I can’t quite “Figure You Out”

OK, so I was driving home and I had the radio on to some random rock music, which is pretty normal for me. (I’m about 50/50 classic rock/NPR.) A song I’d never heard before comes on. Here are the lyrics, along with my running commentary.

I like your pants around your feet

Woah! Not exactly an auspicious start to the generally-problematic-to-begin-with Love Song!

I like the dirt that’s on your knees

And I like the way you still say please

While you’re looking up at me

Is this a song about pedophilia…?

You’re like my favourite damn disease

And I love the places that we go

And I love the people that you know

And I love the way you can’t say no

OUCH! Maybe it is a song about pedophilia, and it’s supposed to be really creepy and terrible? Because, uh, that line is pretty creepy and terrible!

Too many long lines in a row

I love the powder on your nose

But children don’t generally powder their noses. Nor do women… is this a song about the 1800s…?

Ooooh

And now I know who you are

I don’t!

It wasn’t that hard

Just to figure you out

And now I know who you are

It wasn’t that hard

Just to figure you out

I like the freckles on your chest

That’s actually a pretty cool personal detail to notice about someone. Maybe this verse will be better. Although for some reason freckles still give me that “childish” vibe…

And I like the way you like me best

And I like the way you’re not impressed,

While you put me to the test

I like the wine stains on your dress

Increasingly I think he’s just creepy by accident. Seriously, you love it when she’s drunk and has spilled wine all over herself? That’s endearing to you? Incapacitation?

And I love the way you pass the check

And I love the good times that you wreck

And I love your lack of self respect

While you’re passed out on the deck

Okay, yeah, apparently incapacitation is endearing to you…

I love my hands around your neck

WHAT. I… but… what?

And now I know who you are

I still really, really don’t. Is the song supposed to be this messeed-up?

It wasn’t that hard

Just to figure you out

And now I know who you are

It wasn’t that hard

Just to figure you out

I love your pants around your feet

And I love the dirt that’s on your knees

And I like the way you still say please

While you’re looking up at me

Okay, blah blah blah, heard this already… I guess it could apply to just a creepily subservient, but nevertheless adult, woman…

You’re like my favourite damn disease

And I hate the places that we go

Wait, you hate her now??

And I hate the people that you know

And I hate the way you can’t say no

What?? Do I have to reverse all my opinions of this song’s total creepiness based on the fact that, at the end, he doesn’t like “the way you can’t say no”?

Too many long lines in a row

I hate the powder on your nose

And now I know who you are

It wasn’t that hard

Just to figure you out

And now I know who you are

It wasn’t that hard

Just to figure you out

Folks, I really just don’t get it. My current theory is that this song is about a guy who “loved” his totally slutty girlfriend until he remembered that sluts are worthless, and then he hated her. And I guess it’s called “Figured You Out” and that’s the chrous because it’s about him “figuring out” the sluttiness based on, for example, being passed out on the deck.

I have an alternate title to propose: “Abusive Douchebag.”

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8 Responses to I can’t quite “Figure You Out”

  1. Jezebella says:

    I always turn that song off when it gets to the dirty knees bit. I figured it was a song about getting a blow job, and the world doesn’t need any more of those.

  2. yinyang says:

    My dad and I do this sometimes with songs from the 50’s and 60’s. There are an awful lot of stalker songs from those decades.

    As far as the pedophilia vibe – I think the “on your knees” and “looking up” are about blow jobs. And freckles on the chest doesn’t strike me as childish, because I have a few freckles on my chest.

    I totally agree with your alternate title, though.

    • Crowfoot says:

      omg omg omg how I HATE that frakking song!! I can’t even describe how horrible it makes me feel. Yeah I’m sure the “knees” part is about blowjobs. “I love how you can’t say no”?? Nice rape-head mentality there asshole. I heard in in a clothing store a few years back and couldn’t stop shaking. It’s definitely the song of an abuser. Except, of course, he would never call himself that. CREEPY is right. Who the hell is the band? They’re Canadian… Nickelback! Oh yeah, “good old boys” Nickelback. Fuck you Nickelback.

      blaaaaaah. I have to go wash my brain.

      (duh yes. Nickelback. I didn’t read/notice the tags)

  3. dirtyrose says:

    I also get the blowjob reference instead of pedophilia. However, I am not at ALL surprised that a Nickelback song is abusive and demeaning toward women. It’s saddening and this mindset isn’t rare at all, which is worse, but I’m not surprised.

  4. nightgigjo says:

    Yeah. That.

    I hadn’t gotten the child-molester angle on it before, but that didn’t stop me from hating that song and Nickelback’s guts from the first time I heard it.

    Woman-hating rape-apologist abuser-glorification TRIPE.

  5. eloriane says:

    Yeah, uh, as a lesbian I try really, really hard to forget that blow jobs exist. Apparently it worked!

    Also, I think the knees threw me off because they had dirt on them which suggested, like, playing outside. Wouldn’t blowjobs be more like carpetburn? Unless they’re doing this outdoors, I guess.

    And I used to have freckles when I was a kid, but I don’t any more, which is probably why those struck me as young, too… but it probably has more to do with the fact that I’ve stopped going outside than it does with the fact that I’m older.

    New theory: this song is about a dude that loved the blowjobs that he got from his girlfriend (possibly outdoors!), until he remembered that girls who give blowjobs are sluts (i.e., he “figured out” who she “really” was) and we all hate sluts. So then he hated her for it, hence the shift in the last verse. Also known as: Abusive Douchebag.

    Also, HI to the sudden influx of people! Glad to see you, and to hear from you! Nothing makes me happier than comments!

    And yinyang– a lot of older songs are seriously skeevy, but so are a lot of completely brand-new songs. I’m constantly horrified by what passes for “love” in popular culture (hence why I adored Sara Barielle’s Love Song).

  6. Colleen says:

    Like others, I’m pretty sure the dirty knees/looking up at me lyrics are about a blowjob, and that thing about lines and powder on her nose are probably about doing coke. So I think it’s actually about dating a woman who’s out of control with partying, drinking, and doing drugs, and they have a wild time in bed, but eventually he gets sick of the craziness and starts to hate the life he’s living and the woman who introduced him to it.

    That said, the song is still creepy as fuck. The “I know who you are” refrain is a clear expression of sneering superiority. It’s saying, “I know you better than you know yourself, and I have the kind of disdain for you that you would have for your own behavior if you were more self-aware.” By claiming that he is perceptive and implying that she is not, the narrator is also suggesting that he has the insight and self-control to leave the situation before his life gets out of hand, but she, we are supposed to assume, has already degraded herself so far that she must not know better, or she too would have left the scene.

    Also, the “hands around your neck” line is SUPER FUCKED UP. “Abusive Douchebag” is right.

  7. Aileen Wuornos says:

    I suspect the lines/powder thing is a reference to doing uppers of some sort.

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