Nobody wants you here but everybody looks you in the eye and says they don’t mind that you’re here. It’s nothing personal, it’s just they guess they can’t get hurt by someone they don’t really know. They don’t really know. I’m only as good as I think you think I am and you’re only as good as you think I think you are. They’re not invisible it’s just that they all look away before we have a chance to say hello. I can’t talk to you, I’m shallow, I’m invisible, I’m looking for a whole to fall into. You can’t see through what I don’t want to show you. I’m only as good as I think you think I am and you’re only as good as you think I think you are. She’s only as good as she thinks we think she is. They don’t really know.
What I really love about this whole tune is that the lyrics sound really casual, almost like a stream of consciousness, yet they all relate to each other.
To me, this is almost like what everybody thinks at a high school party sounds like. Now, I don’t go to high school parties (obviously), but when I did, you could see people thinking it and people thinking it at other people.
There are some really deep ideas in here, like “it’s nothing personal, it’s just they guess they can’t get hurt by someone they don’t really know” or “you can’t see through what I don’t want to show you” and they’re loaded with meaning themselves. Reciprocally, there are some neat double-entendres that are incredibly effective, particularly “they don’t really know.” On one hand, it’s finishing off a thought (someone getting hurt by someone they don’t really know) and on the other, it’s specifying this haphazard ignorance that so many people face when meeting strangers.
If we were to look at it from a place where social relationships are really important, lines like “I’m only as good as I think you think I am and you’re only as good as you think I think you are” are quite effective. I teach in a high school and this line resonates with students a lot (I teach Greg in one of my classes) because self-esteem and image are a prominent part of their lives. I mean, they probably shouldn’t be and most teachers devote their careers to unteaching this notion, but it’s hard to separate from any social situation, really, no matter what age.
Anyway, this is getting a bit ranty, but words have power and he wouldn’t have written them if there wasn’t something powerful in them, right?
Visit Greg’s website at http://www.gregmacpherson.com, and buy his music – don’t download it, please buy it and support both him and the arts. His entire discography is on iTunes.
Have a fabulous weekend.