How would you react
if an ex-lover became
famous and released
a song about you?
Oscar-nominated child star turned young woman (was Little Miss Sunshine REALLY released 8 years ago? Damn) Abigail Breslin has riled up a certain easily-rileable segment of the Internet with her new song & video, “You Suck”:
The reason for the controversy (beyond the retaliatory imagery and use of the phrase “sound like a girl” in the hooky chorus) is that the subject of her song is no imaginary figure, but instead one Michael Clifford–member of the uber-popular band you probably haven’t heard of because you are not a 15 year-old girl, 5 Seconds of Summer. And–as you can guess by the title–the sentiment of the song isn’t very flattering.
But, of course, this kind of bad relationship breakup song is hardly new. It goes back as far as music goes, but since our memories tend to be short about these things, the first example that likely springs to mind is:
Though Alanis Morissette has never officially gone on the record to name the dude she apparently attended a very boring movie with, it’s pretty much universally understood that it’s the guy who played Uncle Joey in Full House, who Alanis dated prior to the recording of Jagged Little Pill.
That said, these kind of songs are not solely the domain of jilted women. Sometimes they take the form of pleas for forgiveness. For example:
Robin Thicke went so far as to name the follow-up to his most successful album Paula in a desperate (and much mocked) attempt to win back the heart of his wife, Paula Patton, who reportedly gave him the boot due to his overall creepitude. It didn’t work. Paula has filed for divorce and Paula will likely go down as one of the most infamous flops of the decade, selling less than 600 copies the week it was released. (Here’s where I mention I was one of the people who bought it. It’s actually a pretty good album.)
Since Thicke’s career has largely centred around his being the world’s most famous white Marvin Gaye impersonator, Paula can be seen as his Here My Dear, the entire album Gaye recorded in order to pay the money he owed his ex-wife after their divorce:
How do you think you would react if you were listening to the radio and heard a voice you recognized singing about situations that seemed extremely familiar? And what’s your favourite song about lost love?