An Apology and a Recant
Well, it happens to the best of us. I was wrong.
And I owe a couple of apologies.
Last week I gave my review of the Grammy performances. In it, I said the following:
Bruce Springsteen can still rock it, of that there is no doubt. He looks good and sounds good (although when you sing a song with only a four note range, it’s kind of hard NOT to). My issue was with the song, “We Take Care of Our Own.” Call it my aversion-to-USA-thinking-they’re-better-than-anyone-else syndrome, fine. But I just don’t resonate with the message “wherever our flag is flown / we take care of our own.”
For the first time ever, I enjoyed a live performance of Taylor Swift! The song is great, but she finally put together a live performance worth remembering. I loved the set and costumes, and how cool that Taylor rocked out on a banjo?! All around a great little number.
As it turns out, I was wrong on both accounts. Springsteen's song is NOT a "we-are-better-than-everyone-else" anthem, and Swift was NOT playing a banjo.
So, I offer my apologies to Bruce and Taylor.
Bruce, I didn't give you ENOUGH credit.
Taylor, I gave you TOO MUCH.
Thanks to my buddy Matt Morris for setting me straight on the purpose of "We Take Care of our Own." Turns out it functions as the exact opposite of what I thought. He is actually critiquing the lack of taking care of people. I would still say, however, that he kinda brought this criticism on himself in a way. When your verses are so gravelly and hard to understand, but your chorus (the HOOK) comes through loud and clear, it's kind of hard NOT to think what I originally thought. Nonetheless, I will be the first to argue the importance of context. And when you rip a chorus out of context from the surrounding verses you can end up with entirely different meanings.
And thanks to my brother, Logan Martin, for pointing out the fact that the "banjo" Taylor was playing had, in fact, all six strings. Whereas a real banjo has only four. She tricked me. She tricked us all.
See. I'm not above admitting when I'm wrong!