Blog Archives

“Lie” — David Cook

[youtube:http://youtu.be/eJkJqT-FF5E%5D

I have a confession.

I watched seasons 2-9 of American Idol. I watch Glee, The Voice, The Sing-Off, and pretty much any other show about singing, singers, and/or performing songs. I can list a host of reasons with varying levels of acceptability—procrastination, dislike of watching sporting events, and boredom, among others—but what it boils down to is this: I miss it. I miss performing, and watching others do so helps me relive those incredible experiences.

That’s how I found David Cook, seventh-season winner of American Idol. As soon as his first post-Idol album was released, I bought it on iTunes, fully expecting to love it. I wasn’t disappointed.

I’ll save the raw, heartbreaking passion in “Permanent” for a later post, perhaps, because I’d like to focus on his song “Lie” from that self-titled album.

You whisper that you are getting tired
Got a look in your eye
Looks a lot like goodbye

I knew this would be the perfect break-up song. In an instant, this song still transports me to the exact moment I knew my ex would break up with me . . . or the moment, many years before that, when I broke up with my first high-school boyfriend. That *look* is timeless—and it’s captured perfectly in these simple words.

You’re hiding regret in your smile
There’s a storm in your eyes
I’ve seen coming for a while
Hang on to the past tense tonight
Don’t say a word
I’m okay with the quiet
The truth is gonna change everything

This part always reminds me of that deep-down, sinking, gut feeling I have when I know I’m about to hear bad news. I’ve often wondered if David Cook and the other songwriters could somehow hear my inner monologues. See, even when I know awful news, know it deep-down with a terrified certainty, I’ve always sought ways to postpone acknowledging it. I really am okay with the quiet . . . because in it, I am able to lie to myself.

So lie to me and tell me that it’s gonna be all right
So lie to me and tell me that we’ll make it through the night
I don’t mind if you wait before you tear me apart
Look me in the eye
And lie, lie, lie

Please.

I know that there’s no turning back
If we put too much light on this
We’ll see through all the cracks
Let’s stay in the dark one more night

This image is, in fact, a metaphor: their relationship is an item with a seemingly solid surface that reveals hidden flaws when illuminated. Again, he asks not to be forced to acknowledge these—he wants to stay in the dark. I can certainly appreciate that impulse.

Don’t want to believe in this ending
Let the cameras roll on
Keep pretending
Tomorrow’s all wrong
If you walk away
Just stay

To me, the significance of this song reaches far beyond the surface relationship implications. It lies instead in my own fear of the unknown. My past actions have proven that sometimes I’d rather stay with something known—even if I’m not happy—than try something new: a new city, a new job, a new apartment, a new way of life. The unknown feels “all wrong” to me . . . even when the known does, too.

So lie to me and tell me that we’re gonna be okay
So lie to me and tell me that we’ll make it through the day
I don’t mind if you wait before you tear me apart
To look me in the eye
And lie, lie, lie

Fittingly, I think, the music simply tapers off after this final plea. There’s no sweeping conclusion, no witty couplet that explains how the illusion can continue. The lies just can’t last forever; that’s the point. Sooner or later, the truth will look him (and me, and, in fact, all of us) in the eye. Despite the hauntingly beautiful pleas, it’s apparent that we all have to find a way to face that truth, live through the pain of it, and move on.


Find more artists like David Cook at Myspace Music.

Advertisements

“The Only Exception” — Paramore

This past spring, I had the painstaking task of picking ONE song for my soon-to-be-husband and me to use as our first dance at our wedding reception. Do not underestimate the gravity of this task. For a bride, this is huge. I struggled. Between his interest in indie and my love for good ol’ pop, it was proving to be more than difficult. It felt impossible.

And then I found Paramore‘s “The Only Exception”.

Okay… Soooooooooo, maybe I didn’t find Paramore… It was more like I was watching Glee. Yes. That’s what I said. GLEE.

Hi, my name is Kim. (Hi, Kim.) I’m a grown adult and I freaking.love.Glee.

Don’t hate. That show is awesome and we might as well put on our boxing gloves right now because I have sworn allegiance to Mr. Schuester and all things Glee. Sacrifice the body! VIVA LA GLEE!! 

Where was I… Oh yes, Paramore. This song stole my heart from the first few lines…

When I was younger I saw my daddy cry
and curse at the wind.
He broke his own heart and I watched
as he tried to reassemble it.

And my momma swore
that she would never let herself forget.
And that was the day that I promised
I’d never sing of love if it does not exist.

But darling,
You are the only exception.

My now husband and I both come from divorced families. Some say broken homes, we say *modern American families*. Although we have come to terms with (and truly love) our step parents and step/half siblings, there has been some residual damage to our faith in traditional love and marriage. We dated for five years before we decided to get engaged. We lived together for four for those years. Leading up to the engagement, we struggled with the *need* for marriage… what does it *mean* to be married… can we do it better than our own parents or are we doomed the same divorced fate… is it worth even trying… do we want to risk putting our future hypothetical offspring through a possible divorce…?

Maybe I know somewhere
deep in my soul
that love never lasts.
And we’ve got to find other ways
to make it alone.
Or keep a straight face.
And I’ve always lived like this
keeping a comfortable distance.
And up until now I’ve sworn to myself
that I’m content with loneliness.

Because none of it was ever worth the risk.

Well you are the only exception.

Well, we did get married and are happy little newlyweds. Due to years of therapy on both sides we are probably more prepared for the reality of marriage than our parents ever were. The goal is to learn from our parents’ mistakes… And in the unfortunate event we do decide to split, we’ll handle ourselves in a way that causes minimal damage to our little ones. Besides, having us as parents will give them PLENTY to tell their therapists without having to witness a nasty divorce.

I’ve got a tight grip on reality,
but I can’t let go of what’s in front of me here.
I know you’re leaving in the morning
when you wake up.
Leave me with some kind of proof it’s not a dream.

You are the only exception.

And I’m on my way to believing.
Oh, and I’m on my way to believing.

Of course, our parents didn’t go into their wedding saying, “He’ll be a great first husband.” It’s all unicorns and rainbows to start… So who knows? All we can do is take it one day at a time and keep the friendship aspect strong through the ups and downs. Today, like most newlyweds, our future is full of sunshine, babies, building our dream home outside of the city, family trips around the world, and watching each other wrinkle up and go grey.

We shall see…

Either way this song was perfect for our first dance. It’s honest in its immediate declaration of the effect our parents’ divorces had on our faith in love. It expresses the hesitation we both have to trust in the institute of marriage. But, most importantly, it sings a song for two jaded people who are deeply in love that are giving it a valiant effort.


Find more artists like Paramore at Myspace Music.