Sunday, March 18, 2012

"My Girl": A Lyrical Deconstruction.

The song in question is "My Girl" by Canadian rock band Chilliwack. If you've ever listened to a Canadian radio station at any point in your life, you've heard it; the full name of the song is "My Girl (Gone Gone Gone)", which should help too. Just to refresh you memory, though:

So yeah, that's the song we're talking about. Here we go!

Verse #1

Ever since she left me
I sure feel all alone
Aw, she left him. And he's bummed. Let's see what happens!

A little misunderstanding
I can't get her on the telephone
These days, with cell phones and voicemail and texting and whatnot, you can pretty much always get anyone. This song came out in 1981, though, so we're talking totally different times. (I believe people used Telex as their main form of communication.)

Hanging out down on Main Street
Living in a different world
We're probably talking about a small town, if it has a Main Street... then again, Toronto has a Main Street, so I guess we could be anywhere. My guess is Chilliwack, BC — for the obvious reason.

Standing around with the gang on the corner
Talking about my girl
This is where the song starts to fall apart for me. Who stands around with a gang on a corner — are we talking about 1950s "street toughs" here, clad in leather jackets? And who stands around with their buddies talking about the girl that dumped them on a street corner? You'd probably want to do that in a bar while drinking heavily, if you do it at all. Besides, guys don't talk at length about women who dump them; the most you'll get is, "So, that bitch Karen left. What a whore. I think she stole a loaf of bread from my kitchen on her way out, too."


My girl, she was the world to me
She's gone, away across the street
Wait, hold on. Across the street?! She's across one street and you're writing a lovesick song already? What's that, thirty feet, tops? Wow, this guy'll get worked up over anything. (For years I thought the phrase was "across the sea," which makes a hell of a lot better justification for a lyrically-sad song like this.)

My girl is just a memory
She's been so long away
SHE'S ACROSS THE STREET. Wait until the little orange hand turns into the little white walking dude, and CROSS THE STREET. It's not hard.

Verse #2

She didn't have to leave me
She didn't have to run
Maybe she does marathons.

She didn't have to go
Without a word to anyone
Maybe she's a mute.

I hope she's doing alright
I got no way to know
We do have Facebook these days for this sort of thing, unless that bitch Karen de-friends you too.

Unless she gets to hear this song
Hear it on the radio
...or in a podcast, or through streaming audio, or downloaded through a torrent, or on YouTube.

Chorus again; Verse 3

I hope she gets the message
Got to get her back, you know
I do now, pal.

Gonna track her down, I'll find that girl
Gonna tell her that I love her so
Careful, there's a fine line between "romantic pursuit" and "stalking." Trust me, this is rather difficult to explain to a judge.

Put the word on the grapevine
Spread it all around the world
"Twitter is the 'grapevine' of the 21st century. Discuss." (N.B. I still don't "get" Twitter.)

Sooner or later I know I'm gonna get her
I'm talking about my girl
I don't know, man. Karen meets a lot of guys. The guys on the corner I was standing around with told me she was hitting on Rodriguo the other day down at the mini-putt. Might want to check that out.

...and, thankfully, we're done. Here is what could very well be the worst cover of any song, anytime in human history; fortunately it's satirical (and hilarious), but... well, just listen and watch.

Oh my god I love Eugene Levy.

1 comment:

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