You know that moment when you hear something so stupid that you sort of jolt upright and pay extra attention? That just happened to me.
A song came on the radio with lyrics so monumentally tin-eared and oxygen-deprived that I had to look it up.
It’s called “Headlights” and it’s by someone called Robin Schulz.
The first bit (I can’t really call it a “verse” because that implies some kind conscious effort to arrange words and music into a functional unit) goes like this:
“Oh I know why you chasing all the headlights
Oh, ’cause you always trying to get ahead of light
Baby, when you go you know I’ll be waiting on the other side
And I know it’s cold
But if you stay then I can keep you warm all night…”
I would go on but really you can get the same effect just by soaking cardboard in stool-water overnight and then chewing it for twenty minutes the next morning. So let’s move on to my questions.
Firstly. How do you chase all the headlights? Do you run towards them? But more importantly, why would you want to compose a song about some suicidal human Labrador who spends his nights rushing headlong into oncoming traffic?
Still, that’s what’s happening, and that’s what the song is about. Which brings us the next question. So we have a knuckle-dragging char-chaser, his tongue lolling out, “always trying to get ahead of light”. Let’s ignore for a moment the scientific impossibility of getting ahead of light. But if you had decided to try to outrun light, why would you now be deliberately rushing at cars on the Autobahn? Have you given up trying to go faster than the speed of light, and, in your despair decided to end it all on the front grille of a BMW?
Whatever the reason, he’s off and running, and singer is waiting “on the other side”. I assume she’s referring to the freeway…or is this the metaphysical “other side”? Has she killed herself first, perhaps because she’s realized she’s dating a someone with the IQ of a sea slug whose face is perpetually crispy from being pressed against car headlights?
Then again, perhaps she’s not dead, because if she was she’d struggle to keep him warm all night. At best she might keep him subtly moist, thanks to the fluids seeping from her. So maybe she’s alive, and just hanging around on the other side of the Autobahn. Perhaps she’s got a space blanket and some hot chocolate and plans to tend to him once he slumps over the guard-rail and rolls down the leafy embankment, headlight glass glinting where it’s stuck in his cheeks and forehead.
And then there’s the rhyme scheme. “Headlights”, “light”, “know”, “cold”, “night”. Students of poetry take note: Robin Schulz has invented the A-almost-A-B-C-almost-A-again rhyme scheme, and the written world will never be the same again…
That is all.