I Spend Far Too Much Time Listening to the Radio

I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but despite my best intentions I often end up listening to the radio on my hour commute to work each day. I always intend to listen to my Dungeons and Dragons podcast or work on my French, but I end up giving in to the mindless pop music on (hey, it is addictive after all) even though I know a lot of the songs are stupid.

When the song by Eminem and Rihanna about an abusive relationship that included a few lines about tying the girl to the mattress and setting the house on fire (and I’ve spent some time with a victim of that exact crime) came on, I changed the station.

When Nikki Minaj randomly inserted starships (note: swearing in video) into a song that doesn’t seem to have any relationship to the content, I rolled my eyes.

When One Direction started cranking out ridiculously bland love songs (” the way you flip your hair gets me overwhelmed” – who would ever possibly say that?) or “you’ve got that one thing…I don’t know what it is but I need that one thing” I couldn’t help but laugh at the absurdity of refusing to give any specifics because that might mean they weren’t talking about you specifically.

And then I heard this bubbly bit with some aggressive grunting thrown in for good measure. From the title, “Want U Back” by Cher Lloyd sounds like another bland love song (and it actually took me awhile to find it since I forgot her name amid all of the other “I want you back” songs)


Around the second or third time I heard it I started hearing some snippets that didn’t sound right, and looking up the lyrics resulted in a

Let’s start at the top of this mess.

Thought I needed to upgrade
So I went and walked away way way

Ok, so you broke up with an awkward dude. The Geek* has Asperger’s, so I may not be a reliable source about how relevant social graces are, but I can get someone breaking up if it’s just too hard to communicate or hang out with friends. (*formerly referred to by his first initial, I’m trying out giving him an actual nickname because otherwise to my eyes it always looked like I made a typo) That’s all fine, but I’m already confused because this doesn’t make any sense with the title of the song.

Now, I see you’ve been hanging out
With that other girl in town
Looking like a pair of clowns clowns clowns

Ah, the jealousy card, now I’ve got it. You threw a guy away and as soon as you see him out having (probably awkward) fun with another girl you get upset.

Remember all the things that you and I did first?
And now you’re doing them with her
Remember all the things that you and I did first?
You got me, got me like this
And now you’re taking her to every restaurant
And everywhere we went, come on!
And now you’re taking her to every restaurant
You got me, got me like this

I know the guy’s awkward, but it seems pretty unlikely that you were the first person he ever took to a restaurant. Really, there’s only so many good “first couple dates” activities available unless you’ve got a lot of money or creativity, you can’t blame the guy for recycling the best ones.

Boy you can say anything you wanna
I don’t give a shh, no one else can have ya
I want you back

What? You just explained that you didn’t want to be with him because he’s awkward and acts stupid in public. But knowing that he’s going to a restaurant with another girl makes you jealous and possessive. “No one else can have you” is a phrase generally only uttered by stalkers, serial killers, or the precarious overlap between the two.

Oh shush, you get the idea regardless of its quality.

I broke it off thinking you’d be cryin’
Now I feel like shh looking at you flyin’

How dare he not be obsess over you…. like what you’re doing over him right now (the music video doesn’t help this, since it shows her popping up in photos of them together to throw popcorn at them/pour food on them/move objects to cause bodily harm).

Please, this ain’t even jealousy
She ain’t got a thing on me
Tryin’ to rock them ugly jeans jeans jeans

Ok, making fun of the appearance of an ex’s new SO is already petty, but now I’m curious; usually girls revert to “fat” and “slutty” as their go-to insults of females they don’t like. Jeans haven’t really been noticeable since we got out of that unfortunate bedazzling/embellishing fad in my teenage years.

So you left your awkward/quirky boyfriend and he ended up with someone he can be goofy with that also happens to be so gorgeous that the best insult you can level at her is “her…jeans are… ugly! I’M NOT JEALOUS!” while you pour a drink over her head.
You clearly didn’t think this through
If what I’ve been told is true
You’ll be crawling back like boo hoo hoo

“I’m not jealous, that girl wears stupid pants, and you’re coming back to me [whether you like it or not]!”

Ohhh, I thought you’d still be mine
When I kissed you goodbye uh oh uh oh

It’s hard to tell whether this is some delusion that in real life a guy will chase after you when you ditch him for superficial reasons, or she’s got such a massive ego that she thought he’d never get over her (like the rare girls in real life who are like “no, I could never tell this guy I’ve been leading on for ages that I’m not interested, he might kill himself!” I’ve only known one, but it still baffles me)
Ohhh, and you might be with her
But I still had you first uh oh uh oh

As reality sets in, she’s coping by screaming “FIRST!” over and over like she’s just discovered internet comment sections.

But hey, as she descends into denial, apparently in the non-US version there’s a rebuttal rap supposedly by the guy. Let’s see what his side to all of this is:

We used to be, but now there’s a separation between you and me
Baby I’m moving on to another girl that understands me more
Dated her in front your place so you can see it all
I remember the times, when we used to bond
But I never realized that you wanted to be mine
So I gave her the ring, instead of you, nickname too
I can tell you’re upset, because it ain’t you
Met a new girl, and I gave her my heart
Not noticing that you wanted me from the very start
You want me back?
We can just be friends, don’t try to sting all over again

I can’t say I totally blame him for showing off his new girlfriend, but in general this seems like a responsible and moderated approach to a breakup, I’m sure they can have an adult frie….

Boy you can say anything you want
I don’t give a shh, no one else can have ya

Dude, get a restraining order. Fast.

—————–

Ok fine, in all seriousness this song probably wasn’t meant to have these crazy stalker girlfriend implications. It was probably supposed to be a mashup of general breakup emotions (jealousy, loss, bitterness at the other person’s happiness, trying to feel superior, etc). But when you slam all of those vaguely related emotions together we end up this horrible woman who is somehow simultaneously cold, bitter, and uncaring while also being clingy and emotional. It’s the perfect storm if incongruous female stereotypes bottled in a catchy pop song.

And even with all that, the truth is I’m probably still going to turn it up when it comes on the radio. This is why we can’t have nice things.

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8 thoughts on “I Spend Far Too Much Time Listening to the Radio

  1. Nice Venn diagram!… As someone who is publicly strictly into 80’s rock music, I often find myself singing along to some pop songs that are played on radio. Take One Direction for example, I really used to like their stuff until my friend told me to look at the music videos :O I don’t like them as much anymore. Anyhoo, I totally agree with your post, and I’ll try and avoid Cher Lloyd at all costs (especially since she can’t spell) :)

    • I haven’t ever seen a One Direction music video, I’ve just always been too annoyed by the Twilight-esque vagueness designed to let every girl imagine it’s her they’re talking about, blegh. And yes, usually if an artist can’t spell that’s a pretty good sign to avoid them :P

      •  ( 2012.02.22 14:18 ) : Good day, I merely hopped over on your own website through StuUelbmpon. Not something I would usually read, however I appreciated your emotions none the less. Thanks for making something price reading.

      • O, yes…I love the old fashioned way of cooking..I still do quite a bit of it as I am pretty old fashioned myself !! I’m just old enuf to remember how it was in the “old days” cause…I was there!! heh heh…Thanks for the recipes.

  2. Pingback: Crafter’s Conundrum | Excerpts of Awkwardness

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