Friday, May 23, 2014

My (Always Right) Take on Ingrid Michaelson’s “Girls Chase Boys”

Today, I’m analyzing another (soon to be) pop culture hit song, this time by Ingrid Michaelson.

Called “Girls Chase Boys,” it has an intriguingly catchy tune, and Michaelson really does have an awesomely whimsical voice: a little Sara Bareilles with its sass and originality, yet slightly softer at the same time, making her style quite unique.

Her mind, however, appears to be quite common, I’m sorry to say.

I heard “Girls Chase Boys” for the first time on my commute into work yesterday, and was instantly hooked, checking it out on YouTube as soon as I got the chance.

Artistically speaking, the music video is captivating. Featuring both men and women wearing full faces of makeup, it has absolutely nothing to do with breaking up even though the song itself is most definitely a break-up song. I mean, it starts out like this, for heaven’s sake:

“All the broken hearts in the world still beat
Let’s not make it harder than it has to be”.

With further lyrics like “I’m a little bit down, but I’m not dead / There’s a little bit more that has to be said / You played me; now I play you too / Let’s just call it over,” it’s totally a break-up song, right?

Except that Michaelson throws in some random, repeated lines about “It’s all the same thing / Girls chase boys chase girls”.

Those added lyrics confused me enough that I went scrolling through the YouTube comments to see if anyone had a clue about how to interpret them. I mean, the message of the music video was fairly clear, but music videos often don’t actually match their accompanying songs.

Apparently, the accompanying songs don’t have to match their writers’ intentions either. Because according to Ingrid Michaelson herself:

“Girls Chase Boys started out as a break up song but took on a deeper meaning as I continued writing. More than just being about my experience, its focus shifted to include the idea that, no matter who or how we love, we are all the same.

“The video takes that idea one step further, and attempts to turn stereotypical gender roles on their head. Girls don't exclusively chase boys. We all know this! We all chase each other and in the end we are all chasing after the same thing: love. I hope you enjoy it! AHHH!”

Say what?

Believe it or not, my criticism of this catchy song (which I’m totally planning on listening to another ten dozen times – possibly more – before I get completely sick of it) has absolutely nothing to do with homosexuality. I’m only concerned about its lack of ability to make sense.

The song is a break-up song! It’s about relationships not working out! If it’s a pro-homosexuality message, then it’s the absolute worst pro-homosexuality message I’ve ever heard, partially because it doesn’t address homosexuality at all, and partially because it’s about breaking up!

I mean, what group wants their position defended by a break-up song?

As a conservative Christian, I find myself rather relieved that Ms. Michaelson isn’t on my side. She’d probably end up doing more damage to my cause than good.

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