One of earliest signs that irony is dead in this country involves those who simply cannot take a song for anything but its literal wordy hook, either because they just can't understand or they're too lazy to listen beyond it. We discussed Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Fortunate Son" earlier, but there's also the joy of people who use ironically inappropriate songs for their wedding song or for part of the reception. Love turns people's brains into Cream of Wheat, and that is why songs like REM's "The One I Love" and "Every Breath You Take" by the Police are often used by the moronic-in-love people as "their song."
Hey, awesome. The One I Love calls the object of the singer's affection "a simple prop to occupy my time." And Every Breath You Take, of course, is about a stalker. But they use phrases like "This one goes out to the one I love" and "Oh can't you see? You belong to me" so OBVIOUSLY it's a song that's going out to the person they love.
Earlier today I was pointed to the dominance of Hey Ya! as a wedding song in recent times. Not as a first dance or a "our song" song, mind you, but as a song played loudly at weddings. A good wedding DJ, by the way, is going to understand that there are just some songs you don't want to hear at a wedding reception. Songs that go directly against the proven fact that today, these two are In Love Forever and That's How It's Going To Be. For instance, I remember my aunt's wedding in 1989 and oh, that Tone Loc was such a popular fellow, so they played Funky Cold Medina at her reception. The DJ wisely segued to another song before the third verse, which is all about how Tone Loc uses his Funky Cold Medina sex potion on a girl, but when she starts "...talkin 'bout plans for a wedding" Loc cold dumps her ass. You get the idea.
So what's Hey Ya! about? The death of a relationship held together far too long by atrophy, with lyrics I shall paraphrase to sound a bit more prose-y:
My baby don't mess around because she loves me so, and this I know for sure
But does she really wanna, but can't stand to see me walk out the door?
andIf what they say is "nothing is forever"
Then what makes love the exception?
And why are we so in denial when we know we're not happy here?
That's an excellent
song to play at a wedding, because hey, divorce foreshadowing. Brilliant.
Course, nobody listens to lyrics anymore. That's a proven fact. Andre Ice Cold 3000 knows it, and pretty much sums up the whole thing the best:
Y'all don't wanna hear me, you just wanna dance.