A good hook makes a hit song, but great lyrics make it unforgettable. This is particularly true of songs from our youth where lyrics verbalize what our hormone riddled minds cannot.
As a young man, I felt this song represented the perfect way to dump a girlfriend. Or at least how to talk about them after doing so. Of course, I never got the chance to implement this lyrical fantasy since I never managed to actually GET a girlfriend in the first place, let alone dump one. And, anyway, if these lyrics describe an actual person my social impotence was for the best since I apparently wouldn’t have been terribly adept at choosing a good woman.
Nonetheless, this catchy tune contains one of my all-time favourite couplets. They aren’t inspirational words or even especially witty. To be honest, it’s kind of strange that they’ve stuck with me so clearly for almost 30 years now. Like movie quotes, sometimes time and context trump logic and for me the following words have glued themselves into my brain. I don’t know why.
“I hope them cigarettes are gonna make you cough
I hope you heard this song and it pissed you off”
Deep, hey? Somehow that phrasing captured exactly the petty, passive aggressive bitterness I’d have employed post-breakup. I thought it this was brilliant, once. Guess this is why I’m not a poet.
We can argue about the lyrics, but there’s no denying that the song has a catchy hook. It’s surprisingly upbeat and joyful considering the subject matter. Why shouldn’t there be a little joy after a crappy relationship, even if you haven’t quite let it go just yet?
So, let’s kick off this snowy, November weekend with the happiest of spite songs. A gleeful groove filled with fightin’ words I never got to use. Thankfully. I think. From the 1991 release Pocket Full of Kryptonite, this is “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong” by the Spin Doctors.
Jam in the Van: