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.