4.19.2012

What's It Mean?: "Somebody That I Used To Know."

What's It Mean? may take off as something bigger, where we discuss the meanings of songs, and not the versions of explications that come from SongMeanings.com, etc. Let's get a little academic and have fun with it. But mostly, this idea is born from the insane popularity and over-play attached to the Gotye song "Somebody That I Used To Know." At its heart, the track seems to be a sad lament on lost love, and even if you Google around, you get some common theories that avatar Gotye is sad, and avatar Kimbra tells him that "they broke up for reason, so stop being hung up on me." The text is deeper than that, though, and far more sad.

Our main character, Gotye for all intents and purposes, is singing to an ex, about how she left him and now treats him like they never happened. He opens the song saying both that he "felt so happy [he] could die" in the previous relationship, but that he also felt "so lonely in your company" and that "that was love and it's an ache [he] still remembers." It's a complicated 4-line stanza. He's already establishing himself as an unreliable narrator. Gotye never really loves the woman he's singing to, and admits that without admitting it, right away. He was happy, but lonely, as if he was only really dating a simulacrum of a person to begin with. And the final line is an admission that love is imperfect, but that he has also idealized love to such an extent that it's a concept, rather than a dialog between two people. Right away, we can argue that Gotye's avatar here is unsympathetic, and perhaps a bit of headcase.

In Stanza #2, he ups the ante on these concepts. Love is "a certain type of sadness" that he becomes addicted to. It's a drug, not a dialog. It's a torture of sorts, like a lashing administered upon himself like he's an ascetic monk. And it was always "resignation," a sort of pathetic acceptance that he wasn't going to find someone else. We have to remember here that this is HIS perspective, so it's not objective. Now, imagine how you'd feel if your significant other said that they were resigned to be with you. That's shitty. That's being told, essentially, "I can't do any better, so oh well." It's a kick in the fucking teeth. And even as Gotye says that they decided they would still be friends, he's "glad that is was over." Those aren't the words of a sad man. Those are the callous words of someone who never loved where he was, and then has the terrible audacity to complain about how his actions led to equal and opposite reactions. It's a serious moment of psuedo-sociopathy.

When we break into the chorus, the catchy, wonderful chorus (And don't get me wrong, I love this song. It's beautiful, but I'm arguing, misunderstood.), Gotye cries out that while he didn't love her, and she made him sad and lonely and addictive, and don't forget, "resigned," that she didn't have to "cut [him] off" from her entirely. He doesn't want to be treated like a stranger, either, or to think that she changed her number, but there are two big things. First, why if you felt lonely, sad, addicted, and resigned, would you want to hear from that person again. And two, why are you calling someone about whom you can say such things. Maybe some would argue that love is that complex, and yes, I agree to a large part of that, but he should be SURPRISED. And that's the tone of chorus, pained surprise.

Then Kimbra stops by to offer the female perspective. She tells him how he "screwed [her] over" and left her obsessing that it was her fault. Clearly our protagonist is an asshole, or at least a case can be made that his callous interpretation of their relationship, combined with her frank heartbreak, means that he wasn't really in it at all, and isn't a good guy. The kicker comes when Kimbra sings the "You said that you could let it go/ And I wouldn't catch you hung up on somebody that you used to know..." part. She's saying, right there, that Gotye's avatar was talking about his ex, before her, his previous ex, when she and him were together. He never let go of the woman before her, and it destroyed them. And now, he's repeating his destructive pattern of only loving the gone and unattainable, instead of loving the here and now. It's really difficult for me to even conceive of a case where Gotye's character is a good guy here. He seems at total fault. And frankly, it's devastating to consider that he'd get back out there and do the whole thing again to another woman.

Because he repeats the chorus, and that sentiment about feeling ditched and left behind by his former paramour, but it's done in such a way that it's clear he's not listening to Kimbra's advice, or her feelings. He's a relationship Chernobyl doomed to repeat over and over and over again. And that's the song. Disagree? Drop some comments below. If nothing else, let's have a little dialog because I don't want this to be one-sided. And as I said, "Somebody That I Used To Know" is a great song. And while it will be destroyed by radio overplay, it's a huge sonic bright spot in this still young decade. Dig. And that's for hanging out to find out What's It Mean?

117 comments:

  1. I disagree with the resignation piece - I think when he's saying "resignation to the end, always the end" I don't think he's saying that he's resigned to that woman because he can't do better, I think he's saying that he's resigned to that (and every) relationship ending. And when something ends, that's when he's the happiest (since he sees himself as a martyr to his pain). She broke the rules by not giving him control over the ending.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But I'm totally with you on the rest! Good job!

      Delete
    2. Ooh. Good point! I have to give you credit. That was a bit of a misread on my part. The repetition of "the end" is the key and I glossed over it. I would argue that my point would be valid if not for that second "always the end." But, then, that's not the text. Thanks for commenting!

      Delete
    3. Good Post! Thank you so much for sharing this pretty post, it was so good to read and useful to improve my knowledge as updated one, keep blogging.
      Apply for Temporary Resident Permit Canada

      Delete
  2. It’s not “the female perspective,” it’s Kimbra’s perspective. Perhaps I’m being nitpicky in a post that highlights what I like about the song (this kind of thing happens in so many former couples, and I don’t really feel sorry for you Gotye I think you’re being kinda whiny and unreasonable), but one woman’s perspective does not represent all women in the same way that you would never expect Gotye’s perspective to represent all men.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Good point. I hadn't intended the phrase "female perspective" to be an umbrella over the gender, just over this specific dyad. Still, you are completely
    correct. This is an enclosed narrative that has nothing to do with relationships generally, or men's and women's perspectives. I appreciate the picky-ness.

    ReplyDelete
  4. when i first heard this song, i thought "this is what half the people in sputnik are thinking about the other half."

    ReplyDelete
  5. Best collection of ringtones
    Hi everybody!
    Do you feel the ringtone of your cell phone is boring? Want to own a fun and unique ringtone on your phone? I would recommend you to list the best ringtones for mobile phones, you can consider downloading your phone.

    Top ringtone best. Free Download:
    - marathi ringtone
    - punjabi ringtone
    - iphone 8 ringtone
    - iphone X ringtone
    - melody ringtone

    There are also many other ringtones. All ringtones are free to download. You can see more at: https://bestringtonesfree.net/


    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for the blog post buddy! Keep them coming... transcribe meeting audio to text

    ReplyDelete
  7. Today, I was just browsing along and came upon your blog. Just wanted to say good blog and this article helped me a lot, due to which I have found exactly I was looking. สล็อต xo เครดิตฟรี

    ReplyDelete
  8. Succeed! It could be one of the most useful blogs we have ever come across on the subject. Excellent info! I’m also an expert in this topic so I can understand your effort very well. Thanks for the huge help. nieruchomosci wloclawek

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks for the blog filled with so many information. Stopping by your blog helped me to get what I was looking for. Now my task has become as easy as ABC. Pagalworld mp3

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks for sharing nice information with us. i like your post and all you share with us is uptodate and quite informative, i would like to bookmark the page so i can come here again to read you, as you have done a wonderful job. mytxcar

    ReplyDelete
  11. To begin with, Dankwoods for sale- Dankwoods is a cannabis pre-roll company that uses Backwoods cigars to make blunts. Dank Vapes, a widely in distribution THC cartridge that has popped up in both legal and illegal states, is known to produce the firm. In this article we are trying to learn how Dankwoods began and what they are now producing. dankwoods

    ReplyDelete
  12. Cool stuff you have got and you keep update all of us. peliplus

    ReplyDelete
  13. I found this is an informative and interesting post so i think so it is very useful and knowledgeable. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. dansk casino

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it. Look advanced to more added agreeable from you! However, how could we communicate? danske casinoer

    ReplyDelete
  15. I really appreciate the kind of topics you post here. Thanks for sharing us a great information that is actually helpful. Good day! casino portugal

    ReplyDelete
  16. This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing blog that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free. casino portugal

    ReplyDelete
  17. I high appreciate this post. It’s hard to find the good from the bad sometimes, but I think you’ve nailed it! would you mind updating your blog with more information? bonus sem deposito

    ReplyDelete
  18. I really appreciate the kind of topics you post here. Thanks for sharing us a great information that is actually helpful. Good day! visa de turista canadá

    ReplyDelete
  19. Took me time to read all the comments, but I really enjoyed the article. It proved to be Very helpful to me and I am sure to all the commenters here! It’s always nice when you can not only be informed, but also entertained! 바둑이게임

    ReplyDelete
  20. Cool stuff you have got and you keep update all of us. hotmail

    ReplyDelete
  21. Pretty good post. I have just stumbled upon your blog and enjoyed reading your blog posts very much. I am looking for new posts to get more precious info. Big thanks for the useful info. Buy Real Turkish passport online

    ReplyDelete
  22. You make so many great points here that I read your article a couple of times. Your views are in accordance with my own for the most part. This is great content for your readers. 먹튀검증

    ReplyDelete
  23. What is an outstanding post! “I’ll be back” (to read more of your content). Thanks for the nudge! movies123

    ReplyDelete
  24. Superior post, keep up with this exceptional work. It's nice to know that this topic is being also covered on this web site so cheers for taking the time to discuss this! Thanks again and again! 123 movies free

    ReplyDelete
  25. This website was... how do you say it? Relevant!! I finally found something that helped me.The Turkish e visa is an electronic visa Turkey that grants entry into Turkish. Once available, eligible citizens will be able to complete the online application process without having to visit an embassy or consulate.

    ReplyDelete
  26. What a fantabulous post this has been. Never seen this kind of useful post. I am grateful to you and expect more number of posts like these. Thank you very much. america suit

    ReplyDelete
  27. Thanks for a very interesting blog. What else may I get that kind of info written in such a perfect approach? I’ve a undertaking that I am simply now operating on, and I have been at the look out for such info. 토토사이트

    ReplyDelete
  28. Wonderful blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo News. Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Appreciate it. nike tech clothing

    ReplyDelete
  29. I really liked your blog. Really looking forward to reading more. keep writing. India evisa for USA, US citizens are eligible to apply for Indian eVisa.The process is completely online and there is no need to submit the paperwork in person to any Indian Embassy or Consulate. And Within 5 to 10 minutes you can apply for your Indian visa for the USA.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I hope to see more from you, thank you!
    <a href="https://goodautodeals.com/>best used car deals uk</a>

    ReplyDelete
  31. You understand your projects stand out of the crowd. There is something unique about them. It seems to me all of them are brilliant. เว็บพนัน

    ReplyDelete
  32. Thank you for sharing. I want to recommend this website to you. can dogs eat collard greens

    ReplyDelete
  33. I appreciate your efforts. Thankyou and I have never read these types of beautiful articles. Do you have any idea about the document related to the Requirements for Ukraine Tourist Visa. It is a beneficiary for all the people who are planning to visit Ukraine or other countries.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Fishing season is coming up! Love reading through all aspects of it Thanks for keeping us updated, fantastic study! 온라인카지노

    ReplyDelete
  35. What a thrilling post. It is extremely chock-full of useful information. Thanks for such a great info. ทดลองเล่นสล็อต

    ReplyDelete
  36. hello!! Very interesting discussion glad that I came across such informative post. Keep up the good work friend. Glad to be part of your net community. India Visa ya Tiba

    ReplyDelete
  37. No doubt this is an excellent post I got a lot of knowledge after reading good luck. Theme of blog is excellent there is almost everything to read, Brilliant post. สมัครเล่น จีคลับ

    ReplyDelete
  38. No doubt this is an excellent post I got a lot of knowledge after reading good luck. Theme of blog is excellent there is almost everything to read, Brilliant post. 출장안마

    ReplyDelete
  39. A very awesome blog post. We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. 소액결제 현금화

    ReplyDelete
  40. A very awesome blog post. We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. 셔츠룸

    ReplyDelete
  41. Thank you for another great article. Where else could anyone get that kind of information in such a perfect way of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I am on the look for such information. 먹튀검증사이트

    ReplyDelete
  42. Pretty good post. I have just stumbled upon your blog and enjoyed reading your blog posts very much. I am looking for new posts to get more precious info. Big thanks for the useful info. 가라오케

    ReplyDelete
  43. Your work is truly appreciated round the clock and the globe. It is incredibly a comprehensive and helpful blog. 소액결제 현금화

    ReplyDelete
  44. This is a smart blog. I mean it. You have so much knowledge about this issue, and so much passion. You also know how to make people rally behind it, obviously from the responses. 레깅스룸

    ReplyDelete
  45. This particular papers fabulous, and My spouse and i enjoy each of the perform that you have placed into this. I’m sure that you will be making a really useful place. I has been additionally pleased. Good perform! dankwoods

    ReplyDelete
  46. Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting?I have read a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style. Thanks a million and please keep up the effective work. judi bola parlay

    ReplyDelete
  47. Thanks for an interesting blog. What else may I get that sort of info written in such a perfect approach? I have an undertaking that I am just now operating on, and I have been on the lookout for such info. 소액결제 현금화

    ReplyDelete
  48. It is a fantastic post – immense clear and easy to understand. I am also holding out for the sharks too that made me laugh. เว็บพนัน jumboslot

    ReplyDelete
  49. This is very interesting content! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your points and have come to the conclusion that you are right about many of them. You are great. 먹튀검증업체

    ReplyDelete
  50. Great survey, I'm sure you're getting a great response. भारत वीजा आवेदन

    ReplyDelete
  51. Thanks for an interesting blog. What else may I get that sort of info written in such a perfect approach? I have an undertaking that I am just now operating on, and I have been on the lookout for such info. สล็อต

    ReplyDelete
  52. Merely a smiling visitant here to share the love (:, btw outstanding style. slot

    ReplyDelete
  53. Thanks for an interesting blog. What else may I get that sort of info written in such a perfect approach? I have an undertaking that I am just now operating on, and I have been on the lookout for such info. ตัวอย่างหนัง

    ReplyDelete
  54. Wow! Such an amazing and helpful post this is. I really really love it. It's so good and so awesome. I am just amazed. I hope that you continue to do your work like this in the future also 토토커뮤니티

    ReplyDelete
  55. But a smiling visitant here to share the love (:, btw great style and design . slot

    ReplyDelete
  56. I was surfing net and fortunately came across this site and found very interesting stuff here. Its really fun to read. I enjoyed a lot. Thanks for sharing this wonderful information. สล็อตออนไลน์

    ReplyDelete
  57. This content is written very well. Your use of formatting when making your points makes your observations very clear and easy to understand. Thank you. 출장안마

    ReplyDelete
  58. I learn some new stuff from it too, thanks for sharing your information. 휴대폰 소액결제 현금화

    ReplyDelete
  59. A very excellent blog post. I am thankful for your blog post. I have found a lot of approaches after visiting your post. สล็อต

    ReplyDelete
  60. Wonderful article. Fascinating to read. I love to read such an excellent article. Thanks! It has made my task more and extra easy. Keep rocking. 토토커뮤니티

    ReplyDelete
  61. It would solidify best to ro along with your managing postpartum depressive disorders without needing paxil in case you are strapped about it. 꽁머니

    ReplyDelete
  62. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon! slot

    ReplyDelete
  63. I admire what you have done here. I like the part where you say you are doing this to give back but I would assume by all the comments that this is working for you as well. สมัครสล็อต เว็บไหนดี

    ReplyDelete
  64. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. ข่าวกีฬาวันนี้

    ReplyDelete
  65. Good site! I really love how it is simple on my eyes and the data are well written. I am wondering how I might be notified whenever a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your RSS which must do the trick! Have a great day! POI Real Estate

    ReplyDelete
  66. I read your blog frequently and I just thought I’d say keep up the amazing work! exp watches

    ReplyDelete
  67. This was a really great contest and hopefully I can attend the next one. It was alot of fun and I really enjoyed myself.. 안전놀이터

    ReplyDelete
  68. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  69. A very awesome blog post. We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. nj congressional candidates 2022

    ReplyDelete
  70. This is such worthwhile material. You have shared a very nice article. I feel so glad to read this. I want people to read it once. It is really helpful and informative. I suggest you want to know India business visa requirements i.e. passport validity at least 6 months, 2 blank pages in passport, upload the copy of business/invitation card. For more details check out the link.

    ReplyDelete
  71. Wow! This blog is very nice. Now foreign travelers from over 160 nations can apply for Indian visa online.

    ReplyDelete
  72. Superbly written article, if only all bloggers offered the same content as you, the internet would be a far better place.. custom cbd boxes wholesale

    ReplyDelete
  73. What’s Happening i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I have discovered It absolutely useful and it has aided me out loads. I’m hoping to give a contribution & assist other customers like its aided me. Great job. 안전놀이터

    ReplyDelete
  74. I think this is an informative post and it is very beneficial and knowledgeable. Therefore, I would like to thank you for the endeavors that you have made in writing this article. All the content is absolutely well-researched. Thanks... Royal Online V2

    ReplyDelete
  75. Awesome! I thank you your contribution to this matter. It has been insightful. my blog: how to seduce a girl 메이저사이트

    ReplyDelete
  76. Relating to a short time ago begun a good webpage, the info everyone deliver on this website has got improved my family dramatically. Kudos meant for your whole point in time & job. 안전놀이터추천

    ReplyDelete
  77. I believe this is one of the most significant information for me. And i am satisfied studying your article. But wanna commentary on some basic things, The web site taste is wonderful, the articles is in point of fact excellent . Good activity, cheers. microdermabrasion beauty machine

    ReplyDelete
  78. This is very interesting, but it is necessary to click on this link: 몰디브바둑이

    ReplyDelete
  79. This is my first time i visit here. I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the enjoyment here keep up the good work sexxy บาคาร่า

    ReplyDelete
  80. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. Thanks... พนันบอลขั้นต่ำ 10 บาท

    ReplyDelete
  81. When your website or blog goes live for the first time, it is exciting. That is until you realize no one but you and your. คาสิโนออนไลน์ UFABET

    ReplyDelete
  82. I have a similar interest this is my page read everything carefully and let me know what you think. 먹튀검증

    ReplyDelete
  83. Hey, I am so thrilled I found your blog, I am here now and could just like to say thank for a tremendous post and all round interesting website. Please do keep up the great work. I cannot be without visiting your blog again and again. ufaslot

    ReplyDelete
  84. Took me time to read all the comments, but I really enjoyed the article. It proved to be Very helpful to me and I am sure to all the commenters here! It’s always nice when you can not only be informed, but also entertained! Aplikasi Dalam Talian Visa Kanada

    ReplyDelete
  85. Wow! Such an amazing and helpful post this is. I really really love it. It's so good and so awesome. I am just amazed. I hope that you continue to do your work like this in the future also สูตรบาคาร่า sa

    ReplyDelete
  86. Thank you so much for the post you do. I like your post and all you share with us is up to date and quite informative, i would like to bookmark the page so i can come here again to read you, as you have done a wonderful job. geministar888

    ReplyDelete
  87. Hmm… I interpret blogs on a analogous issue, however i never visited your blog. I added it to populars also i’ll be your faithful primer. 릴게임사이트

    ReplyDelete
  88. This was a really great contest and hopefully I can attend the next one. It was alot of fun and I really enjoyed myself.. thesis help online

    ReplyDelete
  89. Thanks for another wonderful post. Where else could anybody get that type of info in such an ideal way of writing? 메이저사이트

    ReplyDelete
  90. This is very interesting content! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your points and have come to the conclusion that you are right about many of them. You are great. 토토커뮤니티

    ReplyDelete
  91. Make the most of mainly premium substances - you will find him or her for: 토토커뮤니티

    ReplyDelete
  92. I really enjoy simply reading all of your weblogs. Simply wanted to inform you that you have people like me who appreciate your work. Definitely a great post. Hats off to you! The information that you have provided is very helpful. 강남가라오케

    ReplyDelete
  93. I'm happy to see the considerable subtle element here!. your bizzare adventure codes

    ReplyDelete
  94. Hey this can be a great looking site, is wordpress? Forgive me for the dumb question – but if so, what theme is? Thanks! 토토커뮤니티

    ReplyDelete
  95. Excellent post. I was reviewing this blog continuously, and I am impressed! Extremely helpful information especially this page. Thank you and good luck. new york city break deals

    ReplyDelete
  96. Thanks so much for this information. I have to let you know I concur on several of the points you make here and others may require some further review, but I can see your viewpoint. city break liverpool

    ReplyDelete
  97. Wow, this is fascinating reading. I am glad I found this and got to read it. Great job on this content. I liked it a lot. Thanks for the great and unique info. city break berlin

    ReplyDelete
  98. I am jovial you take pride in what you write. It makes you stand way out from many other writers that can not push high-quality content like you. joan cusack net worth

    ReplyDelete
  99. Acknowledges for paper such a beneficial composition, I stumbled beside your blog besides decipher a limited announce. I want your technique of inscription. matching christmas pajamas

    ReplyDelete
  100. Thank you very much for this useful article. I like it.
    soaptoday

    ReplyDelete
  101. i was just browsing along and came upon your blog. just wanted to say good blog and this article really helped me. make money apps 2016

    ReplyDelete
  102. I used to be more than happy to seek out this internet-site. Hey there, If you are planning to travel to Pakistan, here is a website which is very helpful for you regarding visa and travel in pak.

    ReplyDelete
  103. Going to graduate school was a positive decision for me. I enjoyed the coursework, the presentations, the fellow students, and the professors. And since my company reimbursed 100% of the tuition, the only cost that I had to pay on my own was for books and supplies. Otherwise, I received a free master’s degree. All that I had to invest was my time. ucdm

    ReplyDelete
  104. Wow! Such an amazing and helpful post this is. I really really love it. It's so good and so awesome. I am just amazed. I hope that you continue to do your work like this in the future also https://www.5g999.co/slot

    ReplyDelete
  105. I was looking for another article by chance and found your article casinosite I am writing on this topic, so I think it will help a lot. I leave my blog address below. Please visit once.

    ReplyDelete
  106. Crystal Consultancy deals in ngo registration, trust registration and 80g registration.Trust registration

    ReplyDelete
  107. Beaver says I also have such interest, you can read my profile here: Wiki Business Now

    ReplyDelete
  108. This article is very interested, Thank you for sharing it is very useful. viral scroll

    ReplyDelete
  109. soap2day
    Nice bLog! its interesting. thank you for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  110. I read that Post and got it fine and informative.
    Good Night Love quotes

    ReplyDelete
  111. Nice bLog! its interesting. thank you for sharing
    short spiritual quotes

    ReplyDelete