Monday, December 16, 2013

Surrender, Please Surrender

Another Everly Brothers pastiche.

In this one, a young man pleads with a young woman: "Come on, give your love to me." The assumption is that she has "love," and can give it to whomever she chooses. He has love, too, and he wants to give it to her, but that goes without saying.

"Surrender, please surrender," he cajoles. In this metaphor, she has-- or is-- a fortress he is trying to invade, land he is attempting to conquer. He knows he will keep advancing until he wins her over, but it would be so much easier if she would just... give up already!

At least he is willing to make a commitment: "Always and forever/ So true, the way a love should be."

So that's the chorus, and the set-up. In the first verse, he tries his first tactic. He says he has been "waiting all [his] life/ To find a girlie just like you." So, he explains that she meets his criteria, and he's certainly earned her consideration, not having gone after other women until his ideal one-- she!-- has come along. (And he hopes that she will overlook his condescendingly calling her a "girlie.")

"Now that I found you, Love/ I'll play the game/ And try to make you love me, too." Once again, we have a metaphor of competition. There is a "game," and if he plays it well enough, he'll win the prize. She's just a puzzle he has to solve, that's all... a code he must crack, a challenge he must overcome.

Telling her up front about this does not seem to work, for some reason.

Onto the second tactic. Or, maybe, his first play in the "game." Rather than simply state he has earned her by waiting for her, passively, he tries to actively earn her... by offering her something in exchange for her "love"-- namely, "fun." He enumerates: "We'll laugh and stay out late/ Drinkin' at a soda shop/ Dancin' at a record hop." Surely, this is a fair trade, one she cannot refuse!

And, yet, she seems to. Curse her intransigence! What more can he do...? He comes up empty.

Onto tactic three: Conceding defeat. "I'm beggin' down on my knees," he weeps. "Come on, give your love to me."

Despite the seemingly dramatic emotions herein, the song's arrangement is up-tempo-- cute and flirty, not desperate or lugubrious. Perhaps the speaker is presenting these options to her as if to say, "Yeah, I could try all these shopworn methods, run through the motions. Or we could just cut to the chase."

One pictures Romeo, sighing beneath Juliet's balcony, acting as if he must shower her with poetry to win her... when they both know they are already in love.

It's the only way to reconcile the sprightly arrangement with the clumsiness of the woo pitched in the lyrics. Either that, or the speaker is just really not good at this, and is going to lose the game he thinks he's playing, before he even starts.

Next Song: Looking at You

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