I have this tendency to become obsessed with the things I like. I become obsessed with a certain preacher – listening to their podcasts every week, reading the books they’ve written, following them on Twitter. But I do this with other things, too. Sometimes it’s a certain movie or tv show or novel. Sometimes it’s a song.
Right now it’s a song. Right now it’s Gotye’s “Somebody that I used to know.” I first heard it on American Idol (one of my tv obsessions), and then it was covered on Glee (another obsession). I bought the single the other day and occasionally I just throw it on repeat on my laptop or in the car, and listen over and over and over and over…
Told you I was obsessed. My friend Amanda posted a cover of the song by an acapella group called Pentatonix on facebook the other day, and I absolutely love it. So I just had to share it in this post.
I think this song has caught me up for a number of reasons. First of all, most of us know what it is to have a broken relationship – romantic or friendship or even a member of our family. Most of us know what that “now you’re just somebody that I used to know” feeling is all about.
Second of all, I love that both sides of the story are presented in the song. First you get the guy, who is clearly bitter and still hurting. But then a female voice comes in and reminds you that there are two sides to every story. I like that. It is true, and it pushes the song beyond your average “bitter break-up” song into something more conversational and more real.
Third, I like the instrumentation on Gotye’s version of the song. It’s slightly off-centre. The xylophone and the other percussion gives the song a sense of whimsy that contrasts beautifully with raw anger and bitterness of the lyrics and vocals.
Sometimes in the world of church, we categorize music: that which is worship and that which is secular. But I have always believed that there isn’t a really clear line between the two. God has given us the gift of being capable of making and enjoying music. I believe that any time that gift is used (in a way that doesn’t cause harm), God is honored and worship occurs.
So today I am thankful for the God-given gift of music.