Sunday, February 27, 2011

an open letter to the song "hey soul sister" by train

Dear Hey Soul Sister,

You know, things weren't always like this between us.

When you first came into my life, you were like a gust of fresh air through my car stereo's speakers. You had the uncanny ability to make my non-braking foot tap and my head bop every time your infectious opening blasted on the radio. You were literally the musical highlight of my day for weeks--even months--on end.

It didn't take long for news of your catchy beats to travel to every radio station in town. Before long, I found myself, on multiple occasions, sitting in traffic next to strangers who were, like me, singing, un-self-consciously along to you. You united us. We'd catch one another's eyes and smile sheepishly, as if to say "I know I should be embarrassed that you caught me singing, but it's just such a damn good song!"

At first, I was willing to overlook the fact that your lyrics are riddled with gratuitous references to Eighties music ("Ain't that Mr. Mister on the radio, stereo, the way you move ain't fair, you know". Or the equally random, "Like a virgin, you're Madonna and I'm always gonna wanna blow your mind."), and unnecessary imagery ("My heart is bound to beat right out my untrimmed chest"), making you sound like a Freshman Comp free-association writing exercise, circa 1987. I told myself that these were things I could live with.

But then you were everywhere. My iPod, Pandora, Apple Commercials, Samsung Commercials and, worst of all, in my head, all the time. Suddenly your lyrics seemed incoherent, your once-infectious beats felt dull and overplayed and more than once I found myself questioning your choice of the word "sister" (soul or otherwise) in reference to someone who is clearly a romantic partner. I tried to make it work, but it got to the point that I cringed every time I heard your your unmistakable "Hee--eehhh---eeehhh---ayyy." I was done.

So I took action. I removed you from all my playlists, deleted the Pandora station in your name and took to turning the dial every time you came on the radio. And yet, avoiding you altogether remained impossible. There were so many places I didn't expect to run into you and yet, there you were, blasting away at the Gap as I innocently walked in to buy a camisole, playing in my neighborhood grocery store as I shopped for dinner and taking over my favorite show choir teen dramedy.

Look, I realize I'm going to have to learn to coexist with you. From the looks of things, you're not going anywhere and, unless I build a Train-free bomb shelter underneath my apartment (which will likely take years, and that's after I manage to get the permit approved by the city), I'm going to have to accept that.

I'll always cherish the memories of the old days--back when we were first getting to know each other. We had a good run and I wish you well, but I am more than ready to move on.

Besides, I think I've already found my new jam.


donna said...

i have to laugh..from the very first time i heard that song i LOATHED everything about it and then i heard it was TRAIN- the same band who made 'drops of jupiter' which- despite it's flaw's was a decent creative song with a somewhat interesting melody...they sold out- totally -not like they needed to but their popularity was waning...anyway you lasted alot longer than i did and others i know but the freakin thing is STILL on the radio over a year! i have to turn it off...i have slammed more than a few radios trying to escape that monotonous but addictive non-melody that consists of about 4-5 notes over and over and OVER's infantile stupid lyrics that have NO meaning whatsoever but insists on invading your brain and staying there for days on end....torture...i have awakened in the middle of the night hearing it in my head and wanting to SCREAM...i SWEAR they put some kind of subliminal message in that piece of crap to get people addicted to it! or something....anyway i am very picky about music anyway but that is jus beyond my comprehension as a hit song...even tho i know junk music sells these days...i am a musical child of the 70's when rock was ROCK and it meant something and had substance...and real musicians writing i am sorry for you that your love affair ended with the song but i know your current are no alone ;-)

Jade Turner said...

It's really good to follow the beat from your car stereo connected to your ipod or iphone. It will surely make you move like gaga.

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Jeremy said...

Oh it felt like an extension of my conscience for a while, even if it doesn't play on my radio or ipod, it plays on the back of my mind.

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