It’s Memorial Day once again and I guess we call this the unofficial kick-off of summer. The unofficial kick-off of gross hot weather, feeling like I need to shower after every one block walk to anywhere, controlled movements to avoid displaying sweat spots, and a general desire to just hibernate until autumn. I will mostly be found sitting in an air-conditioned room and reading. And loading up my playlists with country music to live vicariously through all the summer fun they seem to have in country music songs.
If country music were representative of the entire population, we all apparently spend our summers drinking and having ALL THE GOOD TIMES while sitting on tailgates in fields and at the lake. My summer reality is that if I spend two minutes in a field or at a lake, I spend the next two months convinced there is a deer tick on me somewhere and I have Lyme Disease. Total summer fun killer.
And all the vicarious fun aside, like any other music, I start overanalyzing the lyrics. Take, for example, Luke Bryan’s new song, Play It Again. It keeps, um, playing again, on my Pandora station and I find myself being completely annoyed with the plotline and characters in the song.
Plot summary: guy meets girl at a party (she’s sitting on a tailgate at a party in a field and/or at a lake. SHOCKING!). They start flirting. She shouts “Oh my God, this is my song! I have been listening to the radio all night long.” And then they start dancing. And then he gives her a ride home and the song comes on the radio AGAIN (can you even believe it?!?) and she’s all “Oh my God, I can’t believe they played again!” And then they dance in the driveway. As is often the case in country music songs but rarely in reality.
All of this leaves me to wonder, is this song set in like the 90s before iTunes? Because I mean, who sits around waiting for a song to be played on the radio instead of downloading it or YouTube-ing it. I don’t want to make any assumptions about her financial status but I just want to be like “Oh my God! iTunes! $1.29!”
And if the radio is actually your only option for listening to a song, who sits around ALL DAY waiting for the radio to play it? If it is a remotely popular song, the radio will play it about once every 40 minutes. Or if it is a Pitbull song, every 14 minutes (and if a Pitbull song is your favorite song, I am giving you a super judgy side eye right now.).
In the second part of the song, the story takes the standard grand romantic gesture twist that country songs always do when the guy in the song decides that the most romantic gesture ever would be to learn how to play her favorite song on his guitar. And play it for her on their date the following weekend. Am I the only one who just cringes and thinks “You couldn’t have just given her an iTunes gift card?” Because Public Displays of Musical Affection--however sweet-intentioned they may be--just make me SUPER uncomfortable.
So if this song is any indication, it could be a long summer of analyzing lyrics. Or I guess I could just start listening to Pitbull or something. Because there is really nothing to analyze there except "Who actually listens to this and enjoys it?" Because I just want to meet one person that does. Just one.