Saturday, September 1, 2012

Please Do Not Set Fire To The Rain

My favorite song of the summer has been Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe." In fact, Carly Rae may be my favorite Canadian artist at the moment. Yes, she's swiftly moved ahead of Justin Bieber, Celine Dion and Nickelback in my "Favorite Canadian Artist" power rankings. That's how much I like "Call Me Maybe."

The song is so catchy that I often find myself repeating the lyrics in my head over and over again. "Hey, I just met you/And this is crazy/But here's my number/So call me maybe." This is crazy. Carly Rae is an attractive, ultra-successful pop star, and she's begging guys to call her. Why can't I find a woman like her who's just as desperate as she is?

Another reason why I like "Call Me Maybe" is that it's so different from another song I've listened to quite a bit this year: Adele's "Set Fire to the Rain." In case you're wondering, Adele is pretty high in my "Favorite UK Solo Artist" power rankings, ahead of Jessie J but behind Rick Astley.

I still put Adele and Rick in the same class, because both have songs with powerful lyrics that have brought tears to my eyes. Adele's "Someone Like You" is hauntingly beautiful, and the chorus resonates with me. Who hasn't had to let go of someone they loved? "Don't forget me, I beg/I remember you said/'Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead.'" Man, when I hear those words, something stirs up inside of me -- the same feeling I have when I watch Toy Story 3.

It's also the same feeling I have when I listen to Rick Astley on my iPod. "Together forever and never to part/Together forever we too/And don't you know I would move heaven and earth/To be together forever with you." Amazing. It's no coincidence that one of the most popular memes in Internet history was based on his heartfelt music.

In any event, "Set Fire to the Rain" is not at all like "Call Me Maybe." It's a breakup song. But it's not your ordinary breakup song. It's a breakup song performed by a woman who's thought about setting fire to the rain.

This is the chorus: "I set fire to the rain/Watched it pour as I touched your face/Let it burn while I cried/'Cause I heard it screaming out your name, your name."

Obviously, Adele didn't really set fire to the rain after her breakup. Nevertheless, the idea did occur to her, because she sang about it after the fact.

A little disturbing, don't you think? I've been through many breakups, and not once did I contemplate setting fire to the rain. Never crossed my mind, not even for a moment. It sounds dangerous.

I wouldn't even know how to go about setting fire to the rain. Didn't know rain was flammable enough to watch it pour as I touched someone's face and cried. Maybe next time there's a storm in my neighborhood, I'll go outside with a match and see what happens.

I have to say, Adele, having listened to the song many times, I empathize with your ex-boyfriend. I couldn't justify being with someone who has the capacity to entertain the mere thought of setting fire to the rain. It's kind of nuts.

But if you have a logical explanation for why you felt the way you did, I'd love to hear it. So call me. Maybe.