Haley’s Poetic Playlist: “Girls Like You”

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All right, people! I am back after my week-long sabbatical! I hope you’re all enjoying the summer! Today I’m looking at one of my old favorites from high school. It’s a quick little song that I think you readers will enjoy a lot. It’s a track by a small band called The Naked and Famous. The song is titled “Girls Like You.” Enjoy!

“Girls Like You”

[Verse 1]
“Run, whirlwind, run
Further and further away
Into the sun
In twenty minutes
Everyone will remember you when you’re gone
And your heart, is a stone
Buried underneath your pretty clothes”

I like the opening three lines of this song because they loosely reference the Greek Myth of Icarus — the man who created wax wings to escape Crete but ignored his father’s advice and flew too close to the sun, resulting in melted wings and his return to the ocean (or, at least, it’s something along those lines). So, this “whirlwind” of a person whom the narrator is addressing seems to be someone who ignores the advice of those who care about her and makes her own rules instead.

The middle couple of lines seem to express the thought that this girl’s rebellious nature leaves an impression on those around her. The people she meets don’t forget about her, even when she’s no longer in their presence. The last two lines are a little cliché, depicting the emotionless aspects of this girl’s heart, contrasted with the beautiful clothing she wears and uses to cover up who she truly is.

[Chorus]
“Don’t you know people write songs about girls like you?”

This short form of a chorus ironically declares that “people,” specifically this band, write about girls like this who break hearts (a common subject within the music industry).

[Verse 2]

“What will you do when something stops you?
What will you say to the world?
What will you be when it all comes crashing down on you little girl?
What would you do if you lost your beauty?
How would you deal with the light?
How would you feel if nobody chased you?
What if it happened tonight?”

The first three lines of this stanza focus on the “what ifs.” It’s almost as if the narrator is hoping that this girl who plays on people’s emotions will eventually meet her match. He poses these hypothetical questions to the girl, asking what she would do if she wasn’t able to run around and flirt with everyone, what she would do if she no longer had her perfect looks, what she would do if nobody was constantly after her. Seeing as her life is centered around leading others on, she doesn’t appear to have much substance to her other than the enjoyment she gets from hurting others. The stanza is playing with the idea of karma.

“How would you cope if the world decided to
Make you suffer for all that you were?
How could you dance if no one was watching
And you couldn’t even get off the floor?
What would you do if you couldn’t even feel
Not even pitiful pain?
How would you deal with the empty decisions
Eating away at the days?”

Here, the singer continues to ask what this girl would do if the world turned around and treated her the way that she treated others. How would she react to the unfair treatment that she has placed on others? The second line asks what she would do if she didn’t have to live her life centered around other peoples’s attention or approval. I enjoy the rest of the stanza, which asks if she would be the same person even if she couldn’t feel the emotions involved in flirtation and searching for approval. Would she still mess around with other people’s heads?

[Chorus]
Don’t you know people write songs about girls like you?
About girls like you
About girls like you

[Chorus 2]
Everything you say is fire
All the claims you lay you liar
Everything you say is fire
See it in the grey you crier

This second chorus is fun for a few reasons. Firstly, there is some really fun imagery used with the fire and the “grey crier.” Secondly, the rhyme scheme is nice, as the song plays with “fire/liar/crier.” He calls this girl a liar, claiming that the things that she says burn, and he also brings up the grey areas involved in dating and being with other people, claiming she just cries her way out of those situations instead of facing them head on.

[Chorus]

[Chorus 2]

All in all, this is a fun song, and I think it is a common theme in the music industry to talk about heartbreak and reveal the pain that has been inflicted on the songwriter. It makes the song extremely relatable and easy to follow. While the song is not incredibly deep in meaning, it is short and to the point, touching on a part of life that many people experience.

— Haley Renison, Poetry Editor

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