Breakdown: “Call Me Maybe” is Actually About a Sociopathic Relationship

At some point in my life, I realized pop music lyrics make no damn sense. Mostly because it’s more about the feel of the music and less about the poetry, so songwriters can get away with the most ridiculous assaults on the English language. In Breakdown, I overanalyze the shit of these lyrics and completely miss the point in the process.

This Week’s Breakdown:

“Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen

The Lyrics:

I threw a wish in the well,

Don’t ask me, I’ll never tell

I looked to you as it fell,

And now you’re in my way

First of all, the narrator in question doesn’t appear to grasp the concept of a wishing well. By her logic, can we assume you are able to sell defective wishes back in exchange for money? If that’s the case, I’m going to the mall to scream at that bastard fountain, then I’m gonna rob it blind. Even Especially if the money is going to charity.

Nice try, but I’ll be doing the wish-making around here.

Right off the bat, she’s already the most entitled person I’ve ever met in song form. First she pointlessly reinforces the one unwritten rule about wishing wells. Then, looking right at the guy as she throws her whatever, she passive-aggressively tells him to move out of the way. Just go around him. Fuck, why didn’t you just wish him out of the way, since your Daddy probably pays for all of them.

I’d trade my soul for a wish,

Pennies and dimes for a kiss

I wasn’t looking for this,

But now you’re in my way

Assuming that she is talking directly to the guy in this scene, this entire part should be a red flag for the relationship  You’d trade your soul for one wish, but throw spare change at this guy if you wanted to kiss him? Charging each other for sexual acts is what strangers do. This guy is either the cheapest male prostitute in recorded history or he doesn’t get how girls work. Or maybe he just built a kissing booth in her general line of sight, which she used by accident because she doesn’t understand how to go around anything.

Your stare was holdin’,

Ripped jeans, skin was showin’

Hot night, wind was blowin’

Where you think you’re going, baby?

Whatever the case, his solution to her verbal abuse is to just stare at her, saying nothing, while she ogles at his sexy knees (Hello, my eyes are up here).  He just stares, foreverAnd where the hell does this take place anyway? In what universe can it be hot at night and windy? As a resident of New England such a magical place can only exist in my imagination.

They say Unicorns roam these lands. Unicorns and flip-flops.

Finally, the guy appears to be doing something right by walking away from this disaster, and suddenly she wants him back.

Hey, I just met you,

And this is crazy,

But here’s my number,

So call me, maybe?

Ok, well this changes everything. So they were strangers? She literally just met this person, told him off twice, and then wondered why he left. Also, narrator, if by “this” you mean “you,” then yes, this is definitely very crazy. This is crazy because no one can possibly be desperate enough to call you back.

It’s hard to look right,

At you baby,

But here’s my number,

So call me, maybe?

Man, this guy must be uglier than Sloth from The Goonies. 

And all the other boys,

Try to chase me,

But here’s my number,

So call me, maybe?

Is she seriously trying to convince him to call by saying there’s a waiting list, or is she still in a grade level where the boys chase the girls that they like? I’m not sure which one is more disturbing.

You took your time with the call,

I took no time with the fall

You gave me nothing at all,

But still, you’re in my way

I guess we can assume that he never called (shocking!), and she instantly fell into an emo coma where you sit in your room whining and it spins and spins until suddenly 6 months have passed. We can also assume that the idea of him being in her way is possibly a metaphor which it actually might have been all along but fuck it I already wrote the first part.

I beg, and borrow and steal

Have foresight and it’s real

I didn’t know I would feel it,

But it’s in my way

I literally don’t understand this stanza. Outside of the story, it looks like the writer realized no one would ever actually look up the lyrics of the bottom half of the second verse and just shoved unrelated rhyming phrases together. Which is incidentally how this entire song seems to have been written.

OH SNAP…Tavish Crowe, Carly Rae Jepsen, and Josh…wait this was a folk song??

Anyway, she appears to have slipped into insanity at this point, rapidly descending into petty criminality and hallucinogenic drug use (Man, just, like, have foresight, and everything is real man. Everything.) And he’s still in her goddamn way.

I missed you so bad

I missed you so, so bad

Before you came into my life I missed you so bad

And you should know that

I missed you so, so bad

So call me, maybe?

To say these final lines don’t make sense is like saying The Matrix Revolutions doesn’t make sense. If you saw the part right before this, you would know it wasn’t going to get better. This idea of missing someone before you even met them is such a logical fallacy that Donald Trump rejects it for being too crazy. Her desperation at the end is palpable, and holy shit the song ends on a cliff hanger. Like, will he call?

Spoiler Alert: it lands on “Hell No”

Conclusion: The narrator needs long-term therapy and that guy should get a hobby other than “picking up crazy chicks near reverse wishing wells.”

(top image source)

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