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my favourite song part 1.

July 11, 2009

— Okay, I was thinking that although I enjoy writing about a variety of things on my blog, and whatever takes my fancy gets an examination and exploration, I wanted to have a couple of little regular features on here also.  This is gonna be the first one of those, where I look at some songs which are particular favourites of mine, talk about why I like them so much and why I think they are important.  I hope you like it, and as you get the measure of my musical taste, feel free to request any artists and I’ll see if there is a song by them that I’m particularly into 😉 —

Beyoncé – If I Were A Boy

Even though this song is a diss aimed at my entire gender, the lyrics are so well written and, on the whole, true for quite a few guys that I can’t deny it.  Beyoncé’s vocal delivery is heartfelt, restrained for the most part but she lets loose in the bridge where she sings “If you thought I would wait for you, you thought wrong”.  She masterfully interprets the song which is an acoustic guitar-driven departure from her usual beat-driven R&B fare, and it’s a total success and the best track from her stellar I Am… Sasha Fierce album.  But it’s the lyrical content that really makes this song what it is; it’s sung from the point of view of someone who is in love but is just too tired of being neglected to make the love worth it.  It’s about being taken for granted, being treated like you’re second best, being heartbroken while you’re still in love.  It’s a warning to those men who are leaving their girlfriends or wives or partners at home while they go and party without a second thought; it’s an explanation to other men of why their past relationships may not have worked out, and what they did wrong.

Again, I’m a guy but I can relate to the lyrics so much.  Though the gender slant is probably correct, it does also happen the other way round, and there are plenty of guys who experience being shut out of their partner’s lives.  The song says “don’t underappreciate me, because the day I’m gone, you realise what you did and you’ll be the one who loses”.  I find myself singing this song when I’m at home and really getting into it, because whether you’re a girl or a guy, we all know how it feels to have our feelings hurt by someone else, whether we show it on the outside or not.  The video is a fantastic exploration of gender stereotypes, and looks at the pain that Beyoncé’s partner feels when she ignores him in the first scenario; it’s an unusual situation that is made sense of in the mirror image / “reality” of the second scenario, when Beyoncé becomes the office administrator and her partner the cop (jobs which are considered more typically feminine and masculine, rather than vice versa).  How the guy pleads with Beyoncé in the spoken interlude isn’t typically macho, and Beyoncé’s bravado at flirting with someone else in front of his face, goading him with “Why are you so jealous?” is a contrast to what we usually expect due to gender stereotyping. But it fantastically rams home the point that, even though Beyoncé is singing “You’re just a boy, you don’t understand”, the pain is universal and applies to both genders.  We all feel hurt, and we all should aim to be a better man.

—-

If I were a boy even just for a day
I’d roll out of bed in the morning
And throw on what I wanted and go

Drink beer with the guys and chase after girls
I’d kick it with who I wanted
And I’d never get confronted for it
‘Cause they’d stick up for me

If I were a boy
I think I could understand
How it feels to love a girl
I swear I’d be a better man

I’d listen to her
‘Cause I know how it hurts
When you lose the one you wanted
‘Cause he’s taken you for granted
And everything you had got destroyed

If I were a boy
I would turn off my phone
Tell everyone it’s broken
So they’d think that I was sleeping alone

I’d put myself first
And make the rules as I go
‘Cause I know that she’d be faithful
Waiting for me to come home, to come home

If I were a boy
I think I could understand
How it feels to love a girl
I swear I’d be a better man

I’d listen to her
‘Cause I know how it hurts
When you lose the one you wanted
‘Cause he’s taken you for granted
And everything you had got destroyed

It’s a little too late for you to come back
Say it’s just a mistake
Think I’d forgive you like that
If you thought I would wait for you
You thought wrong

But you’re just a boy
You don’t understand
And you don’t understand, oh
How it feels to love a girl
Someday you’ll wish you were a better man

You don’t listen to her
You don’t care how it hurts
Until you lose the one you wanted
‘Cause you’ve taken her for granted
And everything you had got destroyed
But you’re just a boy

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