Symphonious Thursday #32

Maybe it’s about time to post one of these again. I hope you don’t mind me posting these whenever I can. I don’t always have time to sit down and write about new music. Also, finding new music is fairly easy, but trying to interpret it or write down your thoughts about it is somewhat difficult to do in one sitting, without being able to think about it properly.
I’ve had a period of listening aimlessly again, and thought about listening to Eels on random to find something new and break out of my mindless loop , but when I decided I didn’t need to be depressed the next month. I then remembered a band I hadn’t listened to for nearly six months: Barenaked Ladies. However, when it comes to bands I am fairly familiar with, I end up playing the same songs I’ve heard before and never end up discovering something new. But after listening to them on random for about 30 minutes I came across this song.

I don’t know if this is a popular song or not, but I rather enjoy it. A lot. In fact, I’ve been listening to it for the past 3 hours (don’t judge me). I love songs with a scenario, and I will now try to interpret this song for you all.
I think it’s about a couple of guys, girls whatever arguing whether their friend should date this Katie, or not. One is positive to the idea, the other is negative.
The first verse:

What’s the use in hesitating?
Can’t you see that Katie’s waiting?
Just because her youth is fading
Doesn’t mean she’s not worth dating.

is obviously positive. This person (I’m going to suggest friend) can see no reason why his friend shouldn’t date Katie. Sure, she might not be a young supermodel, but she’s a great girl and there’s no reason to hesitate the relationship.

The second verse:

I don’t know
What the fuss is all about
Just take it slow
It’s not like you can’t live without her
To and fro if you’ve got a shred of doubt
Then it’s not worth it

is obviously negative. He doesn’t understand why he should rush the relationship, or even go there in the first place. If he’s unsure about the decision he should just take it slow, and suggests that if he’s even doubting it’s not worth trying to build a relationship with her.

The third verse is the positive again saying:

Can’t you see her with her arms wide open?
She’s everything that you’ve been hoping for
Forever’s not so long, stop moping
She’s got a daughter and you’re just not coping

Again, trying to persuade him into a relationship with Katie. Even if he’s going to be stuck in the relationship it’s still worth it, because they’re perfect for each other, and he suggests that the only reason he’s even doubting is because of Katie’s daughter (probably suggesting she’s a little older, which would explain the previous part).

The last verse:

Do you know everyone you ever swore you’d love for life?
I don’t know them anymore
I know their names, I’d recognize them on the street
And I don’t love them

is the counterpart speaking again, making an argument that love doesn’t love forever, probably referring to both Katie and the person they’re talking to. He may love her now, but in a few years he’ll be over it and forget about her. Since Katie has a child she probably had someone special in her life at one point, but now he’s gone.

The chorus:

What’s so maybe about
What’s so maybe about
What’s so maybe about Katie?

is them both asking that question, but putting something different in it. “Maybe” can mean both yes and no. They’re sort of saying “Why are you even question it?”, but one sees it in a positive way, the other in a negative way. The positive is saying “Why wouldn’t you date her?”, while the negative is saying “Why would you date her?”.

The other thing that leads me to this conclusion is the change in style throughout the song. The first and thrid verses are slow, soft and easy, while the second and fourth are fast-paced, harsh and heavy (light and dark). Also, the mentioning and literal use of a metronome in the beginning suggests the main character (if I can call him that) is trying to decide between two options, and he’s tilting between them, because he can’t decide. In other words, there’s an equal amount of pros as there are cons.
Basically this could be  a conversation between a person’s conscience.

Even if this song is very popular, it still isn’t one of their most popular songs, and I think it is extremely underrated. It has that typical happy, feel-good style of Barenaked Ladies and it could easily replace one of their more popular songs.

Hope you enjoy this song as much as I did. I’m still listening to it right now.

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