Friday, February 03, 2006

Oldies Analysis

Have you ever listened to a song and realized how odd the lyrics really are? This is especially true of songs that you’ve heard a million times and suddenly the actual lines stand out. For example, I was listening to Me First and the Gimme Gimmes today (if you’re not familiar they’re a punk band that as far as I can tell exclusively does covers. Many of their songs seem to be chosen only because it’s a song you wouldn’t expect a punk band to cover eg. Uptown Girl, Leaving on a Jetplane etc) and their rendition of My Boyfriend’s Back. Now realize that having a mindless job allows you to dwell for a long time on extremely trivial things. But here are some questions I came up with:

Where the freak did the boyfriend go? ‘Nam? On a mission? Is this one of those questionable college guy with high school girl relationships? Where does a boyfriend go for “such a long time?”

Why in the world would she describe him as “kind of big and awful strong?” If you’re threatening someone with a second-hand beating, why not say he’s big, or even REALLY big. But no, he’s kinda big.

I think she had been messing around with this other guy. What motivation would he have to spread rumors about her? Yes, it might seem like a safe brag to make, but I think she got tired of her kind of big boyfriend being gone for such a long time. What better formula for trouble than a mediocre boyfriend who’s absent for extended periods? She’s just going to get this other guy beat up because she’s an evil girl. She’s happily singing about another person getting a beating, so why not get some action and then watch the ensuing brawl. Pure evil.

Current song: "Simply Being Loved" BT

Ha, you thought it's be "My Boyfriend's Back." Sucker.


Amy-Alisa said...

I believe that in that era (or even this one for that matter)it was very common for high school girls to be dating a college man. They dated in high school but he was older and left. There's another guy that's interested in her, but she tells him that she has a boyfriend. He gets mad and continues to harass her. So, in steps said boyfriend, visiting from college and ready to defend her honor. Serves him right for being a jerk. Chris, you need to give musicians some creative license with wording. It has to fit in to the song. And I don't see anything wrond with describing him as such. She's warning the jerk to back off. He is kind of big and awful strong, so is my husband.

Emily said...

The "kinda big" is indicitive of the way women and girls are trained to hedge their boasts. I present a paper that I think is great, but I tell you it is "pretty good." I bring you a cake that is delicious but society will only allow me to say "I hope it is OK." You get the idea.