“I watched you walk into the room, I want to say this just right, “If you ain’t waitin’’’ for somebody special…would you be with me tonight?” I’m a doctor, I’m a lawyer, I’m a movie star, I’m an astronaut and I own this bar! (CHORUS) “I can tell you what you wanna hear, awesome secrets ‘bout myself. I can tell you you’re the only one, baby; there’ll never be nobody else. Yeah, I’m runnin’’ for president, I got money to burn, my heart don’t ache and my body don’t yearn. And I’d lie to you for your love, I’d lie to you for your love, I’d lie to you for your love, that’s the truth!” Excerpted lyrics from “I’d Lie to You for Your Love” co-written and recorded by American country music duo The Bellamy Brothers; released in September 1985 as the second single from the album Howard & David.
What do we make of this song? With its soft rhythmic tone and slow romanticized pick-up line styled lyrics, what can we take away from this tune? Forget about the songwriter, singer’s and performer’s original intent, that is irrelevant. Despite what any type of artist may want the audience to take away from their works, a performer cannot choose their audience. Thus it’s up to the audience that has chosen them, the listener, the viewer, the reader, to define what they hear, see or read (what are you getting out of what you are reading so far?).
In our current easily offended society, which searches for offense in any and everything, this song translates easily. It’s obviously male-chauvinistically sexist and is saying nothing more than A man will say and do anything to get in your pants! Men are only interested in one thing and will admittedly lie to and hurt you for a one night stand because this…is Lifetime! OK fair enough, it’s easy to see how one could make that assumption.
However, when viewed from a literal perspective, it makes that assumption seem kind of foolish. Anyone who would believe that someone they met at a bar was a legal, medically trained, Oscar-winning spaceman may just deserve to get taken advantage of. In addition, in the song, the recipient is openly informed that they are being lied to. When taken on the literal offensive, the singer comes across as a schizophrenic lunatic and pathological liar that openly admits they cannot be trusted.
Now if we turn off the offensive filter and inject just a dose of innocence into the mix, we come to an entirely different conclusion. Here we have a guy who’s so taken with a woman that he’ll say anything to get her attention. He’s so intent on making a good impression he nervously blurts out all sorts of impossibly stupid great things about himself, hoping to give her an excuse to get to know him. Then, realizing that she may be “the one” he doesn’t want to build a potential relationship on lies. So he admits that he’s just trying to be an impressive smooth talker to win her heart. Now, isn’t that a much nicer way to think of it. And you can think of it that way because any and everything is open to interpretation. There is no definitive, it’s all a matter of perception.
This logic applies to almost every art form, in every medium, you will ever encounter. Whether it’s music, visual through paints, pencil or video, interpretative line dancing, written, love… yes love, because to truly love someone is an art form. (To truly hate someone is, too, but that’s an art exhibition for another day.) It is easy to love someone, but to be in love with someone takes time, effort and devotion, much like painting a masterpiece.
But whether your love is a Picasso, or something deemed refrigerator worthy by your folks, is irrelevant. It doesn’t matter whether you use paints from Paris or crayons from Crayola. It’s not important if it’s a symphony or mosh pit jam, a music video or videoed musical. What matters is how it is perceived and received by your audience, which has to choose you, because it’s only love if you’re loved in return.
So as this Valentine’s Day comes to a close, hopefully you’ve found someone or have continued to find someone, who shares your vision. Someone who appreciates your art and you appreciate in return. A certain someone who thinks you are certainly someone and is happy to share the canvas and create something beautiful with you. Today, tomorrow and forever more you will add pieces to your private gallery, another page to your book or another step to the dance… never stop dancing.
I welcome almost all questions and comments via FOCUS, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Hope to hear from ya, until then try and stay focused. See ya!