Top of the Charts

I just couldn’t help it. As you might remember from prior blogs posted on my personal blog site, ourlifeinbusiness.com, I drive my 13-year-old daughter to school every morning. Over the past several weeks, we have been listening to the top twenty on the various channels that an 8th Grader would listen to on the way to school.

Frankly, I like a lot of the music. It is heartfelt, clever, youthful, creative, and musically accomplished.

At the same time, I must say that I also listen to some songs that, at its core, either make no sense to me whatsoever or, in the alternative, are reflective of exactly what they seem to be suggesting.

There are three songs I wanted to publish here that are on the top of the charts when it comes to whatever channels Isabella has me listening to.

It seems to me that there is a fundamental component to each of these three national best-selling songs that are consistent with each other and which got my attention. They are all reciprocal in that they have two communications — one from the male to the female and the other from the female to the male; they are all playing out pain as to the status of the relationships the two convey; and they are all dysfunctional in the relationship they seem to be describing.

Let me unpack that a little. They all reflect the same set of circumstances:

· They are “tween” to teenager music

· They are all about relationships

· They are all about dysfunction in those relationships

· They are all about pain and suffering in those dysfunctional relationships

· And, they are all dual communications, with both parties co-dependently committed to pain and suffering in those dysfunctional relationships.

Take a look at the following three songs, all three of which have been published in descending order of popularity in the Pop Charts. Read through them — without the music — and see if you don’t agree. The words pretty much tell me the story. I’ll come back shortly after you have read them.

Make Me (Cry)

I never needed you like I do right now
I never needed you like I do right now
I never hated you like I do right now
’Cause all you ever do is make me
Gave you up ‘bout twenty one times
Felt those lips tell me twenty one lies
You’ll be the death of me
Sage advice
Love, lovin’ you could make Jesus cry
When I hear you sayin’, “Darlin’, your kiss is like an antidote”
I’m fightin’ like I’m Ali
But you got me on the ropes
I never needed you like I do right now
I never needed you like I do right now
I never hated you like I do right now
’Cause all you ever do is make me
Couldn’t hear the thunder, but I heard your heart race
Couldn’t see the rain, we’re too busy makin’ hurricanes
Love ain’t easy when it ain’t my way
But it gets hard, when you ain’t here makin’ me crazy
Baby, say the word, darlin’
You know just how to hold the sucker down
So I’ll see you in the morning
I can’t watch you walk out
I never needed you like I do right now
I never needed you like I do right now
I never hated you like I do right now
’Cause all you ever do is make me
Cry, cry, cry
Hear the thunder, see the rain
Ooh, ooh, yeah, ooh
Keep on makin’ me cry
Yeah, hey, hey yeah, ooh
Keep makin’ me scream and holler
Keep on makin’ me cry
You don’t know what you do to me
Hey, hey, yeah
I never needed you like I do right now
I never needed you like I do right now
I never hated you like I do right now
’Cause all you ever do is make me

Issues

I’m jealous, I’m overzealous
When I’m down, I get real down
When I’m high, I don’t come down
But I get angry, baby, believe me
I could love you just like that
And I can leave you just as fast
But you don’t judge me
’Cause if you did, baby, I would judge you too
No, you don’t judge me
’Cause if you did, baby, I would judge you too
’Cause I got issues, but you got ’em too
So give ’em all to me and I’ll give mine to you
Bask in the glory of all our problems
’Cause we got the kind of love it takes to solve ‘em
Yeah, I got issues
And one of them is how bad I need you
You do shit on purpose
You get mad and you break things
Feel bad, try to fix things
But you’re perfect, poorly wired circuit
And got hands like an ocean
Push you out, pull you back in
’Cause you don’t judge me
’Cause if you did, baby, I would judge you too
No, you don’t judge me
’Cause you see it from the same point of view
’Cause I got issues, but you got ’em too
So give ’em all to me and I’ll give mine to you
Bask in the glory of all our problems
’Cause we got the kind of love it takes to solve ‘em
Yeah, I got issues
And one of them is how bad I need you
I got issues, you got ’em too
And one of them is how bad I need you
I got issues, you got ’em too
’Cause I got issues, but you got ’em too
So give ’em all to me and I’ll give mine to you
Bask in the glory of all our problems
’Cause we got the kind of love it takes to solve ‘em
Yeah, I got issues (I got)
And one of them is how bad I need you (You got ’em too)
Yeah, I got issues (I got issues)
And one of them is how bad I need you (You got ’em too)
Yeah, I got issues (I got)
And one of them is how bad I need you

Too Good

Oh yeah, yeah, yeah
Oh yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah
Look…I don’t know how to talk to you
I don’t know how to ask you if you’re okay
My friends always feel the need to tell me things
Seems like they’re just happier than us these days
Yeah, these days I don’t know how to talk to you
I don’t know how to be there when you need me
It feels like the only time you see me
Is when you turn your head to the side and look at me differently
Yeah, and last night I think I lost my patience
Last night, I got high as your expectations
Last night, I came to a realization
And I hope you can take it
I hope you can take it
I’m too good to you
I’m way too good to you
You take my love for granted
I just don’t understand it
No, I’m too good to you
I’m way too good to you
You take my love for granted
I just don’t understand it
I don’t know how to talk to you
I just know I found myself getting lost with you
Lately you just make me work too hard for you
Got me on flights overseas, and I still can’t get across to you
And last night I think I lost my patience
Last night, I got high as your expectations
Last night, I came to a realization
And I hope you can take it
I hope you can take it
I’m too good to you
I’m way too good to you
You take my love for granted
I just don’t understand it
No, I’m too good to you
I’m way too good to you
You take my love for granted
I just don’t understand it
Years go by too fast
I can’t keep track
How long did we last?
I feel bad for asking
It can’t end like this
We gotta take time with this
Cock up yuh bumper, sit down pon it
Let me see if this is something I can fix
You got somebody other than me
Don’t play the victim when you’re with me
Free time is costing me more than it seems
Sacrificing things
And I wanna tell you my intentions
I wanna do the things that I mention
I wanna benefit from the friendship
I wanna get the late night message from you, from you
I put my hands around you
Gotta get a handle on you
Gotta get a handle on the fact that…
I’m too good to you
I’m way too good to you
You take my love for granted
I just don’t understand it
No, I’m too good to you
I’m way too good to you
You take my love for granted
I just don’t understand it
Gyal a you mi waan
Pay fi yuh visa meck yo fly out regular
Baby, cock up yuh bumper, sit down pon it
Gyal yo pum pum good and yuh fit
Mi wi give you everything weh deh in my wallet
And in my pocket
Cock up yuh bumper, sit down pon it
Gyal yo pum pum good and yuh fit
Mi wi give you everything weh deh in my wallet
And in my pocket

Need I say more?

At the end of the day, I wonder whether these songs which convey a dysfunctional co-dependency are simply a reflection of the age, or the time, or the artist, or our society.

Regardless, what is happening though, is that they are being accepted, published, embraced, and riding high on the charts — whatever that might mean.