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Revenge with Rhythm

Although I tend to prefer to cover songs that have a positive or meaningful message, today I thought I’d discuss the trend throughout genres to use music to seek revenge on an ex. Sure, country music is known for its tales of heartbreak and pop has more recently been used, at least by some female singers, as a way to jeer at past loves who have caused pain. However, rock music is not particularly known for this. Still, the phenomenon does exist – even in older rock music – such as in Journey’s “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin.’”

“When I’m alone by myself/You’re out with someone else/Lovin’, touchin’, squeezin’ each other.”

The lyrics of the song start out by telling of a love gone bad, but end with the narrator mocking his ex for being cheated on. The story is a simple case of Karma, but the narrator not only rubs in this fact but then sings a very childish taunt – for an excessively long amount of time. It may be hard to realize that the “Na”s sung at the end of the song are supposed to make up the “Na na nana na” that children use to tease one another, because the melody of it is changed and backed up with jazzy music.

“It won’t be long, yes, til you’re alone/When your lover, oh, he hasn’t come home/Cause he’s lovin’, ooh he’s touchin’/He’s squeezin’ another.”

In fact, neither I nor my boyfriend had realized that fact about the song until I listened closer to it about three or four times in a row on the 16 hour drive to and then back again from South Carolina for spring break. I guess I’d never clearly heard the last verse, where he states that “Now it’s your turn, girl, to cry” and then breaks into the taunt.

“He’s tearin’ you apart/Every, every day!/He’s tearin’ you apart./ Oh, girl, what can you say?/Cause he’s lovin’, touchin’ another./Now it’s your turn, girl, to cry!/Na na nana na.”

Now, although I find these songs absolutely hilarious and am likely to sing along, no matter the genre, that does not mean that I condone this method of dealing with past relationships or attempting to gain closure. As long as the music is taken in context as a story and a funny way to handle the stress of a breakup, then it’s okay. Just don’t run up to your ex and put your thumb on your nose and waggle your hand at them and say “na na nana na” in real life. That would probably be more embarrassing for you than for your ex.

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