Thursday, February 02, 2006

Lonely song musings. Lately I have really felt annoyed at the grammatical incorrectness of that Air Supply song, "Two Less Lonely People in the World"
Two less lonely people in the world
And it’s gonna be fine
Out of all the people in the world
I just can’t believe you’re mine
In my life where everything was wrong
Something finally went right
Now there’s two less lonely people
In the world tonight
I like the economic rationalist sentiment of this song: that if you're lonely you should just hook up with some other lonely person, regardless of whether you're attracted to them, in order to reduce the world's overall loneliness quotient. (I did that test a few months back when I was feeling particularly miserable, and I scored 51%.) It's also a persuasive pick-up line: "Come on, we're both lonely, so why not?" There have been many times that I have wished this line of thinking actually worked.

However! If it were up to me, the song would go "Now there are two fewer lonely people in the world tonight". Although I do kind of like the slippage. The song could also suggest that finding a partner doesn't eliminate your loneliness altogether; it just makes you a little less lonely. I like the image of two people lying in bed at night together, trying to hide their lonely tears from each other.

Also, just this morning I was listening to "Papa Was A Rolling Stone" by the Temptations:
Papa was a rolling stone
Wherever he laid his hat was his home
And when he died, all he left us was alone
Until shamefully recently, I used to think the line was, "And when he died, all he left us was a loan." And I thought, "What a miserable bastard, never being there for his kids and then saddling them with all his debts!" But then it occurred to me that all he'd left them was "alone", which is a much more maudlin sentiment. I prefer my interpretation.

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