Thursday, October 17, 2013

Music Musings

Let's consider some music. Specifically, let's consider how sometimes music suggests to us that it doesn't improve a situation if you keep talking.

On my way off the train this morning, I passed a little girl who was singing "You Are My Sunshine." Adorable. And what a sweet song, right?
You are my sunshine,
My only sunshine,
You make me happy when skies are gray.
You'll never know, dear, how much I love you--
Please don't take my sunshine away.

If I may paraphrase, "you're as vital to my life as sunlight, and no matter what else is happening, being with you makes me happy. Please don't leave me to what is, in your absence, a dark and gloomy existence."

I mean, it's a little needy, maybe, but this dude or lady is clearly in love, and that's how it feels to be love. It's a lovely sentiment. Fond.

Next verse (less commonly sung):
The other night, dear,
While I lay sleeping,
I dreamed I held you by my side.
When I awoke, though, I was mistaken,
So I hung my head and cried.

To paraphrase, "I dreamed you were with me, and then I woke up and you weren't there, and it made me sad." Aww...

Still touching, but at this point you have to wonder. Is the dude or lady this person loves normally there, but currently away on a trip or something, in which case happiness will return and maybe breaking down in tears is an overreaction? Or is the singer of the song not actually in a relationship with the object of his or her affection at all, in which case...unrequited love sure sucks, huh?

But yeah, basically, "being away from you makes me sad" is still a sweet thing to say. OK.

Third verse (even less commonly sung):
I'll always love you,
And make you happy,
If you will only feel the same,
But if you leave me to love another,
You'll regret it all one day.

So. All right. "I'll always love you and make you happy as long as you love me and make me happy, but if you don't, someday you'll be alone and miserable just like me and THEN you'll be sorry you left me."

Less touching, somehow.

Pull it together, dude or lady! You're sounding a little whiny there. Whiny at best, actually, since "love me or you'll regret it" could also seem downright nasty.

Not really the tone you want to strike if you're trying to win someone over.

Maybe just stick with that first verse. Yeah. That one is really sweet.

And thus we see why the later verses are so much less commonly sung.


Andrea said...

I sang that first verse with my mom all the time when I was growing up without ever knowing about the last verse. I can imagine it sung in a child's high, clear voice in a horror movie.

A'Llyn said...

One day, we should make that horror movie.

erinserb said...

I wonder who the lyricist was for that song! :-)