Let me say from the get go that I have nothing against catchy pop songs. I like catchy pop songs. If, while dragging your soul along the DC Beltway on your way to work, you’ve looked at the car next to you and seen this blonde chick with big glasses wiggling around in the driver’s seat doing what seem to be rhythm forsaken Caucasian dance moves, that’s me. And as mainstream as it is for an admittedly hipster-esque girl like myself to admit, I’m jamming out to AT40 with Ryan Seacrest.
That said, I think sometimes I don’t listen to the music correctly. If I’m right, I think the point is to just enjoy the beats, dance, let the lyrics sink subtly into your brain like a good little ideological consumer, or whatever. It’s not opera; it doesn’t have to challenge your intellect. Here’s where I’m messing up. I listen to the lyrics. And I keep hearing the same ideas over and over. Ideas that, when you think about it, are often slightly incorrect.But before you get scared away by the idea of a blonde trying to think, let me explain what I’m talking about. Here are a couple lyrics from this week’s AT40 top ten songs:
“You are beautiful, like a dream come alive, incredible
A centerfold miracle, lyrical
You’ve saved my life again…
And it feels like I’ve been rescued
I’ve been set free”
-Selena Gomez, “Love You Like A Love Song”
“It was dark and I was over
Until you kissed my lips and you saved me
My hands, they’re strong
But my knees were far too weak
To stand in your arms
Without falling to your feet.”
-Adele, “Set Fire to the Rain”
and one more…
“I can’t win, I can’t reign
I will never win this game
Without you, without you…
I won’t run, I won’t fly
I will never make it by
Without you, without you”
-David Guetta, “Without You ft. Usher“
Since this is my first post (and you thought finally you’d found a blog that wasn’t obnoxiously self-referential), I won’t grab your ankles and drag behind you screaming my interpretations of the lyrics while you try desperately to shake me off and run away. However, since a little analysis never hurt anyone, and since you’ve obviously been so impressed by this post that you’re planning on subscribing and following my blog forever, I’ll give you a taste of what’s to come.
The common theme running through these songs is the ability of another person to save you/rescue you/turn you into a superhero. I actually wanted to call this post “Holy Macaroni! From the First Time We Had Sex Your Lovemaking Miraculously Changed the Entire Course of My Life and Prevented Any Bad Things From Ever Happening to Me in the Future!” but it conflicted with my goal of never coming across as a crazy person.
But let’s go back to the idea being hammered home in these songs. “You have problems in your life, but if you can find the right relationship/hook-up, the other person will take charge and fix you.” Ladies (and guys) what happened to having value apart from your relationship status? Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against love (or men, especially the bearded kind), but take a minute and think about what it would be like for someone to specifically ask you to spend the rest of your life fixing their problems and making sure they never feel sad or pointless. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure, being human, I would fail. Miserably.
I guess my point is that (Actually, I’m not guessing. I know what my point it, I’m just being modest so you trust me/love me/validate me/turn me into a superhero) putting that much pressure on another person, even if you claim you’re putting the pressure on your abstract conception of love, is dooming the relationship to failure. Adele certainly understood the doomed to failure, and I think she may even have an inkling that trusting in another human for your salvation is not just risky, but will let you down 100% of the time because people make mistakes, and most of us are too busy trying to keep ourselves afloat to carry/save/rescue/bestow superpowers on another person consistently for the rest of our lives.
“I set fire to the rain,
And I threw us into the flames
Where it felt something die
‘Cause I knew that that was the last time…”
But it’s a nice thought, so Hollywood can keep selling it.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, even on the rare occasions when love literally saves people, we always miss the point anyway.