braggin' on myself, baby
But I'm the one who loves you
And there's no one else, no-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh one else
 And the chorus goes:
Whoa, I'm not tryin' to make you stay, baby
But I know some how, some day, some way
You are (you're gonna miss my lovin')
You're gonna miss my lovin' (you're gonna miss my lovin')
You're gonna miss my lovin' (you're gonna miss my lovin')
You're gonna miss, you're gonna miss my lo-o-ove
The whole song is basically just the same sentiment of "I love you more than anyone else ever will" repeated in a few different ways.

At first I just accepted this as a love song because the Barry-White-ish production values clearly indicate that this is what it's supposed to be.  However, repeated listenings made the lyrics sink deep into my subconscious and I eventually realized that the song is actually a threat.  Lou Rawls may not have meant to be creepy, but the fact is he's flat-out telling his girlfriend that if she leaves him, she'll be alone and miserable for the rest of her life.  And even though this girl is breaking up with him - meaning either she doesn't love him or the relationship is dysfunctional - Lou is convinced that one day she'll look back on their loveless and/or broken relationship and miss it.

Lou.  Seriously.  Let's say this song is dedicated to a real woman and that you're the one who wrote it (I have no idea whether either of these things is true): would you really have wanted her to stay with you solely because she didn't think she could get anyone else?  Would you be all "Yay, the song worked!  She's back!" or might that victory feel just a tiny bit hollow?

Also: there are people out there who regularly tell their partner, "Nobody's ever gonna love you as much as I do, y'know."  Unfortunately, these tend to be the same people who regularly tell their partner, "I'm sorry I hit you, honey, but sometimes you just make me so mad."  You might be better off taking a whole different approach that isn't associated with manipulation and abuse.  Just putting that out there.

As long as we're on the subject of Love Songs With Unintentional Douchebaggery, let's talk about Lover, You Should've Come Over by Jeff Buckley.

Don't get me wrong, I love Jeff Buckley.  His voice is so beautiful and so plaintive that he could probably make me cry just by reading the damn phone book*.  Also, I think that Lover, You Should've Come Over is one of the best breakup songs of all time.  Except for this one little thing:
Lonely is the room, the bed is made
The open window lets the rain in
Burning in the corner is the only one
Who dreams he had you with him
[emphasis mine]
HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT, JEFF BUCKLEY?  Are you psychic, or are you literally the only person your ex-girlfriend has ever met?  Because if your ex comes into contact with other human beings, and if she has any redeeming qualities at all, chances are someone could have a little crush on her.  I fell for her, so clearly she is appealing in some way, right?

Unless you are in fact psychic.  Then I guess you do know that nobody is currently interested in your girlfriend.  Either way, though...what does that have to do with you missing her?  Do you think it takes away from your anguish if someone else misses her, too, or what?

Don't even get me started on the swirling morass of ick that is More Than Words by Extreme.  Seriously.  Has nobody else actually read the lyrics to that atrocity?

*I'm being facetious.  If I woke up to find Jeff Buckley reading aloud from my phone book, I'd most likely scream a whole lot.  He died in 1997.

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