Sunday, December 20, 2009

REO Speedwagon -- "Can't Fight This Feeling"

Oh YouTube, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

1. This video is, I believe, the original video for this song. It's kind of nice ... straightforward shots of the band playing the song, bookended by a montage of Kevin Cronin trying to get the key right, and a part at the end where the entire band collapses into a giggling fit for no apparent reason and Cronin says "That warms the cockles of my cockles!" which is a funny thing to say. The band comes off as pretty likeable, even though the part at the beginning was clearly staged after the fact.

2. Here's the alternate version of the video, which is totally creepy and unintentionally hilarious! Lots of intriguing facial expressions and outdated haircuts to choose from. Also, I totally want the sweatshirt that the teenaged version of the fictional person who ages throughout the video is wearing at around the 1:38 mark.

3. And then there's this, which is also vaguely creepy (mostly because of the Brokeback Mountain images mixed in with all the Disney ones) and oddly hypnotizing.

And, if you really want to dig deep into this song's videography, there are some other funny karaoke-style videos with weird pictures. (What is the deal with the pictures that accompany karaoke songs? They are always just so bizarre. Is it an Asian cultural-divide thing? Who picks these images? I need to know these things.)

I can't fight this feeling any longer / And yet I'm still afraid to let it flow
/ What started out as friendship has grown stronger / I only wish I had the strength to let it show

So yeah, Kevin Cronin knows a girl, and I guess they are friends, and she wants to be more than friends. He was reluctant to embrace this concept but is now coming around.

I tell myself that I can't hold out forever / I say there is no reason for my fear

OK, we get the point. You're afraid, you have no strength, you have fear, etc. Are you playing for our sympathy? Mission not accomplished.

Wait a minute ... wait just a cotton-pickin' minute. Take these first three stanzas here and then think about Brokeback Mountain ... maybe that YouTube video had a point. Maybe those Disney images were just meant to throw us off the trail here. Could it be that Kevin Cronin posted that video himself, trying to send a message to the world as a desperate cry for help???

Wait, am I making Brokeback Mountain jokes?

'Cause I feel so secure when we're together / You give my life direction, you make everything so clear

That sounds really nice, Kevin. Why are you trying to fight this feeling? Seriously. Just let it flow, pal. Do what feels right. Take that "fishing trip."

And even as I wander I'm keeping you in sight

Kevin Cronin has somehow acquired a Predator drone.

You're a candle in the window on a cold dark winter's night / And I'm getting closer than I ever thought I might

This is boring.

And I can't fight this feeling anymore / I've forgotten what I started fighting for

Because you were afraid of being ostracized by a society that is still unwilling to accept a love between two men, no matter how secure you feel or how much your lover reminds you of a candle. Remember?

It's time to bring this ship in to the shore / And throw away the oars forever

I'm fine with bringing the ship in to the shore, but do you really need to throw away the oars? Forever? That just seems rash. Can't you just pretend to throw away the oars as a symbolic gesture, but then, in the dead of night, retrieve them and hide them away someplace safe? Just in case you need them sometime in the future? I mean, the ship is still going to be there. And then someday you will be like, "Hey, there's my old ship! Might be nice to take it for a spin. Now what did I do with those oars? Oh, fuck!"

Of course, the oars in this case are actually Kevin Cronin's testicles.

'Cause I can't fight this feeling anymore / I've forgotten what I've started fighting for

But I just ... told you ...

And if I have to crawl upon the floor / Or come crashing through your door / Baby I can't fight this feeling anymore

I like the two scenarios that Kevin comes up with for how to win this dude's heart. I'm imagining him supplicating himself, but that ends up being a turnoff. So he's all like, "Oh, wait a minute, I have to go get something out of my car," and walks out the door, then turns around and smashes right through it, leaving a Kool Aid guy-style cutout of himself, and bellows with rage and desire: "Baby, I can't fight this feeling anymore!" Then he's all, "Oh, sorry about that door. Sometimes I do things rashly without considering the consequences. Like, this one time, I had these oars and ..."

My life has been such a whirlwind since I saw you / I've been running round in circles in my mind

In the video (#2 in the list above), this second line is accompanied by a picture of a guy literally running around in circles within another guy's head. (Or, more accurately, within his hat.) Go back and watch that video. It's really very strange.

And it always seems that I'm following you girl / 'Cause you take me to the places that alone I'd never find

Yeah. Right. "Girl." Oh, Kevin. I thought you'd come so far. Back to square one. But, on the plus side, you still have your oars.


  1. Thanks so much - this just made me laugh and the videos were excellent! This song has a place in my past that frankly it never deserved and I think you have just decimated it (and about time that happened). I love your take on the lyrics - so much better than mine ever was! Happy Christmas.

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  3. Hey Jude, do you mean he took a sad song and made it better?

  4. Sometimes I think I'll change my name and then I think no! I consider it my way of giving back to society.......if I can spread a little happiness etc etc.

  5. I wish he'd gone further with finding rhymes for "more" and just taken that chorus out as far as it can possibly go.

    "And if I have to crawl upon the floor, or come crashing through your door, or stop being such a bore, or shake you to your core, home from work at four, or eat lunch with Dinah Shore, or...hang on, I think there's more, please don't fall asleep and snore,, I can't fight this feeling anymore."

  6. Sort of like Springsteen did in "For You", you mean? "And who am I to ask you to lick my sores?"