Sunday, September 13, 2009



Growing up, a major theme in our household was, "It's not what you say, it's how you say it." My mother was all about tone. And the only tone she really wanted to hear from her children was a pleasant one. Sarcasm, whining, bitchiness and sass were all best muttered into a pillow in the privacy of our bedrooms. Even then, the woman could hear an eyeball roll and smack it back into place without leaving her seat.

All these memories flooded back to me in room 404 of Stabler Hall the other night as my professor discussed the importance of delivery in effective rhetoric. Rather than lecture, he let the music do the talking. We each got a copy of a mysterious song's lyrics and were instructed to guess the style of delivery. Was it man or woman? Fast tempo or slow? Country, rap, rock? Absent the artist's delivery, it was all up to our imaginations.

What would you have guessed:

I want to know how it'll end
I want to be sure of what it'll cost
I want to strangle the stars for all they promised me
I want you to call me on your drug phone
I want to keep you alive so there is always the possibility of murder later
I want to be there when you learn the cost of desire
I want you to understand that my malevolence is just a way to win
I want the name of the ruiner
I want matches in case I have to suddenly burn
I want you to know that being kind is overrated
I want to write my secret across your sky
I want to watch you lose control
I want to watch you lose
I want to know exactly what it's going to take
I want to see you insert yourself into glory
I want your touches to scar me so I'll know where you've been
I want you to watch when I go down in flames
I want a list of atrocities done in your name
I want to reach my hand into the dark and feel what reaches back
I want to remember when my nightmares were clearer
I want to be there when your hot black rage rips wide open
I want to taste my own kind
I want to be wrapped in cold wet sheets to see if it's different on this side
I want you to come on strong
I want to leave you out in the cold
I want the exact same thing... but different
I want some soft drugs.. some soft, soft drugs
I want to throw you
I want you to know I know
I want to know if you read me
I want to swing with my eyes shut and see what I hit
I want to know just how much you hate me so I can predict what you'll do
I want you to know the wounds are self-inflicted
I want a controlling interest
I want to be somewhere beautiful when I die
I want to be your secret hater
I want to stop destroying you but I can't
And I want and I want and I want
And I will always be hungry
And I want and I want and I want...

So, what did you hear? Who did you see?

For me, it was her:

But I was wrong. Give a listen and see how close your perception was to reality.


Judy said...

Love the first paragraph. All too true. I must say I still agree with my earlier decision to have a lot of pleasantness.
Whining, sarcasm, bitchiness and sass I can STILL do without.

Anonymous said...

Interesting lyrics, but is that a penis or a cigar?

Judy said...

Just finally listened to the "song??"

Must say I'd be a bit afraid in that class. I'll be interested to know what you learn.