Sammy the Seal

“I’m pretty sure I wasn’t your first choice”

In vinyl on Sunday, 20 January, 2013 at 11:23


Song: The Weekenders
Artist: The Hold Steady
Album: Heaven Is Whenever

Way too many lines I could’ve used as the title, like every second or third, literally. It sure is hard to do these things with school and work. It’s easy to stay on top of music when you have no life. Things really are different when you have important things to do. But this rousing song, with its embarrassment of lyrical riches, called to me. I have to say, first off, that I’m a little underwhelmed by the solo, it doesn’t feel as cathartic. Part of me thinks I’m just jaded, that it’s somehow my fault. Not everything can be “Lord, I’m Discouraged”, or even “Joke About Jamaica”.

Now that the slightly negative is out of the way, there are the nice backing oh’s under the chorus. Always welcome, made for joining in. And, duh, the rhythm section, great, steady beat. That simple, solitary two-note guitar melody in the verses feels wonderfully lonely and melancholy, which is in the vocals, and probably because I find much of the lyrics a bit poignant and relevant. (Grammar note: I am using “the lyrics” as a collective noun, not plural.) Can’t help but think. Fortunately, it’s still melodic and doesn’t drag, and because of who we’re dealing with, the chorus is pumped up with energy, so there’s little self-pity or mope, and more honesty, reality, and acceptance.

“There was that whole weird thing with the horses
I think they know exactly what happened, I don’t think it needs any explaining
I’m pretty sure I wasn’t your first choice
I think I was the last one remaining
I wish we hadn’t gone and destroyed it, ’cause I was thinking we could pull another weeekender, if you still got a little bit of clairvoyance

I remember the metal bar
I remember the reservoir
You could say our paths had crossed before

So if it has to be a secret, then I guess that I can deal with it
You and I both know it’s a negative thing
In the end, only the girls know the whole truth

There were a couple pretty crass propositions
There were some bugs in the bars, there was a kid camped out by the coat check
She said “the theme of this party’s the industrial age”
And you came in dressed like a train wreck

I remember the O.T.B.
the five-second delivery
You could say our paths have crossed before

So if it has to be a secret, then I guess that I can deal with it
God only knows, it’s not always a positive thing
to see a few seconds into the future
And if you swear to keep it decent, then, yeah, I’ll come and see you,
but it’s not gonna be like in romantic comedies
In the end, I bet no one learns a lesson

So if it has to be a secret, then I guess that I can deal with it
You and I both know it’s a negative thing
In the end, only the girls know the whole truth
And if you swear to keep it decent, then, yeah, I’ll come and see you,
but it’s not gonna be like in romantic comedies
In the end, I bet no one learns a lesson

In the end, only the girls know the whole truth
In the end, I bet no one learns a lesson”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: