Monday, April 12, 2010

"That" Drives Me Crazy

I'm sure this has happened to everyone. I often get songs stuck in my head. It's great when it's a song I love. Today, it's the hook from Don Henley's "The Heart of the Matter." But then there are those earworms that make you want to perform a do-it-yourself lobotomy so that you can pleaseGodmakeitstop. This usually happens when one of my kids is OD-ing on The Wiggles. But last week, it was a song that I otherwise enjoy -- John Mellencamp's "I Need A Lover." Here's the hook:

"I need a lover that won't drive me crazy
Some girl to thrill me and then go away
I need a lover that won't drive me crazy
Some girl that knows the meaning of
Hey hit the highway."

I love John Mellencamp. Somewhere in this house I have a picture from waybackwhen of me getting his autograph. And it's a fun song. Hey, who among us has not wished we could do the deed then be left the hell alone? The content is not my issue. My issue is that ... I mean, "That." It should be "I need a lover who won't drive me crazy." The "that" is what drives me crazy. Lovers are a 'who.' If the lover is a 'that,' then the song takes on whole different (somewhat disturbing) dimension.

I'm not a tight-ass buzzkill. Or a 'fun vampire.' Depending on what I'm trying to accomplish, I play fast and loose with words, grammar, punctuation and sentence structure -- All. The. Time. Some of the greatest, most-quoted song lyrics ever written are anything but grammatically correct. The Rolling Stones' "I Can't Get No Satisfaction" would be ruined if the grammar police came along to change "no" to "any." Pink Floyd's "We Don't Need No Education" is a lyric that plays right into the whole theme of The Wall. When proper grammar is bent and broken to conform to the needs of the music, it usually leads to great, new and original expressions.

But "I Need a Lover?" That drives me crazy.

No comments:

Post a Comment