OverThinking Classic Hits: The Outfield
So I was sitting in my office the other day, enjoying a fruit cup like an adult and minding my own beeswax, when the song "Your Love" by The Outfield came on. And I was listening to it, I realised that I didn't really ever think about the lyrics before.
Most of the time, you don't. Because most of the time, they don't really mean anything in pop music or radio music. I love you, you love me, you used to love me, etc etc. It's just silliness, right? For the most part, right. And in this instance, probably so.
I looked up the lyrics to the song noticed a few things that I thought were a little off. So let's overthink it! Should be fun. Now before we get started, I should note that the guy who wrote the song says it's not about anything that actually happened. He made it up on his porch in like, a half an hour. So I know I'm overthinking it, but hey. It's fun.
Let's look at the first verse.
Josie's on a vacation far away
Come around and talk it over
So many things that I want to say
You know I like my girls a little bit older
Okay, first of all, who is Josie? I'm assuming this is a girlfriend? Well, Josie is apparently a capable woman who is independent since she went on a vacation far away without our songwriter/main character dude. Since he refers to "girls" here, I'm assuming the person he had come over is also a woman. OR, maybe she really is a girl. Good lord, I hope not. Please, songwriter, let her be like, at least 18. Looking at the songwriter's age in real life, he was in his mid thirties when they recorded this song. But since it's made up, we don't know if our main character is his age. After all, the songwriter said this isn't about him. So let's just assume, for my sanity, that our guy is around 35, and she's like, 25. And maybe Josie is like, 30 or a little older. That wouldn't be so bad.
I just want to use your love tonight
I don't want to lose your love tonight
Now here we get into full on jerk territory. You wanna "use" her? GROSS. First of all, that's cheating, and second of all, that's... well, gross. She's a person, you know. Not an object like a frying pan or a broom or a stopwatch. Get a grip, dude.
I ain't got many friends left to talk to
Nowhere to run when I'm in trouble
You know I'd do anything for you
Stay the night but keep it under cover
Well maybe if you weren't a lowlife who cheats on his girlfriend with suspiciously younger girls, maybe you'd have more friends! And apparently he HAS done some stuff, because he mentions he doesn't have "friends left to talk to". Like people have left him behind because of something he's done. Geez, what's your deal, man? It's not her obligation to "keep it under cover", if you're the one deciding to see other people behind your girlfriend's back. After all, we don't know anything about this person. And it's not like she's in this relationship. She didn't make the decision to cheat on Josie, he did, because it's his relationship, not hers. Sometimes I don't get why people get mad at the person their boyfriend/girlfriend cheated with. Yes, if they know you and it's a conscious betrayal,that's one thing. But really the majority of your anger should be with the person who decided to run around on you. That may be unpopular opinion, who knows.
Try to stop my hands from shaking
But something in my mind's not making sense
It's been a while since we were all alone
But I can't hide the way I'm feeling
So your hands are shaking, your mind is troubled... maybe because you KNOW YOU SHOULDN'T BE DOING THIS?! Big duh there, bro.
As you're leaving please would you close the door?
And don't forget what I told you
Just 'cause you're right that don't mean I'm wrong
Another shoulder to cry upon
Close the door? Like literally or metaphorically? Probably literally. And dude, she's right if she's saying you shouldn't be doing this. Just own up to it. You were alone because your girlfriend went on vacation, that doesn't mean you get a free pass to cheat because you need a "shoulder to cry upon". Come on, man, just call one of your friends! You said you still had a few. It's not difficult. Our narrator/songwriter might not be the most reliable protagonist here.
Well, I've probably put far more effort into analyzing these lyrics than the songwriter did. After all, he only spent thirty minutes. But those thirty minutes have easily turned into singing that song for over thirty years, so maybe it does merit thinking about it a little.
Have you ever listened to a song you've heard a thousand times just to realise it wasn't about what you thought it was about? What surprised you?