Dissecting the Lyrics- When I originally began commenting here on the Eurovision Times, I never imagined myself writing for the blog. However, when I was asked if I would be willing post this comment, I thought that there was no harm in giving this a try. If this post goes over well enough, I might even do a series where I look at the lyrics of various Eurovision songs.
To tell everybody the truth, there are very few songs in the history of Eurovision that I find as frustrating as Belgium 2012. Iris’ “Would You?” is everything that I personally hate in Eurovision. Her vocals were off-key, the composition is extremely formulaic, and the stage presentation was dull and awkward, but through all this, one element of the song shone through as the most-grating element of the entire three minutes: the lyrics. Go ahead and listen to them yourself:
Let’s begin by looking at the most obvious issue with the lyrics. The chorus includes the lyric: “What would you do when my house was empty?”
What exactly does that mean? It’s not even a properly-composed sentence. “What would you do when/if my house is empty?” is more likely to be correct, although I’m still dubious as to whether that either the when- or the if-statement is absolutely correct. Getting past the poor sentence structure, the statement still has absolutely no meaning. Where is the direct object of the sentence when her house is empty? What relationship does this direct object have to her? To find the answer to this question, most would try to find out what information has already been given to them, yet, before this lyric, we’ve only managed to get a garbled semi-statement of relationship between the two.
Come and find me, I’ve been hiding from you
Come and get me, running from you
It’s been easy, easy for you
To believe me when I say I love you
This verse has managed to give me a mixed signal as to the relationship between the two subjects. She’s hiding from him and running from him, yet at the same time, he’s being charged to find her and get her (by her, nonetheless). If she really wanted to make it easy for him, she wouldn’t be running from him but to him. Despite all this, we are still supposed to believe that it’s been extremely easy for him to believe to believe her confessions of love. I find it hard to believe that he found this cat-and-mouse relationship with Iris, in any way, convenient or easy, and after this first verse, it almost seems like she’s the antagonist in this relationship. It seems that she is the one at fault for causing this relationship to become as strained as it clearly has.
This leads us back to the question, “What would you do when my house was empty?” If she’s hiding from him and running from him, why would he even think about checking her house? More importantly, if she hates this relationship so much, why does she even care what he’ll do when she is gone?
The rest of the refrain follows:
My life in a bag and away from you
You took my love for granted, would you really miss me?
Any other guy would do, but would you?
My first question here is, “What love is he taking for granted?” Still, all we know is that she’s running from him and hiding from him emotionally. If that really is the case, how is he taking her love for granted? If anything, she is taking his love for granted. My next question is that if it is true that any other guy would do, what does it matter what he would do? In that matter, what exactly is she asking with that final ‘would you?’ anyway? Is she asking if he will do as a romantic partner? Because if that is the case, she seems to have already answered that by avoiding him. If she is asking what he would do, what does it matter? If she is asking what he would feel about her leaving, I again go to the idea, what does it matter? She has yet to really show any care for him in the lyrics of the song, and to the contrary, her actions seem to show a minor disdain towards him.
The next verse goes:
It’s a secret and a question for you
Where I’m at now, what are you gonna do?
If you run here and look for me now
Are we done here or starting somehow?
At this point, I’m inclined to say that the entire song amounts to nothing more than word filler. This is no comprehensive idea in either verse so far beyond she wants to escape from him and has been checking out emotionally for a while, yet, for whatever reason, she expects him to take fault for the disintegration of their relationship. Even that little bit of an idea is extrapolated through the use of heavy analysis. All a casual listener is getting to hear thus far is gibberish. However, I do want to point to the last couplet and highlight the absolute incomprehensible gibberish that question is. I can’t even extract anything coherent from that.
Passing over a repeat of the refrain, we come to the bridge:
It’s a two-way street and I know that
But don’t look back
Still I wonder, still I wonder
Here, we have her admit to something that her actions in the song have disproved. She has consistently shown throughout the two verses that she expect him to take all the blame despite evidence that points to her having a far-more significant role in the destruction of this relationship. Beyond that, she is taking no steps to improve any aspect of the relationship and is actively making it more difficult for him to correct their course together. Besides the first line of this bridge, we have more lyrical fluff that amounts to nothing in the context of the song.
This leads to a slightly different refrain at the end, where the third line of the refrain (“You took my love for granted, would you really miss me”) has changed to “But when I’m at your door, will you say you missed me?” The only thing I can bring out from that is that she realizes her fault (finally) in distancing herself from the relationship. However, she still seems to want to blame him for not loving her back, with a repeat of the line “Any other guy would do, but would you?”
In the end, we have a story that doesn’t come to an end but rather stops. At the end, the listener still knows nothing about this guy or why she tried to distance herself from such a (interpolated) hardworking (assumed) boyfriend in the first place. All we have is meaningless words and a skeletal (at best) understanding of the situation as a whole. The song sounds little more than the first poem written by a pre-teen girl where almost every other word is unnecessary.