A warning to my teenaged girls: there are lots of guys out there who will say and do anything to maintain a relationship that puts themselves before you. Don’t fall for it

Saw a song that was trending on iLike the other day, called “Whatcha Say,” by Jason Derulo. Downloaded it on iTunes and immediately heard one of my favorite songs, Imogen Heap’s “Hide and Seek,” turned into bastardized hip-pop.

“Hide and Seek” gives a woman’s perspective on being disregarded by her partner (assuming a man), and sharing her distrust of his words. How ironic, I thought, that this song and its poignancy is the one Jason Derulo chose as a creative platform!


As a musician and (former) composer, I think of all the classes on composition and music theory that I took, the decades of performance lessons I endured, to get me to a point where I can create a song and feel good about it that I’m not stealing someone’s riff or sounding like someone else. So when I hear someone lift the tracks from a SUCCESSFUL performer, it reeks of being completely uncreative—whomever wrote the Derulo verion in my mind just doesn’t deserve the title “songwriter.” Write an original tune, for god’s sake.

“Perhaps they bought the rights to modify,” you think, “so it’s okay.” Or that “the song is becoming commercially successful, so none of that other shit matters, right? They’re makin’ COIN! It’s OKAY!” Well, I disagree. Copying is not being creative.


When I listened to the lyrics, I started laughing. They are Classic Guy-Caught-Cheating-Please-Take-Me-Back bullshit. Only the words are laughable because of the true intentions that are so clear behind the words. And that got me thinking about my lovely daughters: how they need to watch out for 1) this kind of guy and 2) people who won’t take responsibility for their actions.

So let’s deconstruct the lyrics behind Jason Derulo’s “Whatcha Say”:

I was so wrong for so long
Only trying to please myself (perhaps the only honest words in the song)
Girl, I was caught up in her lust (ahhh, so you didn’t have any lust but she “lured you in”)
When I don’t really want no one else, so (“well, I *did* want more than one girl, but you’re hotter”)

No, I know I should have treated you better
But me and you were meant to last forever (note that “me” is placed before “you”)
So let me in, let me in, let me have another chance (“let’s have sex and just forget the whole thing”)
I just want to be your man (“if I say this, will it make it all better?”)

So when the roof caved in and the truth came out (“my roof caved in! I’m a victim too!” LOL)
I just didn’t know what to do (“like APOLOGIZE, like ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY – none of that”)
But when I become a star, we’ll be living so large (“will money make it better?”)
I’ll do anything for you (“it’ll be easier to handle my unfaithfulness because you’ll have STUFF!”)
So tell me girl

How can I live with myself (this is purely a “penance” verse)
knowing that I let our love go
And ooh, what I’d do for one chance,
I just gotta let you know

I know what I did wasn’t clever (a lame attempt to make “selfish” become simply “unclever”)
but me and you were meant to be together (note that “me” is placed before “you” – again)
So let me in, let me have another chance (“I’ll be pushy until you cave, hopefully you’ll see that as caring rather than selfishly horny”)
I just want to be your man

So when the roof caved in and the truth came out
I just didn’t know what to do (again the emphasis is on him getting caught, rather than owning any part of betraying his supposed love)
But when I become a star, we’ll be living so large
I’ll do anything for you
So tell me girl

Girl tell me whatcha say
I don’t want you to leave me
Though you caught me cheating (hah, SEE? “You caught me” – not “I knowingly did something wrong.” Case closed.)
Tell me tell me whatcha say
I really need you in my life, cuz
Things ain’t right (“I don’t need you because of you — I just hate this imbalance and anger and feeling like I did something wrong.”)


Guy Lameness

I probably sound like a Grouchy Grandpa, but as much as I hate songwriter lameness, I hate Guy Lameness. And even more puny is Avoiding Responsibility, and all the super-lame psychologically dishonest tricks and wordgames people play to get out of responsibility. It’s childish.

So watch out, girls. Be intellectually honest with yourselves about the doofus who just cheated on you. Read between the lines and listen to your gut. A real man will own his mistakes, including their consequences. A loser will say they’re the victim, blame someone else, say whatever they think will soothe things over, and keep up the pattern until you can’t take it anymore.

What a waste of time and energy.

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