I like “Not Over You.” I also like Gavin DeGraw’s song “I Don’t Want To Be.” Confessing preferential taste for such songs may be akin to wearing a salmon colored shirt (I kind of want to buy one of those, actually), but I don’t really care. That is not the point of this post anyway. I just want to discuss and dissect the insanity and inanity of one certain lyric in this song. Maybe you know which one I’m talking about it.
First, context. “Not Over You” explains itself in the title. Gavin is not over someone, a female someone, a presumed ex-girlfriend who dumped him. Given this circumstance, one would think Gavin would be trying to move on. And he is. He sings that he is telling people he is doing “just fine,” that said ex-gf is not on his mind. Until…here comes the lyric:
“But I go out and I sit down at a table set for two. And finally I’m forced to face the truth. No matter what I say – I’m not over you.”
WHY THE H-E-DOUBLE TOOTHPICKS would he write/sing about sitting down at a table set for two? This is clearly, according to the song, the only thing that sends him spiraling back into unforgiving depths of heartache. He’s doing just fine, telling people the girl is not on his mind and then he goes to a restaurant by himself and asks the maître d’ to include an extra salad plate and set of silverware for a make believe person sitting across from him. Of course he will get upset.
We all know breakups are hard. We know you’ll want to sulk a little, we know that you will spend a couple of nights in and we know that you might very well crave a meal at a restaurant during this time of sadness and introspection. But you don’t know have to go to a restaurant by yourself. Bring a friend. Worst case scenario, Gavin should go to a diner and sit on one of those stools facing the kitchen. Not only is there nothing “set for two,” there is no “table” to speak of.
But Gavin is not the only jilted lover who writes nonsensical lyrics, not even the only one who has a current hit. Bruno Mars’ “It Will Rain” (another song I REALLY like) starts out with him saying that he wants his girlfriend to leave morphine at his door if she leaves him.
He will presumably take this morphine to get over the heartache. Sorry Bruno, not a great idea. Morphine is an opioid, a type of drug that can heighten depression.
Musicians need to learn from the experts when concocting songs about lovesickness. Robyn and Adele are clearly the queens of this subgenre. If you’re “not over” someone, sneak up on them out of the blue a la Adele and then realize that you have to let that person go and search for someone just like him or her.
Better yet, pull a Robyn. In her hit song from 2010, she sings about going to the club, stalking her ex and watching him kiss his new squeeze. All the while she dances on her own in the corner. Now THAT is normal.