You All Look Alike

Me: Here, listen to this.
*music plays*
Me: Do you get anything out of it?
Nitram: Is it some kind of Grateful Dead thing…?
Me (trying to not gag): Ack! NO.
Nitram: What…?
Me: Okay, if you could read the lyrics and listen, would that help?
Nitram: Do I have to?
Me: Yes.
Him (long-suffering): Okay…
Me (brings lyrics up on screen while playing music): ‘k, lissen.
*music plays*

You All Look Alike
The Byrds

Starlight crossed my eyes, she took me by surprise
Said You’d come to town last summer, brought me down
I said I’ve never seen the likes of you before
She pulled a gun and not in fun, I’m dyin’ on the floor

You all look alike, I’m sorry I don’t know
You all look alike, we never met before
No matter how I try to say I’ve never been down this way
Said I couldn’t be fair, ’cause you all look alike

Lyin’ there and dyin’ there I’m tryin’ to get my strength
It’s so hard to get on back when you’re lyin’ at full length
All the crowds and all the dogs from miles around just stare
They looked at me and shed a tear, I’m glad those people care

You all look alike, I’m sorry I don’t know
You all look alike, we never met before
No matter how I try to say I’ve never been down this way
Said I couldn’t be fair, ’cause you all look alike

You all look alike, I’m sorry I don’t know
You all look alike, we never met before
No matter how I try to say I’ve never been down this way
Said I couldn’t be fair, ’cause you all look alike

Me: So, what did you get out of that?
Nitram: Get out of…?
Me: Arrgh. Do you get anything out of the lyrics? A story or something?
Nitram: Some guy kills a dog…?
Me: aieeeeee
Nitram: What…?
Me: He’s some guy who fucks over — and fucks — a lot of women, and one time he goes someplace he’s never been before — a very unfriendly town by the sound of it — and this woman mistakes him for a different guy who fucked her over, and she kills him. I get the sense that she’s kind of insane anyway. The irony is that he’s not that guy, but he is that guy in the sense that he’s everyman in respect to the situation, cos all those women are alike to him anyway. So she gets retribution, and he gets what he’s always deserved anyway. I just thought it was kind of cool all that was packed into a simple little song, especially the irony.
Nitram: (looks at me like I’m barking): No, I totally didn’t get that.

I grew up watching lots of science fiction, Westerns, and martial arts movies because that’s what my grandfather watched, and I always watched TV with him. So when I was a kid I thought this song was about a Western, because of the shooting and the classic town-unfriendly-to-strangers theme, but I was too young/clueless to figure out the “plot.” When I was a teen and really into the SF I thought maybe it was about this poor guy stumbling upon a town of creepy aliens and they had to kill him to keep him from revealing them. It wasn’t until I was in my 30s and heard it again after a long time that I finally figured out what it was really about.

2 responses to “You All Look Alike

  1. Thumbs up…er, sideways!

  2. You like being dead, don’t you? :D

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