Where: Outside your bedroom window. Specifically, in a bush outside your bedroom window. Don’t mind the video camera. It’s just an artifact that is definitely not for recording your every movement while I sniff a bottle of the same perfume you wear.
Who: Me, watching you.
When: You’re sleeping.
When was the last time you crept to someone’s window and watched them sleep? Or asked a stranger to marry you every day? Most importantly, why are you wearing your sunglasses at night to watch other people breathe?
These are the songs that, when the items are collected for evidence, will be found on the stalker’s iPod. Stalkers spend long hours hiding in bushes, under cars, and in shadows. They need playlists too. Of course, the writers behind these songs might say we’re taking them a little too literally. There’s high-minded, abstract ideas behind these lyrics, mostly about the art of stalking.
“Have I the Right?” (1964)
If you have to ask, you already know the answer. This is a song for the polite stalker, deeply concerned about legality and morality. Perhaps there is still a chance to reform. The Honeycombs were several men in gray suits who held their string instruments too high and depended on a jaunty beat provided by drummer Honey Lantree. This clip is worth checking out just to see Lantree’s beehive.
“Have I the right to hold you / You know I’ve always told you / That we must never ever part / Have I the right to kiss you / You know I’ll always miss you / I’ve loved you from the very start / Come right back I just can’t bear it / I’ve got this love and I long to share it / Come right back I’ll show my love is strong.”
“You’re Beautiful” (2005)
Something is off with this song and it’s not just the vocals. Yeah, Blunt’s voice is nasal and breathless. The instrumentation is about as interesting as potato spuds. But there’s something else strange about this song that earns it on a stalker’s playlist. The unconfirmed story behind the song is that James Blunt had recently broken up with Shannon Grima, a casting director for the Harry Potter films, and he saw her on the subway with a new boyfriend. Does that sound fishy to you?
In the song, James Blunt knows he can’t be with the object of his affection, he only glimpsed her on the subway or in a crowded room. However, he has a plan. What is that plan? Nobody knows but James Blunt. Sleep tight.
“Marry Me” (2010)
“But PopMatters”, says the reader, “This isn’t a stalker song. You’ve completely misinterpreted a marriage proposal.” We at PopMatters smile knowingly. We present the lyrics for the reader’s inspection: “Forever can never be long enough for me / To feel like I’ve had long enough with you / Forget the world now, we won’t let them see.” How sweet.
“But there’s one thing left to do”, adds Train. Now, what is that one thing? “Marry me / If I ever get the nerve to say hello in this cafe.”
Whoa. Wait a minute. You haven’t met yet? When is the last time you’ve looked at a complete stranger and decided that you should marry them every day?
Train has just been gawking in a cafe at a stranger, thinking, It would be a really great idea if we got married. Every. Day.
“Sunglasses at Night” (1983)
Thank you, Corey Hart, for perfectly accessorizing the art of stalking. Stalkers, don your sunglasses, put in your earbuds and creep away.
Corey Hart, why are you wearing your sunglasses at night? We thought it was the drugs. We hoped it was the drugs. But then you told us it was to keep track of the visions in your eyes. “Oh, to see trails?” we asked.
You shook your head. “She got control of me,” you sing.
“The ecstasy has control of you?” we asked. “I wear my sunglasses at night so I can watch you weave and breathe…” You replied. And that’s when we started to slowly back away, whispering to each other to not make any sudden movements.
“I Want You to Want Me” (1977)
Thank you, Cheap Trick, for voicing the needs of every stalker. This is like the demands of stalker negotiation. “I need you to stop lurking in my yard every night”, says the victim. “I also need you to stop calling my house and following my family.”
“Oh yeah?” says the stalker. “Well, I have needs too.” And he bursts into this Cheap Trick song: “I want you to want me / I need you to need me / I’d love you to love me / I’m begging you to beg me… Didn’t I, didn’t I, didn’t I see you crying / Didn’t I, didn’t I, didn’t I see you crying?”
“Keep on Loving You” (1980)
This is the song for the stalker who just wants to keep on loving you. He gets drunk and shows up on your doorstep. He dials your phone number and breathes heavily, his heart leaping every time you demand, “HELLO?” He knows about the other men, but he’s okay with that. “It was us way before them”, he assures himself. He’ll stay true to his word. Here are the lyrics, complete with the victim’s reactions to every line:
REO Speedwagon: “I don’t want to sleep. I just want to keep on loving you.” Victim: “You need to stop showing up on my doorstep.”
REO Speedwagon: “When I said that I love you I meant that I love you forever.” Victim: “I know it’s you who keeps calling and breathing heavily on the phone.”
REO Speedwagon: “I’m going to keep on loving you.” Victim: “Go home, REO Speedwagon. You’re drunk.”
REO Speedwagon: “It’s the only thing I want to do.”
// Notes from the Road
"José González's sets during Newport Folk Festival weren't on his birthday (that is today) but each looked to be a special intimate performance.READ the article