#ContactForm1 { display: none ! important; }

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Call Me Maybe - Decoded

Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen... the kicky song of summer 2012 that you couldn't avoid even at the Olympics. Everyone was singing it, humming it, and parodying it. The music video got laughs because of the fun twist at the end. But that's not the real story.

No, if you listen to the lyrics instead of the chorus what you hear is the tearful story of finding love in all the wrong places. Let's exam the lyrics together.

It helps to understand Carly's background. Here's a hint: don't start by reading her wiki. Carly Rae went to to the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women * and after receiving her diploma she went to work for [redacted for security reasons]. After the incident in Budapest** Carly Rae joined a black ops team. During one of her missions something went wrong, the information was bad, and the target got away, but not before leaving an indeliable impression on young Carly.

I threw a wish in the well, 
Don't ask me, 
I'll never tell  
I looked to you as it fell, 
And now you're in my way

"A wish in a well" Carly Rae? Don't you mean some plastic explosive in the target's beach bungalow? You know it's the truth. She set up the bomb and watched it go off as he stepped out of the blast radius.

I'd trade my soul for a wish, 
 Pennies and dimes for a kiss 
I wasn't looking for this,  
But now you're in my way 

If a wish is an explosive device than pennies and dimes are obviously guns and ammo. When the target stepped out of her trap, he had bodyguards with him. Carly was surrounded and under-prepared for the assault. But she fought back, obviously this guy is in her way.

Your stare was holdin',  
Ripped jeans, skin was showin' 
Hot night, wind was blowin'  
Where you think you're going, baby?

Here Carly describes the scene as she's cornered by her would-be victim. They're both injured, his jeans are ripped, she lost a sleeve but not an arm. Hot air from the explosion and flakes of ash fall around them. He takes the safety off his gun and asks, "Where you think you're going, baby?"

Hey, I just met you, 
And this is crazy,  
But here's my number, 
So call me, maybe?  

Desperate to escape with her life Carly Rae pulls on her Gallagher Girl training and turns on the charm. She tells her mark that she's obsessed with him, but she saw the bad guy get away, and - hey! - can she have his phone number and autograph? Proving that this is the wrong guy for Carly, he buys this line of BS despite the fact that she took down six heavily armed guards with nothing more than her roller derby helmet.***

Hey, I just met you, 
And this is crazy, 
But here's my number, 
 So call me, maybe?
And all the other

Try to chase me,  
But here's my number,  
So call me, maybe?  

The chorus discusses the subsequent chase as Carly Rae ditches her black ops protocol to finish the mission.  "The Other Boys" is obviously a reference to various international groups as well as the target's surviving bodyguards. 

You took your time with the call, 
I took no time with the fall  
You gave me nothing at all,  
But still, you're in my way 

Carly Rae is cornered again, but this time her target wants to take her to dinner. She's conflicted. He seems like a decent human being, is it possible someone is using her black ops group to target political rivals instead of the scum of the earth? Can she really be falling in love with a target? This guy is in the way of her promotion and future happiness. 

I beg, and borrow and steal  
Have foresight and it's real 
I didn't know I would feel it,  
But it's in my way 

 Stealing another woman's identity she sneaks into Langley to find out the truth. What she finds is devastating, but it syncs with what she knows. 

Before you came into my life 
 I missed you so bad 
I missed you so bad 
I missed you so, so bad
Before you came into my life  

I missed you so bad 
And you should know that  
I missed you so, so bad

 After another round of the chorus Carly Rae laments not killing her target on the first try. If only the information had been good! She never would have gotten into this situation if he'd just died on schedule!

It's hard to look right,  
At you baby,  
But here's my number, 
So call me, maybe?

 Finally, Carly Rae makes peace with her past. She resigns from her black ops position, dyes her hair back to its natural color, and turns to a life of music where she writes about the infamous evening where she met The One That Got Away.

 * This is a lie.
** So is this.
*** Also probably fiction.