A Bittersweet Device

This song’s POV? What a choice. And that snappy tempo? Brilliant.

With a simple pivot from first to third person and a jaunty back beat to drive it all home our narrator instantly manipulates the way we perceive his story so he can pummel himself mercilessly while the rest of us are distracted by the details of the vignette.

I loved this song when I was a kid, for its artistry and for its discord. I remember at age 6 or 7, maybe 8, sitting in the backseat of my parents’ car as we drove to or from somewhere, the tears welling up whenever this song would come on and then crying quietly so no one could tell because this is a happy tune so it’s weird to cry, and yet…

I pictured the whole scenario in my head and it killed me. Poor guy, pining over that tall, beautiful woman – like the girl from Ipanema but with dark hair and dressed in cashmere – convinced they were in this thing together, trying hard to recreate what had yet to be created, and then watching her go.

And she, she barely remembered him. What was his name again? Steve? Sam? No, Sam was the dog’s name. Doesn’t matter.

I knew, even back then, I’d be nothing like her.

Turns out I’ve always been just like him.

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