||[Sep. 24th, 2008|01:28 am]
Kelly J. Cooper
This might be one of those "it seems like an obvious fact to me" when in reality it's one of those "I'm full of shit" moments...
But, while I used to love "More Than Words" by Extreme back in high school, I eventually became convinced that it's a guy guilt-tripping his girlfriend into having sex.
"All you have to do is / Close your eyes and just reach out your hand / And touch me / Hold me close don't ever let me go / More than words is all I ever needed you to show / Then you wouldn't have to say / That you love me / Cause I'd already know" combined with him wondering what would happen if he took those words away. Not if she lost the ability to speak, but if he took them away.
Because if you REALLY LOVED ME you'd have sex with me...
Ugh. Thank you. Needed to get that off my chest, especially now that it's been covered by a New Sexy Hot and is getting a stupid amount of airplay.
Actually, IIRC, it was a concept from one of the band members' (Gary's?) girlfriend. "If you'd just not be a dick, you wouldn't have to say 'I love you' to clean the slate all the time." (My phrasing, of course.) Essentially, "I love you" gets old when what really needs to change is behavior. The first verse kinda sets that up:
Saying I love you
Is not the words I want to hear from you
It's not that I want you
Not to say, but if you only knew
How easy it would be to show me how you feel
More than words is all you have to do to make it real
Then you wouldn't have to say that you love me
'Cause I'd already know
Now, on the one hand, I don't remember where I heard that, so I could be blowing sunshine up your butt. On the other hand, I'm a pretty big Extreme dork, and I file that away among "things I knew while I was sporting Extreme laminates in the early '90s".
Also, they're touring right now, and god damn are they in top form. New album is killer.
2008-09-24 05:50 am (UTC)
I like that interpretation a LOT better than the vague uncomfortableness of high school pressure sex.
You are far from the only person who interpreted it as 'stop talking and get physical instead', etc.
I never imagined this was even in doubt... that song infuriated me on this basis pretty much the moment I heard it.
2008-09-24 05:53 am (UTC)
Oh and also? You being a dork about anything? Not seeing it, even with a whole lotta squinting and a vivid imagination.
Hahahaha. With science fiction/fantasy, it's called fandom. With music, they're called groupies. :)
SO many songs like that. Some of them Downright Evil, others just bizarre.
Like, "Tainted Love" ... or, two songs which will make me change the channel immediately, "Santeria" and "The Wrong Way"... because a cheerful song about not practicing religious black magic(*) and another cheerful song about child-prostitution, not particularly worth my earspace.
(* Santeria is one of those odd religions that grew out of synthesis of African paganism, vodoun, and Catholicism, with bizarre concepts like Jesus = Thor, and I don't feel obligated to respect any part of it as "truthful" any more than I have to respect the origins of Mormonism or the "ancient" origins of Wicca.)
Oddly enough, the song "Santeria" is disturbing to me more because it describes a guy who plans to hunt down his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend and murder them for possibly ripping him off than for any mention of yet another Catholicism-derivative.
'Sfunny: I like the sound of most Sublime songs, but the lyrics, well, they're not all as uplifting as "What I Got."
Elvis has a couple of those kind of songs as well.
I'll take this as an opportunity to be grateful for my occasional bouts of cultural illiteracy.
There are plenty of songs I enjoy the music to, but then the lyrics make them almost impossible to enjoy (see: Sublime), so I feel your pain, though.