Friday, May 4, 2018

The last Smooth Song of summer

This is very well written. It's Teflon smooth. That is to say, it doesn't stick. Heck, it barely even registers. And yet it is a supreme example of the songwriter's craft. (Yes, it did that on purpose.)

I have a funny memory that goes with this. Years after this was a hit, it was played as an oldie on the radio and my first girlfriend used it as a pretext to start talking about how she would deal with a break up. She spoke of the pain and how she wasn't certain how well she'd deal with it. And I felt for her. I had no intention of breaking up with her but we were teenagers and at that age you know, even if you don't discuss it, that it's highly unlikely you'll be together for the rest of your lives. My focus was entirely on her as I listened: I didn't want to hurt her but I knew at least enough not to make promises I couldn't keep. I felt for her.

Ah, to be that naive again. If I had a time machine I'd go back and whisper in my ear, "She's already planning her exit strategy you moron!" I spent a lot of my teens and twenties feeling sorry for women who had the moral consciences of professional killers.

The point of all this being that the lyrics of this are beyond disingenuous. She was always planning for this to end and now she wants to feel sorry for herself. Not one line, not one word of the song is devoted to any pain her ex might be feeling. She's supposed to help her deal with it and then disappear. There is a name for that sort of thinking but I use it too much so I won't actually write it here.

I've done smooth songs of summer for a number of years now and it's time to move on to something else. This seemed like a good song to end it with.

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