Hello Thursday! It has been so long since I have written anything, still getting back into the swing of things since my vacation, so hopefully I can get right back into it.
Today I decided to write about a song that has become my personal favorite recently. I literally cannot stop listening to it on repeat because it is just so good and has such a powerful message to me. The song is by Elliot Smith called Between the Bars (if you haven’t heard it I recommend you go listen like ASAP). When I first heard it in the movie Stuck in Love with Logan Lerman I of course associated it with being a love song, I mean the scene in the movie was in regard to a romantic relationship, and the movie was obviously all about love haha.
Anyway, the more I listened, the more I heard an entirely different song. At first I was thinking a guy was singing to a girl promising to make her feel better. Then I realized the point of view of the lyrics are not from a boy but from a bottle of alcohol (or any substance for that matter). Once I came up with that interpretation the song really began to resonate with me. With lyrics like:
“People you’ve been before that you don’t want around anymore”
just reminds me of my days of using when even the thought of who I had been before the drug use would just upset me so much. I didn’t want to be that person anymore, because of the person I had become, so I tried to forget the old me. In a way I could feel the more I got high the more I was slipping away from myself, and anytime I was reminded of who I was, the drugs would just call out to me. The thought of being sober and confronting my real issues scared me and I just wanted out. Honestly at that point I didn’t think I could go back even if I wanted to.
“Drink up one more time, and I’ll make you mine, keep you apart here in my heart. Separate from the rest where I like you the best”.
Again this song in particular is about alcohol but really anyone could listen and think of any substance they’ve ever relinquished control to. The words are so perfect, I mean any substance prefers you to be isolated, those lyrics depict that beautifully. I remember how often I sat and thought about everything I could have been but of course could never get there. I was just making empty promises to myself and only the drugs knew that.
“Where I’m seeing you there
With your hands in the air
Waiting to finally be caught”
Anyone can tell you that when you are in the grip of an addiction that is the only comfort you seem to find anywhere. It isn’t that no one is there for you, sometimes you have PLENTY of people trying to help you, but no one understands you. The only thing that truly gets you and is there for you when you need it is the thing that is causing you the most harm. Of course you will never figure that out until you are completely done with giving in to that temptation of empty promises.
I am a huge fan of Elliot Smith and I do know he struggled with alcoholism for a long time which is why it makes perfect sense for the song to be about that. But I am a girl and we really love to jump to the conclusion that most songs are love songs with some guy promising us the world. At the same time though, even after making this connection to the song, it is still a love song. I am sure I am not the only person to say that you don’t just DO things you are addicted to. You have a relationship with them. You are committed to them and only them. NOTHING else matters not even your own well being. That being said, technically this song still is a love song, isn’t it?
It feels good to be back in LA and be writing again. The only thing that could make it better are your responses/requests/questions so let me have it!
[Currently Listening to: Between the Bars by Elliot Smith]