Hey, people who read this! Hope you liked the first two songs, because this next one is something. I honestly forgot all about this oldie until I put my songs on shuffle and it came on. I do not listen to much rap, but this is more alternative than anything and I think that it’s one for the books.
I think I relate to this song because it seriously is poetry put to music. The song is about appreciating one another even after we have all been used and mistreated — hence the rather blunt title, “Sloppy Seconds” — and it’s by Watsky. The charm of this song is that once you look past the title, it is a daring and unapologetic masterpiece—and that is rather symbolic of the overall message.
“Fuck you if you love a car for its paint job
Love you if you love a car for the road trips
Show me the miles and your arms and the pink scar
Where the doctor had to pull out all the bone chips
Cuz you were pressing on the gas just a bit hard
Right in the moment where the road curved a bit sharp
And when you woke up, somebody was un-clipping your seat belt
And pulling you from the open window of your flipped car”
(Yes, this song really enjoys the F-bomb, so let us just become accustomed to it.)
Essentially, these first two lines are a re-imagined version of the classic saying, “don’t judge a book by its cover,” stating that someone deserves to be looked upon as something more than just a pretty face. Watsky establishes that he has no time or desire to be with someone who is not in it for the journey. I love the juxtaposition of arms to miles in the third line because this concrete image of arms going on for mile,s along with that person’s story, is rather beautiful. The slant rhymes at the end of each line are so craftily placed that it’s hard to ignore their presence. Scar, hard, sharp, and car contribute to the story being told and create such a lovely flow of poetic lyrics.
Give’m here, give’m here
Hand me downs
Give me give me leftovers
Give me give me sloppy seconds
Give em here, give em here
I don’t care where you’ve been
How many miles, I still love you [x2]”
This hook is rather genius, as it’s composed of only second-hand objects and concepts. Cold pizza was once warm but is obviously not fresh anymore, tie-dye shirts rarely begin that way, and broken hearts were once whole. Hand-me-downs were once new clothes but have been worn out and worn thin, leftovers were originally cooked yesterday…or last week, and I don’t need to explain what sloppy seconds are (although Urban Dictionary gives a rather graphic description, for those of you wondering). Watsky asks for all of those things that most people pass over and forget because he doesn’t care what they’ve been through. He still sees the value in each item. We also get a lovely reference back to the miles/car analogy from the beginning of the song.
“Show me someone who says they got no baggage
I’ll show you somebody whose got no story
Nothing gory means no glory, but baby please don’t bore me
We won’t know until we get there
The who, or the what, or the when where
My favorite sweater was a present that I got a couple presidents ago
And I promised that I would rock it till it’s thread bare
Bet on it
Every single person got a couple skeletons
So pretty soon, in this room
It’ll just be me and you when we clear out all the elephants
Me and you and the elements”
This verse talks about the beauty in disaster. The author demands that his self-conscious lover produce someone who doesn’t have his or her own cross to bear, and he promises to find someone who lacks a past — point being that these tasks are virtually impossible. Then the third line of “gory,” “glory,” and “bore me” (after “story”) reveals the message that there’s nothing rewarding you for being with someone who is perfect. Watsky goes on to admit that uncertainty is what makes life interesting, and that he and his partner can plan it out as they go along.
One of my favorite lines in the entire song is the one in which he talks about the old sweater he “got a couple presidents ago” (which is a masterful way of communicating that a large span of time has passed), because this keeps with the theme of used objects. Again, the author promises to love the used item by “rock[ing] it till it’s thread bare.” This song’s rhyme scheme is so smart and well-placed, like when Watsky uses “elephants” and “elements.” This last bit of the stanza continues to point out that no one is perfect and as soon as they both admit it, then the elephants will leave the room and the two can be happy in their own element.
“We all have our pitfalls
Beer’s flat, the cabs have been called
And everybody and their momma can hear the drama
that’s happening behind these thin walls”
This is the end of verse two but I wanted to look at it separately. “Pitfalls,” “called,” and later, “walls,” carry out the rhyme scheme. Watsky reiterates that everyone has their own problems but that it’s time to move on and go home. The “beer’s flat” and the “cabs have been called,” so there is nothing left to do but trust each other because everyone (including their mothers) knows that relationships are not perfect and that there will be arguments and shortcomings, but it will be okay.
“My pattern with women isn’t a flattering image
But I don’t want to run away because I said so
I don’t want to be the guy to hide all of my flaws
And I’ll be giving you the side of me that I don’t let show”
Watsky admits that he has not always been reliable, but he doesn’t plan on doing that again just because he came clean. He doesn’t want his partner to believe that he is some god that remains free from mistakes, and he intends to let this person in if he or she will trust him — it is apparent that he trusts this person deeply with his secrets.
“Everything in fashion
That has ever happened
Always coming crashing down
Better let go
But in a couple years it will be retro
You rock Marc Ecko
My shirts have the gecko
Cuz in the past man, I was hopeless
But now’s when my little cousins look the dopest
“Fashion,” “happened,” and “crashing” again are genius slant rhymes that communicate the fleeting trends society experiences, explaining that these will never last, so it is best to just avoid trying to keep up because old clothes will eventually be back in style, or “retro.” (This kind of symbolizes the concept of exes wanting what they no longer have, eventually realizing sometimes that they let someone get away). He finds common ground with this lover by comparing their outfit choices. He knows he couldn’t keep up with the trends, so he just wore what he wanted. But the younger generation gets his hand-me-downs that are now considered cool, and they’re “dope” because of it.
“Fuck the fashion po-po
Have a stale doughnut, I don’t need no tips
Fuck a five second rule
That’s a plan I never understood
It’s September in my kitchen in a Christmas sweater
Sipping cold coffee on the phone with damaged goods
And there is not a single place that I would rather be
I’m fucked up just like you are, and you’re fucked up just like me”
As verse three continues, Watsky carries on the fashion references, deeming trendsetters as irrelevant and cleverly telling them to appreciate old things by sarcastically offering the fashion police a stereotypical “doughnut” in an effort to shut their mouths because he doesn’t care about what they have to say. He goes on to question the idea people have about the “five-second rule,” claiming he’s never let it rule his life.
Then comes the best four lines of the entire song, which give the stupendous image of a person sitting in a Christmas sweater (perhaps the sweater referenced at the beginning of the song?) three months before the appropriate time to wear it, drinking coffee that should be warm, and talking to someone who obviously brings him joy despite the fact that he or she is broken. He assures this individual that he is perfectly happy with where he’s at in his life because they are both, for lack of better words, “fucked up,” and that is what makes them good for each other — they both understand.
Once people give this song a chance, I think they will be able to relate. There is definitely an angsty air to it, making it quite appealing to a teenage audience, but it’s universally charming in its message that we are all human. And that’s okay. It’s okay to feel unwanted and unwelcome, but this song serves as a reminder that none of us are alone in our struggles, and that there are people out there who want to help, and who want to patch us up and make us feel whole again. Songs like this have a special place in my heart and I’ll never stop sharing it because everyone is worth it, and everyone deserves to know that.
— Haley Renison, Poetry Editor