This post is about musicians and the ex lovers they write about.
Dating an artist is such an interesting experience, I think everyone should try it once. Artists are often unusual in appearance and outlook, and therefore offer a break from what may otherwise be a drab and unremarkable existence.
I chose my wording carefully there, but I’ll emphasize my meaning: I said it will be interesting. I didn’t say it would necessarily be good.
In my opinion, a self-described artist is typically a delicate creature, with a nervous disposition and a fragile ego. Intimacy often compounds upon these traits, and makes for plenty of the kind of high drama that is too much for mere mortals.
I would love to see the statistical data about the average duration of romantic entanglements among artists. I don’t suppose it’s very long, given the sheer volume of songs about break-ups.
I’m not a credible authority on artist psychology, but I’ve observed in the mainstream music world that there is a right way and a wrong way to date a musician.
The wrong way is to date Alanis Morisette.
I got a feeling that Alanis has done some damage to herself in the dating scene. Who wants to get involved with someone who brutally slammed her ex with a hit song on a Grammy-winning album? To be fair to Alanis, though, she was 18 when she wrote “You Oughta Know”:
Cause the joke that you laid in the bed that was me
and I’m not gonna fade as soon as you close your eyes, no
And every time you speak her name
Does she know how you told me you’d hold me
Until you died, till you died
But you’re still alive
And it also seemed like the subject, who also had the grave misfortune of being spelled out in the press, really deserved what he got.
Along this thread, I think it would not be prudent to be a musician’s first lover. Like normal people, they will likely take inevitable break-up harder.
On the other hand, when I hear “Foolish Games” by Jewel, I think that is possible to be a musician’s first love, and actually get positive press when you break her heart.
You took your coat off
and stood in the rain.
You were always crazy like that.
Huh. He sounds kind of spontaneous and fun. There’s more:
You were always brilliant in the morning.
Smoking your cigarrettes and talking over coffee.
Your philosphies on art, Baroque moved you, you loved Mozart.
An intellectual (and a possible hint and sexual prowness)? I’m actually getting interested…
You teach me all these things
Things that were daring, things that were clean
Things that knew what an honest dollar did mean.
You get the idea. Can you believe this? It sounds like Jewel is writing a personal ad that, as it turned out, conveniently rated high on the charts for a very long time..
And I hear her account of heartache and think to my self: Wow, honey. That, um, really sucks, but I have every right to discover him on my own.