Because I’m a contrary sort, I listen to breakup love songs when I’m in a really good mood. Luckily for me, I discovered an unmarked mix cd I made a year or two ago. When I played it in the car, I realized that it was the most awesome collection of 10 minute love songs by men who had presumably done wrong.
I looked like a fool as I wailed my way from Holyoke to Amherst. The windows were shut tight, but I’m almost certain that others heard me yelling “oh oh oh, oh oh oh oh oh” right along with Lenny Williams. When “Hello” by T.I. ft. Governor came on, I rapped right along with him: “did he buy a nice bracelet, or get you a little ring?”
Happy Birthday, T.I..!!!
And don’t get me started on Melvin and the Blue Notes, “I Miss You.” He croons, “You can see that a great big man like me has been crying…” He has the most RIDICULOUS spoken interlude about how he now has a job, and wishes that they would get back together, and my favorite line: “by the way, how’s my little son?”
THEE most trifling. You’re an absent father who disappeared, hasn’t been providing for your child, and now you want this poor woman back?
When listening to a “please baby baby please take me back” song, I usually think, wow. This song is amazing. It’s sung with so much passion!
But then I stop.
What has this man done?
I mean, seriously. The men are crying and publicly building a monument to a woman who refuses to pick up the phone, or answer the door. And we, as an audience, applaud them. But we rarely think about what actions *inspired* the song in the first place.
I keep thinking about the silent subject–the woman we never see. Was she embarrassed because this fool cheated on her? Or because he abandoned her and left her to support a child?
The 8-10 minutes of wailing is a grand gesture, to be sure. But I wonder if it was enough for the women to whom it was directed.
In any case, I now LOVE my commute, because in 2 and a half long songs, I’m home. And I yell and sing all the way there–with a smile on my face. I always imagine that some terrible man is singing those songs to me.
And hopefully he’d have the sense not to be dressed like this.