I’m a “do for yourself and don’t rely on anyone to do it for you” type. I’m a “smash a jar of pickles with a hammer rather than admit I couldn’t open it” type. I’m a “no longer keeps a tool kit in the kitchen for totally unrelated reasons” type. It’s important you know that about me before I proceed, because what I’m about to admit might make you think otherwise.
You see, I have wasted a decent portion of my life hanging in the alley behind tiny clubs wandering Guitar Centers, wearing v-necks and leaning into the bar on open mic nights in order to date a musician. I thought being a musician’s girlfriend would be the best way to reach one of my more achievable life goals (right above learn to tightrope walk and subsequently use said skill to escape moderate sized heist)–to serve as the inspiration for a song. I wanted a song to come on the radio (haha “radio”– sorry, that’s an old-fashioned word that means spotify playlist) and have to roll my eyes and give my best “so bored” look as I humble-brag “ugh, it’s that song about ME again.”
Now, I know every song is not a beautiful soul-gripping ode to a woman’s beauty, wisdom, wit and incomparable ability to be everything to everyone (although, if you’ve already started writing a song about me in that direction, do not let me interrupt your flow, you keep doing what you’re doing and see me later). Musicians also write about people they hate, but that possibility didn’t bother me. If a female-version of “You’re So Vain” were about me at least I’d know Carly Simon just couldn’t stop thinking about me. A lot of hate songs are just the musical equivalent of an 11:45 p.m. drunk text “hi.”
But there is another type of song: songs that you think are flattering, but turn out not to be. These songs are much worse than outright “I hate this person” odes because the insult is subtle. At first you’re pulled in, thinking someone had written a heartfelt homage to you, so your guard is down and the sucker punch hurts more. Here are the top five songs I thought I wanted to be about me, but ultimately do not.