These posts seem to be popular, so let’s finish up the Big Three with looking at the U.K. Singles Charts. Though, looking at all three now, I see that the difference between them is not as big as it once was, since there are many repeats. I remember a time when the U.K. charts was full of hip new indie bands. Yes, I'm old.So maybe we have to shake things up a little next time…
Official Singles Charts UK on August 30, 2014
#5: Wankelmut & Emma Louise – My Head Is a Jungle
The title is pretty telling already as we have met many confused minds already in the charts before. And the song is full of exhaustion, pain and desperation, despite it being a love song. I see the pain in your eyes … Our bodies are tired … I’ve been aching for you. It’s the kind of painful love we’ve also seen before that is so unlike the one that just makes you happy. And then there is the last stanza.
My love is wasted, sorry for this I never meant to be, hurting ourselves, hurting ourselves And I'm complicated, you won't get me, I have trouble, understanding myself, understanding myself
Again, this is somewhat dark and sad, but very symptomatic. Love, the supposed solution for everything, is wasted here because the self is so troubled and conflicted that nothing can save it (sounds a bit like Mr. Bateman…). The sad thing is I’m complicated because that is what we start to believe, that we are the fuck-ups that are unable to get along in this culture, while it’s this culture which fucks us up. But we are constantly told the opposite: it’s you, get yourself together, get a grip! We all have our issues, so stop whining! It’s basically impossible to attempt changing the world around you if you’re only forced to struggle with yourself.
#9 Union J – Tonight (We Live Forever)
The title already makes clear that we are in extreme territory again. The lyrics are the most generic love song lyrics imaginable, but of course it has to culminate in We’ll live forever. The song shows many of the general problems I have with these kinds of love songs. Why does a boy band like Union J have to sing about love at all? They don’t mean anything they sing and thereby the lyrics are completely devoid of meaning, simply relying on clichés and middle school rhymes. Sure, if you’re young and in love, you might feel like this will stay that way forever, but maybe you kids only think that because you’ve listened to so many stupid love songs. Listen to the ex-romantic ranting.
And don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy love songs, as long as they are personal and at least somewhat profound.
#3 Iggy Azalea feat. Rita Ora: Black Widow
It seems you can’t look at the charts right now without finding Iggy Azalea. I’m complaining about generic love lyrics, but this is the other extreme - S&M love. Maybe ‘love’ is even the wrong word.
I'm gonna love you Until you hate me
Okay, that’s… weird. What’s the purpose here exactly? The song implies there might be some kind of revenge at play. He did something wrong it seems, but from the lyrics you can see that all of it was kind of fucked up anyway.
This twisted cat and mouse game always starts the same First we're both down to play then somehow you go astray We went from nothing to something liking to loving It was us against the world now we just fucking It's like I loved you so much and now I just hate you
Does this sound like a love story?
I'm gonna love you until it hurts Just to get you I'm doing whatever works You'd have never met nobody That will do you how I do ya That will bring you to your knees Praise Jesus hallelujah I’mma make you beg for it, plead for it Till you feel like you breath for it Till you do any and everything for it
There’s this role reversal element of revenge movies, this idea of “You hurt me and now I’m gonna hurt you so much more,” the wish to become the perpetrator and turn the other one into a victim. But, again, to what purpose? Is this woman empowerment? Is this Kill Bill, as the video wants to elude? Maybe my problem with this association is that in Kill Bill we came to understand that the Bride suffered real loss and pain, while here it’s just another flawed relationship gone wrong. Get a grip.
#28 Coldplay: A Sky Full of Stars
Yes, we really have to dig deep through an endless amount of love and breakup songs to end up with Coldplay and… a love song. It’s another one of the self-sacrificial ones.
I want to die in your arms
And I don’t care, go on and tear me apart
Fine, that’s strong love, but why go all the way to this pain? How about enjoying it instead? Deal with the pain when it’s there, but don’t ask the one you love to hurt you. Unless you’re into this, which is fine with me, I’m not judging.
#32 Idina Menzel: Let It Go
It’s from the movie Frozen (which I haven’t seen but only hear good things about, which doesn’t change the fact for me that it’s a Disney movie) and some people (Wikipedia tells me) claim it can be interpreted as a "coming out of the closet" song. Let’s take a look.
A kingdom of isolation and it looks like I'm the queen The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside Couldn't keep it in, Heaven knows I've tried
We’ll ignore any of the film’s context here since Disney movies are never about what they show. We have someone saying that there is a ‘storm inside’, a confusion that stays hidden and isolates you. Sounds like a normal childhood in this culture, if you ask me, always asked to repress your feelings, leading to anger, frustration and fear.
Don't let them in, don't let them see Be the good girl you always have to be Conceal, don't feel, don't let them know
I don't care what they're going to say Let the storm rage on The cold never bothered me anyway
There’s the liberation, though ‘the cold´ sounds like there is a price to pay. And there can be if you try to break away from society’s rules.
It's time to see what I can do To test the limits and break through No right, no wrong, no rules for me I'm free
My power flurries through the air into the ground My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around And one thought crystalizes like an icy blast I'm never going back, the past is in the past
No, you can’t go back, once you’ve opened up and see the world with different eyes. But your soul is not really fractured then, more the opposite, it is allowed to breathe.
So, is this Disney song really in the same line as everything I write here? I’m cautious, because it’s a Disney movie song! but I can’t really find anything problematic here. Yay?
That’s it, I can’t stand any more love song lyrics. Look at all those lyrics for too long and you don’t see a difference anymore. See you next time.