When I Was Down You Just Stood There Grinning
posted at 8/5/2011 1:06 PM EDT
Okay . . . so I'm sitting around watching Dwight Schrute in The Rocker (don't judge) a little while back, and there's this scene where some kid in a garage band is writing a song about how bitter he is because his girlfriend broke up with him. It's horrible, of course, and his friend tells him that people don't want to hear that kind of song anyway. So -- long story short -- he changes it to a song about how he's not bitter and they all go off to become famous and happy . . .
All of which got me thinking about the anti-love song. Sure, music is chock full of love (and sex) songs, and songs about forgiveness and understanding. But what about those songs that don't forgive? What about those songs that get written when the writer is having one of those famous dark nights of the soul? Bitter songs, in other words.
The first one that came to mind for me (of course) was Bob Dylan's Positively Fourth Street
, a deeply cynical paen to selfishness and caprice. And of course there are plenty less subtle than even that:
Guns -N- Roses, of course, gave us I Used to Love Her (But I Had to Kill Her),
and I'm sure somebody here can tell me who sang I Hate Everything about You
Tonio K., in his seminal H-A-T-R-E-D
, uttered the ought-to-have-been-classic lines:
"Yes, I wish I was as mellow as, for instance, Jackson Browne
But Foutain of Sorrow
my @ss motherf#&$er
I hope you wind up in the ground"
Loudon Wainwright lent his particular brand of humor to I'd Rather Be Lonely
The list goes on and on . . .
The late, lamented Richard Jenni used to do a wonderful bit (in his classic Kasey Kasem voice) about how you can't listen to the radio when you're single because it's filled with nothing but love songs . . . 24 hours of love songs.
So let this thread be a tribute to the anti-love song.
Let's celebrate the people who hurt us, whom we didn't forgive.