Saturday, January 25, 2014

Weekly Whine: Same Love

Recently I took some flack for declaring on this blog that Same Love was one of my least favorite songs of the year. I'd like to defend that position.

First of all, I am extremely pro gay marriage and get furious at anyone who feels people should be denied rights due to their sexual orientation. I love the It Gets Better campaign--the commercials always make me tear up.

That said, I still hate the song Same Love.

Before I even knew exactly what it was about, I used to switch stations when it came on. I didn't like the hook and I didn't like the preachy, whiny tone of the rapper's voice. It just grated on me.

And if that were any other song, it would be fine. I don't like the song Icky Thump but nobody ever verbally attacked me for that. But because the song has a social message, now I am forced to like it. I'm a bad person if I don't like it, despite how crappy a melody I think it has.

Of course, when I actually listened to the lyrics, I liked it even less.

These are the first lines:

When I was in the third grade I thought that I was gay,
'Cause I could draw, my uncle was, and I kept my room straight.
I told my mom, tears rushing down my face
She's like "Ben you've loved girls since before pre-k, trippin' "

Aside from the obnoxious use of the word "trippin", I really hate when people precede a gay rights speech by establishing that they're not gay. Because I feel like if you do that, you must be bothered by it on some level. I mean, why say it otherwise? "Hey, gay people should have equal rights, and BY THE WAY I'M NOT GAY MYSELF. NOT AT ALL."

Plus what he says isn't even true. There's research indicating that little boys who play with girls early on are more likely to be gay.

The lyrics become increasingly heavy-handed after that. For example:

The right wing conservatives think it's a decision

That's an actual line from the song. Could we be a little less subtle? And anyway, he means the right wing social conservatives, not the fiscal conservatives. And I'm certain they don't all think that. I feel like grouping all conservatives into one bigoted little stereotype makes liberals look like jackasses.

Look, I will try to push aside my cynicism and say that maybe Macklemore had good intentions and didn't just write the song to make money from it and increase his fame. Maybe he meant well. But I still think it's an irritating song.

In any case, my real point is that if you want to get pissed off at me for my ideology, that's fine. But don't get pissed off because I don't like a song. That's just silly.


  1. I totally agree with you. The melody is nonexistent and it's just a bunch of people talking. That's not interesting. And the lyrics are sappy. I always change the radio for this song too, but I felt guilty doing it because I didn't want it to seem like I was homophobic when really, I just find it boring.

    I also change the radio for Flobots' "No Handlebars."

  2. I have to agree. I have gay relatives, gay friends, and so on... but I immediately change the channel when I hear that "song" play, because it's not enjoyable to listen to.

    It's possible to like or dislike a song while holding the opposite view about the message the song contains.

  3. You are certainly entitled to have a dissenting opinion about the likeability of this song, and I'm not here to debate that.

    That being said, I just would like to offer a point of clarification regarding your comment that you will try and suspend your cynism that Macklemore wrote it just to make money. I live in Washington State, and this song was written/released/performed by Macklemore, Ryan Lewis and a well known local artist Mary Lambert (who is lesbian) during a state referendum campaign to make gay marriage legal in our state (marriage equality passed). It was a really huge burst of support leading up to the election, and those of us supporting the referendum were happy to have a local celebrity (Macklemore is from Seattle) throw his weight behind such an important issue.

  4. relevant:

  5. And this:

  6. I completely agree that you don't have to like the song (and after a billion plays on the radio I'm not as thrilled as I once was). But, I think Macklemore was genuine. His uncle is gay (and reportedly has HIV, but the internet told me that, so who knows).

  7. Agreed Dr. Fizzy. Using that same logic if a song is written by a woman, and it's not my taste, does that make me a misogynist?