Monday, October 19, 2009

Bon Jovi -- "I'll Be There For You"

Oh, hello. I didn't see you there.

Here's today's song, and it's a doozy!

But first, Wikipedia told me the original name for the band Bon Jovi. Do you want to hear it? OK.
It's "Johny [sic] Electric."


I guess this time you're really leaving / I heard your suitcase say goodbye

I'm imagining an anthropomorphic suitcase here, kind of like something from Pee Wee's Playhouse, saying "Goodbye, Jon," in a really mopey voice.

Well, as my broken heart lies bleeding / You say true love it's suicide

This is another one of those songs where the singer is just so broken up about his wife/girlfriend/rhino handler leaving and just can't go on without her, oh my god! And you sort of feel sorry for him until you read the rest of the lyrics where he fucking admits how badly he treated her, and how he really deserves everything that happens to him. Then you go out to the garage and huff some paint, because hey, you like huffing paint, and you're not going to let society tell you how to live your life.

You say you've cried a thousand rivers / And now you're swimming for the shore / You left me drowning in my tears / And you won't save me anymore

That is a goddamn assload of tears being shed in this little stanza. Why are we trying to save this relationship again? Seriously. Just break up. JUST BREAK UP! And stop writing these awful lyrics. They're really awful. I'm telling you this for your own good. Let this poor girl get on with her life and go take a creative-writing class or something. (But, don't stop pumping out the sweet jams. I know it's a fine line to walk. We can all help you through it.)

Now I'm praying to God you'll give me one more chance, girl

And if that doesn't work, I'll pray to Allah or Buddha or LeBron James or whoever it is people pray to these days.

I'll be there for you / These five words I swear to you

Ha, I kind of like this line. Except for the fact that everything else in the song indicates that he has never been there for her at any time. Run! Run far away!

When you breathe I want to be the air for you / I'll be there for you / I'd live and I'd die for you / I'd steal the sun from the sky for you / Words can't say what love can do / I'll be there for you

Yes! Exactly, Jon Bon Jovi. You've really hit the nail on the head. "Words can't say what love can do." And the fact is, you are trying to save this relationship with words when you have failed to show this poor woman love.

Although, if you are in fact able to "steal the sun from the sky" for her, that would be pretty impressive ... for about seven minutes before all of humankind died in agony.

I know you know we've had some good times / Now they have their own hiding place

But do you know that I know that you know ... oh, forget it.

Also, why are you hiding all the good times? That's not really helping your cause.

I can promise you tomorrow / But I can't buy back yesterday

Unless ... (attempts to buy time machine) ... nope, I was right.

And baby you know my hands are dirty / But I wanted to be your Valentine

Are these two lines supposed to be somehow related? His hands are dirty, BUT he wanted to be your Valentine? I'm expecting the next line to be something like "Ooh girl, I made a turkey sandwich / But you joined a marching band." Actually, imagine singing that like Bon Jovi. It's kind of funny. Or maybe it's just funny to imagine him making a turkey sandwich.

I'll be the water when you get thirsty, baby / When you get drunk, I'll be the wine

Uhhh, yeah. A couple things wrong here. First of all, you already established water as a drowning metaphor earlier in the song. Now you're using it as a life-giving metaphor. Are you trying to sell me a bill of goods here, Jon Bon Jovi? Trying to have your turkey sandwich and eat it too, so to speak?

Also, giving her wine when she's already drunk? Creepiness tag.


Now these final lines might be my favorites.

I wasn't there when you were happy / And I wasn't there when you were down

Beautiful. Awesome. You weren't there when she was happy or when she was down. Meaning you were never there for her at all. Or perhaps only there when she was clipping her toenails, or was watching a boring movie, or was sleeping or something. Then as soon as a hint of emotion flickers across her face, boom! Out the door.

Didn't mean to miss your birthday, baby / I wish I'd seen you blow those candles out

Awe. Some. Ly. Bad. Lyrics. (These five words I swear to you.)


  1. Thanks to readers Erica and "Mooselet" for the recommendation.

  2. Ha ha, "steal the sun from the sky" made me laugh and laugh and laugh. "Hey baby, look what I got for you! It's a ball of indescribably hot exploding gas hundreds of thousands of miles across! OH MY GOD IT BURNS IT BURNS! Oh, by the way, if anyone asks, you never got this from me, because, uh, technically, I didn't come by this legally."

  3. Awe. Some. Ly. Bad. Lyrics. (These five words I swear to you.)

    Brilliantest kicker ever!

  4. Hey, leave this one alone! I'll Be There For You is one of my favorite Bon Jovi songs...

    Since he's in a rockband and they constantly tour the world, I would imagine he WOULDN'T be there for her birthday or when she was happy or sad!

  5. Yeah, I think that "when you get drunk I'll be the wine" bit seems particularly misguided. I like to drink as much as the next person, okay, in the interest of full disclosure, way, way more, but like being drunk is not supposed to be positive, right? Like he's not talking about heady intoxication or giddiness or what have you; the word he has selected is drunk. Like falling down, vomiting, getting into brawls, making terrible decisions...You know what, forget I said anything. This may well be the only apt metaphor in the song.


  6. Awwww, thanks. This song drove me nuts every time I heard it at my former job, which was a lot as it seemed to be the store's favourite tape. I swear I'll be there for you, even though I've missed out on every-freakin-thing before now. Honest! Blech...

    And why the quotes around my name? Are you implying Mooselet isn't my real name? :-)

  7. I have grown up listening to Bon Jovi so when I got a chance to see them live it was the most memorable experience for me. I unfortunately missed the concert last year coz tickets were already sold out. Lately someone recommended a great site:
    So I can’t wait to see them again!!!