In the morning I fled
Left a note and it read
Someday you will be loved.
Death Cab for Cutie consistently create amazing music and lyrics. This song, like so many of their works, uses simple words to convey powerful feelings. This power of the simple, combined with the vocals and composition, gels into a song that is haunting, emotional, beautiful.
That said, this is not my favorite song. It can’t be.
I don’t listen to it very often. I can’t.
When I do listen to it, I don’t connect much with the *speaker* of the lyrics. Instead, I think of the girl he sings about. In my mind, she is the girl I used to be: my middle school and high school self.
I like that girl. She’s really pretty cool. She knows how to have fun, she’s intelligent, she’s cute, and she makes people laugh. But in spite of all that, I can’t hang out with her too often because she breaks my freaking heart.
Her tragic flaw is that she bases about 90% of her self-worth upon whether or not she has a boy’s attention. This is a dangerous game to play, especially if you aren’t the most emotionally stable kid on the block. And she isn’t.
In this game, she can’t win. So instead she loses. Every single time.
There are lots of reasons for why she’s like this, reasons that aren’t that interesting to me anymore. The *why* of it isn’t the point, anyway. The point is the *is* of it.
Since she is cute and fun, boys do take an interest in her from time to time. When one does, she clings to this guy and tries to figure out ways to keep him interested. Inevitably, the boy one day decides that he wants to date other girls or just be single. When this happens, she can’t handle it. Her reaction is huge, irrational, broken. The hammer smashes her heart. She isn’t being fair, but she can’t see that. And the cycle happens again and again.
With a couple of exceptions, these boys aren’t *bad* guys — but they are teenagers. She is, too, but her wiring doesn’t allow her to see that school-age dating is supposed to be casual and fun. She needs it to be something else, to do something else. She needs it to fill a void. Sadly, she doesn’t understand that high school romances aren’t real or deep enough to do that.
The worst bit is that she is so fixated on obtaining and holding onto a guy’s attention (which she equates with approval), that she misses out on opportunities for some really positive teenage experiences. I don’t mean to say that she doesn’t have any positive experiences. She does. But she misses out because she can’t always appreciate them because of the control she allows this unhealthy obsession to wield over her life during these tender years. That’s really tragic, you know, because she can’t have a *do over* (unless time travel becomes a real option).
I feel an overwhelming sadness for my teenage self. She’s so wrong about so many things. But she’s also important to me. I need to remember her experiences, honor her emotions (no matter how crazy they were sometimes), and accept that she plays a crucial — maybe necessary? — role in how I *finally* woke up. (That happened in college.)
I can’t do it often, but there are times when I need to take a moment to love on this girl. I like trying to heal her wounds, because I know that I carry a part of her within me. And so, “Someday You Will Be Loved” is the vehicle I use when I need to visit her. I imagine holding her hand, wiping her eyes, brushing her hair, and telling her about all the experiences she will have that will help her to understand that she is bigger than the trivial way she measures her worth. I try to explain that in a few short years the things she’s so worried about right now won’t matter to her anymore and that she will gain a new, clearer understanding of herself. I show her pictures of the friends she will meet in college, the man she will marry, the students she will teach, the son she will have.
I stay with her for a while and then I go, and while I can never change her past, I can always acknowledge it as a part of the journey that made me who I am today. It feels nice to do that.
Oh, and that stuff I said earlier about most of those ex-boyfriends being good guys? I meant that. Really. reallyreally.
But I have to say, the guy in the song is an ass and a coward. Yeah, yeah, I know. He is saying she will be better off with someone who will love her like she deserves to be loved. Sorry, I call bullshit on that. Good intentions or not, this dude gets no respect since he essentially breaks up with this girl (who he knows is in love with him) on a Post-It.
And even though I know most of the guys I dated in high school weren’t total jerks, I do get a sick sort of vicarious pleasure in really hating the guy in the song (calling him inappropriate names, imagining ways to make him suffer, etc.).
I mean, geez, I’m only human.
- Death Cab for Cutie, House of Blues Orlando + Death Cab Week! (indiemusicheartbeat.com)
- Death Cab for Cutie to play Treasure Island fest (sfgate.com)
- Death Cab for Cutie Share Love Secrets in ‘Stay Young, Go Dancing’ — Video Premiere (spinner.com)
- Watch the New Death Cab for Cutie Video: “Stay Young, Go Dancing” (pitchfork.com)
- [Video] Death Cab For Cutie ‘Stay Young, Go Dancing’ In New Video (kroq.radio.com)
- Death Cab For Cutie – “Stay Young, Go Dancing” Video (stereogum.com)
- Codes and Keys – Death Cab for Cutie (2011) (myksmusicalmusings.wordpress.com)
- Death Cab For Cutie – “Stay Young, Go Dancing” (Official Music Video) (worldaccordingtomonte.com)
- Death Cab Cover Ride’s Shoegaze Gem ‘Twisterella’ (spin.com)