By Paul Kleynjan:
Two young Scotsmen once proclaimed they would walk 500 miles, then 500 more just to be men that will walk 1000 miles only to fall down at your door. Why? Catch a plane, arrive in good health and kiss your girl without the risk of heart failure. I’ve been teaching people to sing for seven years now and have been forced many a time to puzzle over the truth in song lyrics. Are they really telling the truth? Are their claims perhaps a little too strong?
Bill Withers once sang there ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone. I’m sorry Bill, but I think you’re wrong. Her proximity to you has no bearing on the movement of the Earth around the Sun. Even if she leaves at night, I’m pretty sure the sun will still come up in the morning. It’s not warm when she’s away. What if she is away in summer? What if you fill your room with heaters in winter? I’d say it goes beyond warm at that point Billy. I guess you could always invite Katy Perry for a hug, she has Sun-kissed skin that is so hot it’ll melt your Popsicle. Of course, if she is being truthful, you may find yourself suffering from a ghastly first or second degree burn.
These assertions in music have been around for a long time, each generation suffering from unrealistic expectations. In his youth, Michael Jackson once sang A,B,C, it’s easy as 1,2,3 and yet it is very rare to find someone who is comfortable doing algebra. Children would rush to school, excited to learn algebra under the assurance that it was but a simple exercise. It may have been easy for you, Micky, I don’t find it difficult myself, but surely the greater population disagree. I think you’ll find one is a number and one is a letter.
But it isn’t just the king of pop dispensing unobtainable truths. Can you imagine the extreme volume of deaths amongst the youth population when the legendary Beatles proclaimed all you need is love? Thousands of people giving up food, shelter, sleep and clothing because they thought love was the only true need in society. People were off their heads! And we all live in a yellow submarine? No, I’m sorry, we don’t!
Dean Martin sang everybody loves somebody sometime; I think maybe they don’t. Mental as anything asked if you leave me, can I come too? No, it defeats the purpose. Tears for Fears declared everybody wants to rule the world; I don’t think they do. I certainly don’t, what a nightmare. Mariah Carey: I can’t live if living is without you. I’m pretty sure you can Mariah. You’ve been in a few relationships now, and you seemed to have survived each one. Even Meatloaf claimed he would do anything for love, but I won’t do that. Well then you won’t do anything for love buddy. He also claims Two out of three ain’t bad. Is that true? I personally think it’s a raw deal. You get his want and need, but not his love! I wonder if Meatloaf got 66% in a Bachelor of Music. Was a credit just good enough?
Of course, you would think today’s generation would have learnt from their predecessors, but this could not be further from the truth. Pharrell Williams had a major hit as he told us that because he is happy, we should clap along like a room without a roof… umm… rooms can’t clap, even the ones that have a roof. Besides, if a room doesn’t have a roof and it rains, I’m sure he wouldn’t be too happy. But then again, how can we expect much from a guy who thinks he is a hot air balloon that can go to space? Even Adele has a fire starting in her heart. No Adele, you don’t. You’d be dead. Go to a doctor, it might just be heart burn. Unless her aggressor really has her heart inside his hand. In that case she was dating a serial killer, has been chopped to bits, and is singing to us from beyond the grave.
Now, I know what you’re thinking; “Paul, I think you’re being a bit pedantic, they’re just song lyrics.” In reply I must say, firstly you should commend me on my ability to read your mind, and secondly, play a few of your favourite songs and really listen to the words. Whether it’s Meghan Trainer putting all the right junk in all the right places (she obviously is a keen recycler) or Alicia Keys finding a girl that’s on fire (and singing about it rather than helping), I think you’ll find that we’ve been given unrealistic goals by the lyrical songbirds of music. How can these cryptic crooners get away with it? Well, because without them, music would be just plain boring.
IMAGE: David Miller