Monday, December 22, 2008

MONDAY LYRICS | I Was Thinking I Could Clean Up for Christmas

"With the chord progression comes a melody and a meter, and that always suggests a sentence or a line, and then the sentence suggests a story and the music suggests an emotional subtext, and then you put it together."
~ Aimee Mann, about her song-writing process

That sounds about right.

Maybe you are like me. My introduction to Aimee Mann was by means of the soundtrack to the film, Magnolia. The film was a series of loosely connected story-lines - unified by Aimee Mann's songs. I have the soundtrack, but I never got around to watching the film. The irony is, I have the DVD for Magnolia. But every time I wonder if I should watch the DVD, I ended up playing the soundtrack instead.

That's what Aimee Mann does for me. Her songs are often dramatic, in the sense that it suggests a persona and you are listening to someone telling you about his/her sad, broken life. Yet for music that is so often about damaged souls, soaked in their unhappiness - there is something almost too melodious about her tunes, like a woman who laughs aloud right before she slashes her wrists.

It's totally cool.

I've picked "I Was Thinking I Could Clean Up for Christmas" for this Monday. It's from the album, The Forgotten Arm, about an alcoholic boxer who ran off with a woman, but the both of them struggling. Sometimes I think I know what it means, when the lyrics goes, 'Cause I can't live loaded and I can't live sober - sometimes it's just hard to quit your misery and addiction. You know you have to change, but this familiar pain and addiction is all you have.

Merry Christmas, my friends.



I Was Thinking I Could Clean Up for Christmas by Aimee Mann
I was thinking I could clean up for Christmas
And then, baby, I'm through
Four more weeks that couldn't make any difference
Except maybe to you

But I've tried to use that trick
Like a carrot on a stick
So I was thinking I could clean up for Christmas
Then, baby, I'm through

I was thinking I could clean up for Christmas
And then, baby, I'm done
One less fucker trying to get in the business
Of the prodigal son

Where I know I can't compete
Once I'm off of Hastings Street
So I was thinking I could clean up for Christmas
Then, baby, I'm done

'Cause I can't live loaded and I can't live sober
And I've been this way since the end of October
And I know enough to know
That, baby, when it's over, it's over
And it's over
'Cause, baby, I'm done

I was thinking I could clean up for Christmas
And then call it a day
Tell you I'm sorry that I made you a witness
To my moral decay

And that, once upon a time
I believed it was a victimless crime
I was thinking I could clean up for Christmas
Then call it a day
Then call it a day
Then call it a day


4 comments:

indigo said...

I love her and that album. Funny that you wrote about it as "about damaged souls, soaked in their unhappiness". I played it to death when I was going through a really bad break up and a really bad work situation - all this taking place over Christmas too. Took me a very long time before I could listen to it again without feeling that pain.

Merry Christmas. Hope the holidays find you safe and happy.

Dark Orpheus said...

Kisane - But that's the beauty of Aimee Mann's music. There's a cathartic quality and when you are miserable, it's the best music for your soul.

Merry Christmas to you.

Nymeth said...

I am indeed like you. That's how I discovered her too. I hope you manage to watch the movie sometime. I think I love it as much as the soundtrack, and that's saying a lot.

Merry Christmas, Dark Orpgeus.

Dark Orpheus said...

Nymeth - Ah! That's a great soundtrack, isn't it? I will watch the movie one day. When I get home :)

Merry Christmas!