Music and Love: 3 poems

Heart strings

I like my body when it’s with your body.

Because when it’s not, it feels too tight

I feel like a rubber band, being slowly pulled.

Like I’ve been crumpled up, then stretched.

So that someone could twang me,

Draw some noise out of my taut self.

But my body is different with your body.

You don’t have to pluck me to play music.

Your slightest touch and I hum and vibrate.

A little more pressure; I practically sing.

Bells and Whistles

I hear church bells when you speak.

You know, as a reminder.

That even if you’re a terrible, terrible person-

You still happen to be a person.

And for that I owe you basic human kindness.

They peal long and loud and low.

Don’t slap him. Don’t bitch at him. Don’t hurt him.

I wonder if you hear church bells

I hope you do.

The noise of silence

You have presence.

I always know when you’re here

Because you come with drums,

Guitar riffs and soft violin moans.

Like a one-man walking band.

 
You have presence.

I feel it when you’re gone.

In your absence, I hear silence.

Louder than a rock festival.

Death of A Bachelor: Jitters

Alright, Alright.
I might be a tad bit obsessed with Panic! At the Disco’s Death of a Bachelor Album. Only a little, mind you because it’s not like I’ve listened to it for hours on repeat. It’s not like I sometimes catch myself humming it while on the road or at school during class. It’s not like I haven’t been quoting it everywhere waiting for someone to get one of the references. Nope. Not at all.
It’s a hell of a feeling, though.

 

 

But this album is so very Panic! Who else could have written the line “Every night in my dreams, you walk on a tightrope of weird.” [Crazy=Genius]
But at the same time, you can see that Brendon Urie’s done some growing up. In his eventful life, he’s regretted some of the stuff he’s done. Urie’s told fans over and over again that he regretted the I write sins, not tragedies video but it’s the first time he’s immortalised his feelings in song:  “You shoulda seen what I wore/ I had a cane and a party hat.” [Don’t Threaten Me With a Good Time]

As always, Panic! at the Disco’s lyrics are so weird, I’m completely befuddled. Is he trying to call up the imagery of drunken revelrey in Las Vegas with “I lost a bet to a guy in a Chiffon skirt/ But I make these high heels work”  or is there some deeper meaning. We will probably never know.

But I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the title track. Yep, Death of a Bachelor. It’s significantly slower than the other songs and I think so far, it’s the only music video in this album in black and white.

While there are a lot of songs in this album which directly refer to the craziness of his wild days, like La Devotee, Victorious and The Good, the Bad and the Dirty and another several which refer to making new memories like House of Memories and Golden Days,  I think Death of a Bachelor is the one that is most obviously reconciling the two.

He refers to a change that’s already happened with the lines “People have told me I don’t look the same” while the song in itself refers to the change marriage brings to a bachelor’s lifestyle.

This song is interesting because it has all sorts of implications tangled up in it.  A major part of the chorus: “A lifetime of laughter at the expense of the death of a bachelor.” very clearly states that sacrifices have to be made. Taken literally, somebody else needs to die  for a person to be happy.  That has all sorts of ethical connotations to it. For example, is it okay for one person (the bachelor) to die so that two people (the married couple) can live happily. Society would have us believe so.

Even if we take it as a metaphor for two aspects of a person like we’re probably supposed to as evidenced by “I’m cutting my mind off/ It feels like my heart is going to burst”, Brendan’s still literally talking about suppressing a part of his personality. That’s horrible and honestly it makes me very afraid of marriage.

Image result for death of a bachelorThis song is very much a groom’s pre-wedding jitters. What else could it be with all the references to thinking as you drink, veils strangling people to death and being pushed off a cliff. But at the same time it’s a very deep, metaphor for society’s rigid expectation that you actively change your personality every time you enter a new phase of your life.

As someone who has a bunch of friends who will be heading off to college in a few months, this is an unnerving thought. If you’re heading off to college soon or making some other massive life change, I just want to remind you that you are not compelled to change. It’s true that nothing in life is constant but change, but don’t feel pressured to change yourself. You do not need to be more mature, more grown-up, more patient, more understanding right away.
There’s a learning curve to change and no one expects you to be a perfect adult who’s in total control of your life the day you turn 18.  If it happens, let it happen. If it doesn’t happen, don’t force it.

The Creepiness of Arctic Monkeys

I’m not usually an Arctic Monkeys fan but as I was listening to ‘I Want to be Yours’, I was just blown away by the hidden message of the song. It’s utterly creepy because so many people miss it.

 

I Want to be Yours by Arctic Monkeys shows how some people use love to manipulate the people around them into doing what they want. Though initially the song sounds like a romantic love ballad in which the singer promises he’ll be anything his lover needs, close listening to the song highlights nefarious undertones.

The first suggestion that something is wrong is the third line : “I wanna be your Ford Cortina/ I will never rust”.   Ford Cortina are trucks which are particularly vulnerable to rust. Already, the singer is making promises he will never be able to keep and perhaps has no intention of keeping. In this light, the opening line has a new connotation. “I want to be your vacuum cleaner.” heavily implies that he wants to suck his lover into something via means of force.  

The chorus “Maybe, I just want to be yours./ I just want to be yours/ I just want to be yours” then becomes suspect. One has to wonder why the songwriter used “maybe” . If he wasn’t sure he was in love with the person he sings the song to, how  likely  is it that he would humble himself by promising to do whatever it took to make his lover happy? (And sincerely mean it too.) The word “ Maybe” suggests manipulation. The repetition of “I want to be yours” emphasizes the singer is trying too hard to convince his lover that his desire is innocuous. 

After that, he tries to guilt his lover into doing what he wants. He emphasizes how high-maintenance his lover is by going over all the daily things that he/she needs to stay happy like “stay-in lotion”. He reminds his lover how long they’ve been together by referring to mundane, every-day domestic things like “Vacuum cleaners” and “coffee pots”(they probably bought together). Also, “I want to breathe in your dust” subtly reminds his lover that he/she has faults, but the singer is willing to overlook them.  

“You call the shots, babe”, he reminds his lover as if he/she is the only one can give him what he needs. But  I think “shot” could refer to a tequila shot (alcohol),  implying the singer is trying to influence her decision.  Rather worryingly, he refers to “a secret” which is “hard to keep”. The random throwing in of the over-poetic, over-blown metaphor“Deep as the deep Atlantic ocean/ That’s how deep is my devotion” makes it clear that the singer is appealing to his lover’s desperate desire to be loved.

This song is inadvertently ironic since it’s a popular song to which people lose their virginity.  High school boys are notorious for convincing their girlfriends to have sex with them by using arguments such as “If you really loved me”. The song seems to be a warning against people who use love to manipulate people.

Emotional manipulation, and bold-faced lying often leads to emotional abuse and physical abuse. Whether you’re male or female, vulnerable or not- be careful.  If somebody close starts using their love for you as an excuse, or demanding something because you love them- run. Distance yourself from that relationship as quickly and as definitively as possible. Don’t let anyone use love as an excuse to manipulate you. Your significant other doesn’t have that right. Neither do your friends or your parents.