Tuesday, March 17, 2009

What's That Song About? (4)

The song: "Thinking Drinking Sinking Feeling," by Slow Club.

What I Thought It Was About:
I first heard this where everyone except the people who are in Slow Club first heard it-- on that potato chip commercial. That is, I guess everyone except the people who are in Slow Club, and someone who works for a potato chip company, first heard it, since the potato chip guy had to hear it somewhere before putting it into a commercial.

That, by the way, I think would be the second best job to dream about having when your own job gets a little old. (This is the First-Best): Guy who picks music for commercials. Your job is just to sit around and listen to music, and maybe categorize it: this song makes me... think about potato chips. This song makes me... want to take a cruise.

So anyway, I heard this song and then googled the line "stick me to you/nature needs no glue" to find out what it was, then got the song -- not that Slow Club needed the money since they probably got a zillion dollars -- and all along, I figured it was about... not snack foods. That's too easy. I assumed it was about love.

Here's the song:

What it's Actually About: It's not about love at all -- it's about timing, and cheating. Here's the lyrics:

Light will pour, out of your eyes
Down into, a field of spies
The grass is green, the sky is blue
All the sun, bullies the moon

But I will make you see, that you belong to me
Stick me to you, nature needs no glue
Always be true

I would never, call you a pig
You are clever, and he is not
The lean-in time, came way too fast
I want you, to collapse

(Chorus) 1x

Thinking, drinking, sinking feeling.

You said watch, that romantic film
But who plays me? And who plays you?
Are you the one, who gets the girl?
Or are you the one, who ends up dead?

[Chorus 2]
But I will make you see, that you belong to me
Stick me to you, nature needs no glue
I could hold you tighter, and I could make you lighter
Than the air that you've been breathin
I know he'll say don't leave him
While the cannons are firing
And the wall outside's expiring
I've started making plans
So come on give me a chance
Always be true...

Thinking, drinking, sinking feeling...

See what I mean? The lean-in time came way to fast? I take that to mean that somebody leaned in to kiss somebody else -- too fast. But nobody's a pig here, and "I know he'll say don't leave him," and cannons are firing, and fields of spies? Here's what's going on:

Two people meet -- in public, and realize that they're attracted to each other. But she has another guy -- a jealous guy -- a guy who is going to make big trouble if the new guy continues to try to get her to leave jealous guy.

Which is by any account the best possible storyline for a potato chip commercial. They shouldn't have tried to gloss it over. Here's what I would have done:

Opening scene: A girl walking in the park, holding a bag of chips. She's in a flowery, pretty dress and smiling. Along the path comes a guy, who makes eye contact with her. He stops, and begins talking to her. She chats back and their hands brush each other.

Then, quick cuts: The two of them at a movie. At dinner. Standing on a porch about to kiss. (In each one, she's holding the same kind of bag of chips.)

Then: The woman's in the park again, walking hand-in-hand with the man. And her chips. A new guy comes along, looking angry and sad. He confronts the couple, points to the ring on his finger, the ring on her finger. He shows them pictures on his camera phone sent by friends. He's mad, he's upset, he pushes the guy, they shove around, he grabs the girl by the wrist, she drops her chips and gets pulled away. She looks back over her shoulder and appears sad. The guy picks up the chips' bag.

Then, more quick cuts: The guy is looking through phone books, talking to private investigators, standing outside office buildings. He's looking for the girl, who seems to have disappeared.

Final scene: the guy, visibly older, stands on a sidewalk looking up at a skyscraper. He goes inside, finds an office, is about to open the door when he sees the woman, walking down the hall, smiling. She doesn't notice him. She turns the corner and disappears. The man pulls the same old bag of chips out of his pocket, eats one, smiles, and walks away.

If you're as sentimental a fool as I am, you're crying now.

Here's a pop quiz for you: These are chocolate-covered potato chips.

Are they
(a) gross
(b) delicious
(c) either way, I'm going to have to try them now that I know they exist?


lisapepin said...

First of all, it's clear that you have missed your true calling as an ad man. However, the BEST job at an ad agency isn't picking the songs for commercials, it's getting to read the scripts for yet-unreleased Hollywood blockbusters to determine whether there's anyplace that one of the agency's client's products could be inconspicuously placed. When you see Brad Pitt drinking a Coke or Will Smith standing in front of a Bally's as the rest of the street explodes, know that it was someone's job to arrange that. That wasn't my job, sadly, but I found that one could get their hands on the top-secret advance copies of cool scripts by bringing the guy in charge a latte. Of course, that guy DID sometimes have to read scripts for movies like "Rollerball," But I like to think the free lattes made up for that a little, and overall, job-wise, it still beat digging ditches.

But back to music and potato chips. I've never seen the commercial in question (though your version tugs at the heartstrings and makes me nostalgic for lost loves in a way that does induce a craving for snacks) but I bet you anything that the ad guys had to have a conversation about how they were going to sell the client on a song to promote their chips that included they lyric: "I would never call you a pig."

lisapepin said...

Sigh. Another great song that I can't find on iTunes. The list of these is getting long.