Saturday, December 5, 2009

More "Girl" talk

One aspect of "Girl" that I didn't bring up in my last post is its vagueness. And by that I mean the vagueness of John's standing with his vexing lover. It's interesting to consider. As the song plays out and the details of this girl's ways are revealed, I don't think it becomes perfectly clear what the nature of their relationship is: Are they still together or have they split up?

Once again, let's explore the song. Now John sings with a tone that might suggest they're finished. Much of "Girl" has the feel of someone looking back and painfully reflecting on the consequences of past mistakes. He even opens the song by asking if anyone will listen to his "story," the implication being that it's not an ongoing matter. At the same time, John also sings of how he's tried to end their relationship before, but wasn't successful. Through tearful displays, this girl would coax him into changing his mind, meaning he couldn't clinch their demise, and there's no mention of her doing so or even wanting to (though she does seem like the type who would shuffle through guys). Furthermore, when John says, "After all this time I don't know why," it sounds like someone who, at that very moment, is right in the middle of a losing situation, but won't free himself from it. In other words, he's still with her.

The rest of the song doesn't offer many concrete clues. Generally speaking, it continues to give the impression that the two have parted ways, but the evidence isn't conclusive. Perhaps this was intentional; I'm not sure. It does, however, add another intriguing layer to a song already thick with allure.

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