Play It Again

I’m a sap.

I’ve never owned a black leather jacket, never a skinny tie, I’m nothing if not unfashionable.

But I’m human.

What does it mean to be human?

Anxious. Wondering if this or that is gonna work out.

Lonely. Wanting to connect, but not knowing how to bridge the gap.

Self-conscious. Worried if people are going to laugh at you.

I know what’s hip, and sometimes my taste squares with that, but if a song touches me…I don’t care where it came from.

Which means I don’t care what you think of me or my taste.

But that would be completely untrue.

But at home I play that which reaches me, like Luke Bryan’s “Play It Again.”

I know, this territory has been covered before, even better, by Taylor Swift with “Our Song.”

But this is just a little bit different, it’s a little less country and a little less adolescent.

She was sittin’ all alone over on the tailgate
Tan legs swingin’ by a Georgia plate
I was lookin’ for her boyfriend
Thinkin’, no way she ain’t got one

It’s easier when you’re older, you just look for the ring.

But when you’re an adolescent, an early twentysomething, everyone’s available.

Or are they?

Listen to Neil Strauss and you can embrace false confidence and employ the neg, trying to trick the women into paying attention by putting them down.

But I’ve been put down so much I’m never gonna employ this technique, furthermore I fantasize that if she just saw my true insides, she’d like me.

But still you have to make your move.

Despite the guy who hits on everybody, giving men a bad reputation, most of us are too afraid of rejection. You’re already out of our league, now you’re gonna kick us back to the minors?

Soon as I sat down I was fallin’ in love

The magic is in the change. But still there’s that moment when you’re talking to someone and you’re beginning to fall. You’re just being yourself, and she’s just being herself, and it works. Your self-consciousness fades away, you feel accepted, you don’t want the moment to end.

But in the song it does…

Talkin’ over the speakers in the back of that truck
She jumped up and cut me off

What’s going on? Everything was going so well and suddenly she’s jumping the tracks!

She was like, oh my God, this is my song
I’ve been listening to the radio all night long
Sittin’ ’round waitin’ for it to come on and here it is

Passion, that’s what attracts us. Conventional wisdom is it’s attractiveness. But that’s untrue, if we see the spark of life in you we’re completely sold, we’re undone.

She was like, come here boy, I wanna dance
‘Fore I said a word, she was takin’ my hand
Spinnin’ me around ’til it faded out
And she gave me a kiss
And she said, play it again, play it again, play it again
And I said, play it again, play it again, play it again

We males are bad at leading. We’re good on the ball field, amongst our buddies, but put us in front of women and we’re completely clueless, any guy can see it, the guy is talking but he’s faking it, he’s just waiting for the moment when the woman takes over.

And when you lead us beyond our comfort zone there’s nothing we like more. I’m not much of a dancer, but in the above situation I’ve got no doubt I’d be doing a two-step. And hoping the song never ended!

I’d ‘a gave that DJ my last dime
If he would have played it just one more time

Money isn’t everything.
Of course the construct of the song is suspect, it’s no longer the twentieth century, no one waits for the song to come on the radio. Still, we get it.

But a little while later
We were sittin’ in the drive in my truck
Before I walked her to the door
I was scannin’ like a fool, AM, FM, XM too

Little things make a difference, the XM reference makes me swoon. But there’s also evidence of desperation, and we males are nothing if not desperate. Pushing the buttons, scanning for a return to nirvana.

But I stopped real quick when I heard that groove
Man, you should have seen her light up

It’s the little things that matter, those are the situations you remember. Sure, graduating from college is a big deal, as is passing the Bar and getting married, but what truly makes our heart beat is when small things work out and the game continues, and our good feelings persist. Talk to any guy, he can remember these moments, especially the one where your eyes light up and focus upon him, giving him the green light he’s looking for.

And sure, everybody wants to get laid, but this is not what I’m talking about.

Pricks keep score and boast about it.

Real men are looking to melt. And it only happens a few times in a lifetime.

And if you’ve got your motorcycle jacket, if you wear your sunglasses at night, if you think punk is the best music ever made, you’re never gonna get “Play It Again.”

But most of the girls will. Because they’re optimistic and romantic. And they’re in control. They’re just waiting for that special someone to approach them so they can say yes.

And really the reason I like “Play It Again” has little to do with the lyrics.

It’s the sound.

That acoustic guitar intro and then the crystal clear strumming, setting the mood.

And the aforementioned change.

And the singable chorus.

So what I’ve done here is prove that I’m not cool.

But cool is for New York. For Angelenos who hit the clubs and the restaurants.

But me, I’m a human being, a dreamer. As old as I am I still fantasize my life will work out like a fairy tale. And when I hear “Play It Again” I believe it just might.

Play It Again – Spotify

Play It Again – YouTube-official video

Play It Again – YouTube-lyric video

P.S. Standing in the California desert I didn’t quite get it. But Luke Bryan’s performance of “Do I” had me surfing Spotify, checking out his tracks, as soon as I got home. And I discovered “Play It Again” and so much more. And now I feel I missed my opportunity, I can’t wait to see him again, so I can stand and sing along at the top of my lungs, amongst my brethren, all the women standing there dreaming life might just work out.

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