One benefit of converting from a portable cd player to an mp3 player is that it’s easier to carry around a significant amount of music. I won’t listen to all of the albums I have on a regular basis, but if I’m sitting on the subway and the urge to listen to something strikes, I can do so. I usually have a rotation of three of four albums that is constantly playing, so there’s no real need to dig into my archives. I am a techno nerd, though, so I must put my music into mp3, regardless of how often I listen to it. Even if I only listen to a specific cd in my car, I might listen to it on the subway or sitting at my desk. I won’t listen often, but that I might listen is the essence of my collection. It’s a good life maxim.
Over the lasts few days, I decided that I wanted to listen to Lila McCann, an artist I haven’t listened to in probably a year or more. She put out three albums in the past, with the last released three years ago, I think. I could look that up, of course, but it seems pointless. Let it suffice that it’s been awhile and she’s not on any music radar right now. But neither am I, because I’ve already used the word “album” three times, which is two more than anyone
cool under the age of twenty-four has used the word in his life. And did I mention that I’m listening to Lila McCann? I mean, seriously folks, how not cool can I be?
So I listened to the albums in reverse order from newest to oldest. I enjoyed them, even though I realized how my musical interests have changed over the last decade. I listen to more adult, diverse music today but memory lane is fun.
The long lapse between listening to the albums had an additional benefit. I’d forgotten the songs and the specific details of the lyrics and musical buildup. Pop-type music is formulaic, so it’s not too difficult to imagine how songs will build. Listening to “Already Somebody’s Lover” from her first album Lila, I felt I knew how the song would build and finish. I should’ve known because I’ve heard it before, but I didn’t remember. It was “new” to me.
The build came as expected. The finish, not so much. I snapped out of my zone where I was aware of the music but it was in the background (despite the headphones). What was that, I thought. Did that just happen? Then I remembered that the song had always perplexed and annoyed me. I don’t know who wrote it and the lyrics don’t deserve the effort required to look it up, but the songwriter was clearly nuts when he or she wrote the song. Since I can’t do justice to the asinine lyrics, I’ll show them here. Behold:
Maybe he lives in the city
Workin’ on a college degree
Or maybe he’s a boy in Paris
Tryin’ to paint a picture of me
So I’m sorry that I can’t go any further with you
And tonight may be a night I’ll regret
But I’m already somebody’s lover
He just hasn’t found me yet
Maybe he works on the railroad
Or he’s drivin’ from town to town
Saving his pay for our wedding day
Then he’s gonna settle down
He’s just lookin’ for a girl to send some flowers to
He’s as honest and true as they get
See I’m already somebody’s lover
He just hasn’t found me yet
I see his face in my dreams every night
And I wake up with the taste on my lips
— Highlight the next two lines to reveal the lyrics —
And he’ll never pack it in or walk out on me
The way my father did
What?!? The song has one more verse, but who could bother to care after those last two lines? That songwriter cheated, leading me to deduce that the songwriter wanted to make a specific point and wrapped it inside the first “story” that came to mind. What started out as a hodgepodge of sentimental, tender imagery (a song genre not lacking in Country music) blew up into a bumbling diatribe against absent fathers. Huh? I don’t get it? How did this song get used in this format? Lila McCann was fifteen (I think) when she recorded that song, so I guess she gets a free pass of sorts, but still. No one in the recording studio read these lyrics and thought “We can’t use it that way because it’s a mess”? I can’t believe that. I just can’t. I want my money back.