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Hey There Delilah - Moments In Unfettered Emo (1 Viewer)

rockaction

Footballguy
So I'm in Starbucks getting a coffee and over the loudspeakers comes "Hey There Delilah." The song by the Plain White T's. You probably all remember it. It's that acoustic/emo song from the aughts that got played a thousand times on modern rock radio and other formats. 

Hey There Delilah

Anyway, aside from it being an emo song, it holds a backstory for me. See, I have a friend whose mother and father made him grow up in a suspicious and inauspicious way. They were drug addicts. His mother was a crack prostitute. You know that scene in South Park when Cartman's mother is in Crack Whore Magazine? Well, my other friend looks at me one night and goes, "That's [X]'s Mom." I laughed, thinking he was just giving him typical twenty-something ####, but he goes, "No, that's [X]'s Mom." X chimes in and goes, "Yeah, that's a difficult story." So they explain it to me. How she was a crack whore. How he'd seen things few people had seen growing up, like things like watching all his presents constantly disappear, getting chained to a radiator, forced molestation, all sorts of crazy stuff that's almost too horrible for print and better served rushed through.

Anyway, he had somehow emancipated himself at the age of sixteen and went to live with his grandparents in CT. And went to boarding school. And met my friend. Who lived across the street from me. When I moved home at twenty-eight back to CT from D.C., I began hanging out with both of them. 

We became all good friends, and as the years went on, he and my friend took up with serious girlfriends, one of who would become my friend's wife, one of whom we'll get to. 

That one is K. She became X's girlfriend, was from a small town in Eastern CT, and had shared a similarly rough upbringing. So her and K were naturals for each other. Anyway, they dated for ten years before X broke up with her, went to therapy, got a steady job, and became an IPO beneficiary recently. 

So anyway, the song? K had given X a shirt one birthday. She knew we liked a White band. Not knowing it was the White Stripes, she had given him a Plain White T's shirt. He didn't have the heart to correct her, so he would wear the shirt. We made unbridled fun of him, but didn't tell her, either, because it was a stupid shirt and why make somebody feel bad over it. So anyway, one day the song is playing and we're making fun of him and he, with his wicked sense of humor goes, "Yeah, with my proceeds from the pawn shop." We sort of were struck by the moment, and wondered what the hell he meant. He goes, "The lyrics man, listen to them." 

Hey there Delilah 
I know times are getting hard 
But just believe me one day I'll pay the bills with this guitar
We'll have it good
We'll have the life I knew we would
My word is good 


"Oh," we went. And all started laughing about this poor guy's shattered dreams and making his promise good by pawning the guitar. But we'd never really listened to the lyrics. 

So today, I'm in Starbucks, and the song comes on. And there's a kid, no more than twenty, and he knows the song. And he's singing along almost under his breath, careful not to disturb the customers. And I begin to listen to the lyrics again. And I realize this guy has poured his heart out in the song, in almost a cynical manipulation of emotions or just pure genius. Who knows? But I'm listening, and knowing the song and how big it became he seemed prescient 

Hey there Delilah 
I've got so much left to say 
If every simple song I wrote to you would take your breath away
I'd write it all 
Even more in love with me you'd fall 
We'd have it all


So I'm sitting there, thinking about me and my friends in our thirties and now forties, how X is no longer with K, who gave him the t-shirt, X whose outlook on life is going to be cynical but will at least hear you out like he heard out the guy in a teeny bopper song, and I just lose it. Well, not really. I've got shades on in the store. But I am welling up with tears, and it strikes me that to everybody looking, I'm a guy in his forties, still not grey necessarily, but getting up there in years, and I'm crying to "Hey There Delilah," which is admittedly a sort of emo manipulation of the highest order, in the middle of a chain store of which there are five in my town, and everybody looking at me must be creating their own narrative about what leads an older guy to do that in the middle of a store. Mind you, they can't see me, but this is in my head. 

And I realize that there will never, ever be a critic that can do quite what an artist can do. And that's my takeaway from all this. In the words of an intro to a Chief XCel song. It's called "Multitude," and it was on an Astralwerks electronica compilation a long time ago. It's really a very worthy electronica track if you're into that sort of stuff.

https://youtu.be/w5TfvSmyyac

But what strikes me is about halfway in, where a sampled voice intones: 

Only an artist can tell
And only artists have told
Since we have heard of man
What it is like for anyone who gets this planet
To survive it
What it is like to die
Or to have somebody die
What is like to see a death
What it is like to fear 
What it is like to love 


Point proved and rammed home, yet again. 

And that's my emo moment for the day.  I'm doing fine by the way. Just a thought in case anybody wanted to read it. 

 
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I'll give the artist the last word on this: 

Hey there, Delilah
What's it like in New York city?
I'm a thousand miles away
But, girl, tonight you look so pretty
Yes, you do
Time square can't shine as bright as you
I swear, it's true


Hey there, Delilah
Don't you worry about the distance
I'm right there if you get lonely
Give this song another listen
Close your eyes
Listen to my voice, it's my disguise
I'm by your side


Oh, it's what you do to me
What you do to me


Hey there, Delilah
I know times are gettin' hard
But just believe me, girl
Someday I'll pay the bills with this guitar
We'll have it good
We'll have the life we knew we would
My word is good


Hey there, Delilah
I've got so much left to say
If every simple song I wrote to you
Would take your breath away
I'd write it all
Even more in love with me you'd fall
We'd have it all


Oh, it's what you do to me

A thousand miles seems pretty far
But they've got planes and trains and cars
I'd walk to you if I had no other way
Our friends would all make fun of us
And we'll just laugh along because we know
That none of them have felt this way
Delilah, I can promise you
That by the time we get through
The world will never ever be the same
And you're to blame


Hey there, Delilah
You be good, and don't you miss me
Two more years and you'll be done with school
And I'll be makin' history like I do
You'll know it's all because of you
We can do whatever we want to
Hey there, Delilah, here's to you
This ones for you


 
is Eno ...emo?


Hmmm...I don't know enough about Brian Eno, really. I always considered Roxy Music and Brian Eno sort of really intelligent glam, if that makes sense, but I don't know enough about the band or his work. Hoard would. A bunch of people on this board would. 

 
Hmmm...I don't know enough about Brian Eno, really. I always considered Roxy Music and Brian Eno sort of really intelligent glam, if that makes sense, but I don't know enough about the band or his work. Hoard would. A bunch of people on this board would. 


I was kidding ...but also serious.  I was referring to his "Here Come The Warm Jets" album - it really just made me think about it. It seems like a glam entry into emo.  (I never got there - always had a more positive outlook)

I do trust your perspective on music dude (don't always agree)  ...we've had our differences, but you know your music and I appreciate you.

 
I was kidding ...but also serious.  I was referring to his "Here Come The Warm Jets" album - it really just made me think about it. It seems like a glam entry into emo.  (I never got there - always had a more positive outlook)

I do trust your perspective on music dude (don't always agree)  ...we've had our differences, but you know your music and I appreciate you.


Thanks, man. Same here about all of it. I'll have to check out the album you just mentioned. Familiar with the name of the album, just not the music inside of it. 

 
So I'm in Starbucks getting a coffee and over the loudspeakers comes "Hey There Delilah." The song by the Plain White T's. You probably all remember it. It's that acoustic/emo song from the aughts that got played a thousand times on modern rock radio and other formats. 

Hey There Delilah

Anyway, aside from it being an emo song, it holds a backstory for me. See, I have a friend whose mother and father made him grow up in a suspicious and inauspicious way. They were drug addicts. His mother was a crack prostitute. You know that scene in South Park when Cartman's mother is in Crack Whore Magazine? Well, my other friend looks at me one night and goes, "That's [X]'s Mom." I laughed, thinking he was just giving him typical twenty-something ####, but he goes, "No, that's [X]'s Mom." X chimes in and goes, "Yeah, that's a difficult story." So they explain it to me. How she was a crack whore. How he'd seen things few people had seen growing up, like things like watching all his presents constantly disappear, getting chained to a radiator, forced molestation, all sorts of crazy stuff that's almost too horrible for print and better served rushed through.

Anyway, he had somehow emancipated himself at the age of sixteen and went to live with his grandparents in CT. And went to boarding school. And met my friend. Who lived across the street from me. When I moved home at twenty-eight back to CT from D.C., I began hanging out with both of them. 

We became all good friends, and as the years went on, he and my friend took up with serious girlfriends, one of who would become my friend's wife, one of whom we'll get to. 

That one is K. She became X's girlfriend, was from a small town in Eastern CT, and had shared a similarly rough upbringing. So her and K were naturals for each other. Anyway, they dated for ten years before X broke up with her, went to therapy, got a steady job, and became an IPO beneficiary recently. 

So anyway, the song? K had given X a shirt one birthday. She knew we liked a White band. Not knowing it was the White Stripes, she had given him a Plain White T's shirt. He didn't have the heart to correct her, so he would wear the shirt. We made unbridled fun of him, but didn't tell her, either, because it was a stupid shirt and why make somebody feel bad over it. So anyway, one day the song is playing and we're making fun of him and he, with his wicked sense of humor goes, "Yeah, with my proceeds from the pawn shop." We sort of were struck by the moment, and wondered what the hell he meant. He goes, "The lyrics man, listen to them." 

Hey there Delilah 
I know times are getting hard 
But just believe me one day I'll pay the bills with this guitar
We'll have it good
We'll have the life I knew we would
My word is good 


"Oh," we went. And all started laughing about this poor guy's shattered dreams and making his promise good by pawning the guitar. But we'd never really listened to the lyrics. 

So today, I'm in Starbucks, and the song comes on. And there's a kid, no more than twenty, and he knows the song. And he's singing along almost under his breath, careful not to disturb the customers. And I begin to listen to the lyrics again. And I realize this guy has poured his heart out in the song, in almost a cynical manipulation of emotions or just pure genius. Who knows? But I'm listening, and knowing the song and how big it became he seemed prescient 

Hey there Delilah 
I've got so much left to say 
If every simple song I wrote to you would take your breath away
I'd write it all 
Even more in love with me you'd fall 
We'd have it all


So I'm sitting there, thinking about me and my friends in our thirties and now forties, how X is no longer with K, who gave him the t-shirt, X whose outlook on life is going to be cynical but will at least hear you out like he heard out the guy in a teeny bopper song, and I just lose it. Well, not really. I've got shades on in the store. But I am welling up with tears, and it strikes me that to everybody looking, I'm a guy in his forties, still not grey necessarily, but getting up there in years, and I'm crying to "Hey There Delilah," which is admittedly a sort of emo manipulation of the highest order, in the middle of a chain store of which there are five in my town, and everybody looking at me must be creating their own narrative about what leads an older guy to do that in the middle of a store. Mind you, they can't see me, but this is in my head. 

And I realize that there will never, ever be a critic that can do quite what an artist can do. And that's my takeaway from all this. In the words of an intro to an Astralwerks song

Only the artist can tell
And only an artist has told
What it is to see a death
What it is to die 


Point proved and rammed home, yet again. 

And that's my emo moment for the day.  I'm doing fine by the way. Just a thought in case anybody wanted to read it. 
Never heard the song, is it a 50’s hit?

 
It's actually not that great of a song if you want to deconstruct it and all that. But it was a pretty popular one back around for that time period if you ran in emo circles. Really, emo had jumped the critical/authenticity shark with Dashboard Confessional and this made it further jump. But it's there as document, I guess, and the kid in the store knew it for sure and was singing it (probably because they pump the same loop over and over in that store, one thinks). It just reminds me of a certain joke with friends in the end, really. We would uproariously sort of critique it, but my point was sort of that who's laughing now? bit. 

dude ...NFW are you the music dude without ever having heard this?   
Oh, there are so many better about that time period than I am. I am nowhere near music dude when it comes to the seventies. Northern Voice is the closest we get to both seventies and modern proficiency on the board. 

Oh, and Eephus, of course. 

Listening to the album now. It came out the year I was born. That's probably how I missed it as a listening exercise. Good opening track, for sure. Very Velvet Underground-y in terms of its repetition and drone. 

 
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It's actually not that great of a song if you want to deconstruct it and all that. But it was a pretty popular one back around for that time period if you ran in emo circles. Really, emo had jumped the critical/authenticity shark with Dashboard Confessional and this made it further jump. But it's there as document, I guess, and the kid in the store knew it for sure and was singing it (probably because they pump the same loop over and over in that store, one thinks). It just reminds me of a certain joke with friends in the end, really. We would uproariously sort of critique it, but my point was sort of that who's laughing now? bit. 

Oh, there are so many better about that time period than I am. I am nowhere near music dude when it comes to the seventies. Northern Voice is the closest we get to both seventies and modern proficiency on the board. 


go now and listen please.

 
Brian Eno does not well up at the thought of "Hey There Delilah" 

No siree, no way. 

Send for an ambulance
Or an accident investigator


 
In a rare confluence of events, I just texted X. X is coming to L.A. for two weeks on the 1st. We're planning on hanging out. Should be intetresting. 

 
Some years ago I was curious about the origin of this song and did some research.  Turns out Delilah didn't even know the singer.  When it was revealed she was the Delilah that the song was written about her father yelled at her "WHAT EXACTLY ARE YOU DOING TO THIS BOY?!!" 

I'm sure he was somewhat relieved to learn that they hadn't been on so much as a date. 

:lmao:

 
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The last three responses have all been mint and exactly what I'd hoped for. 

Beautiful Delilah, sweet as apple pie...

 
Some years ago I was curious about the origin of this song and did some research.  Turns out Delilah didn't even know the singer.  When it was revealed she was the Delilah that the song was written about her father yelled at her "WHAT EXACTLY ARE YOU DOING TO THIS BOY?!!" 

I'm sure he was somewhat relieved to learn that they hadn't been on so much as a date. 

:lmao:
Link? 

Never mind, I found the story with a quick Google search. I actually had always figured it was a mythical Delilah and not a real love affair. I figured it was unrequited. There's such a melancholia to the song. 

 
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rockaction said:
So I'm sitting there, thinking about me and my friends in our thirties and now forties, how X is no longer with K, who gave him the t-shirt, X whose outlook on life is going to be cynical but will at least hear you out like he heard out the guy in a teeny bopper song, and I just lose it. Well, not really. I've got shades on in the store. But I am welling up with tears, and it strikes me that to everybody looking, I'm a guy in his forties, still not grey necessarily, but getting up there in years, and I'm crying to "Hey There Delilah," which is admittedly a sort of emo manipulation of the highest order, in the middle of a chain store of which there are five in my town, and everybody looking at me must be creating their own narrative about what leads an older guy to do that in the middle of a store. Mind you, they can't see me, but this is in my head. 
Been there, GB.  Except it was Let Her Cry by Hootie and the Blowfish.  And booze instead of coffee.  And I wasn't wearing sunglasses.  

Pretty sure I still own the Plain White T's CD.  At the time it was popular, we had a college-aged babysitter that liked to listen to my old records when she was over.  She tried to return the favor by recommending various emo bands.  My Chemical Romance is a big guilty-pleasure yes.  Dashboard Confessional - meh.  I think I listened to Plain White T's once.  Wasn't my thing, but then again, it wasn't supposed to be.

 
Been there, GB.  Except it was Let Her Cry by Hootie and the Blowfish.  And booze instead of coffee.  And I wasn't wearing sunglasses.  

Pretty sure I still own the Plain White T's CD.  At the time it was popular, we had a college-aged babysitter that liked to listen to my old records when she was over.  She tried to return the favor by recommending various emo bands.  My Chemical Romance is a big guilty-pleasure yes.  Dashboard Confessional - meh.  I think I listened to Plain White T's once.  Wasn't my thing, but then again, it wasn't supposed to be.
Let her go, scorchy. Let her go. 

 
Not sure if you were serious, but that line is definitely not saying he's going to pawn his guitar. Lol. 

Good story though

 
Not sure if you were serious, but that line is definitely not saying he's going to pawn his guitar. Lol.
Lol. My friend was basically saying the only way the artist pays the "bills with [his] guitar" like he tells Delilah he will (i.e., by payments for his music) is by pawning that very guitar. In other words, nobody is going to buy his (the artist's) music. 

Which wasn't so true, but funny. 

Thanks for the compliment about the story. I'll every so often try to drive content when content is slow, as it was yesterday, and that's what was on my mind, so... 

 
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Link? 

Never mind, I found the story with a quick Google search. I actually had always figured it was a mythical Delilah and not a real love affair. I figured it was unrequited. There's such a melancholia to the song. 
It’s a beautiful song for sure.  Makes my heart swell for my lady. 

 
Certain things hit me sometimes as well.  Really hard.  Baby Blue from Badfinger.  My mothers eyes were beautiful blue.  She was so kind.  She was always there for me.  Always.  Then she wasn’t.  Brain cancer needled in…nobody knew.  She completely changed.  Hardened up.  Wouldn’t really talk with me.  Turned her back on my kids because my 7 year old got up to some innocent mischief one time.  So sad.  
 

Anyway when my mom passed was the week of the end of Breaking Bad airing live.  Series finale.  So at the end Baby Blue comes on and when he says “did you really think I’d do you wrong?”  it just rattles me.  I did her wrong so many ways.  I didn’t visit her enough when she was terminal.  I just failed miserably as a man, son, and father.  I’m so disappointed in myself for how I handled those last few years.  Sure her personality changed.  But God dammit I ####ed up.  I ####ed up bad and I hope she knows I’m sorry.   ####. 

 
Certain things hit me sometimes as well.  Really hard.  Baby Blue from Badfinger.  My mothers eyes were beautiful blue.  She was so kind.  She was always there for me.  Always.  Then she wasn’t.  Brain cancer needled in…nobody knew.  She completely changed.  Hardened up.  Wouldn’t really talk with me.  Turned her back on my kids because my 7 year old got up to some innocent mischief one time.  So sad.  
 

Anyway when my mom passed was the week of the end of Breaking Bad airing live.  Series finale.  So at the end Baby Blue comes on and when he says “did you really think I’d do you wrong?”  it just rattles me.  I did her wrong so many ways.  I didn’t visit her enough when she was terminal.  I just failed miserably as a man, son, and father.  I’m so disappointed in myself for how I handled those last few years.  Sure her personality changed.  But God dammit I ####ed up.  I ####ed up bad and I hope she knows I’m sorry.   ####. 
Oh, wow. It's okay, Sabertooth. If you tried to do the best with your emotions regarding your mother, then I'm sure she either was okay with it or forgives you. We only do what we can. My grandfather did the same to us. Left a family trip because my brother and I were too rambunctious, or so he claimed. Really, he had cancer and nobody knew it because it wasn't diagnosed. My parents were confused by his reasoning for leaving. Then it turns out it may have been medical. But the confusion is still there, like, "Why is this person against my kids? Can I forgive them?" And then we find out, too late. 

Thanks for sharing. It's a reminder to me, too. That hits home. My own mother is getting older. I wasn't a good son today, really. I've had a lot of those days that I'm going to regret when she's gone. I can only hope I do well enough by her today and maybe put a smile on her face or something akin to that.  

 
Oh, wow. It's okay, Sabertooth. If you tried to do the best with your emotions regarding your mother, then I'm sure she either was okay with it or forgives you. We only do what we can. My grandfather did the same to us. Left a family trip because my brother and I were too rambunctious, or so he claimed. Really, he had cancer and nobody knew it because it wasn't diagnosed. My parents were confused by his reasoning for leaving. Then it turns out it may have been medical. But the confusion is still there, like, "Why is this person against my kids? Can I forgive them?" And then we find out, too late. 

Thanks for sharing. It's a reminder to me, too. That hits home. My own mother is getting older. I wasn't a good son today, really. I've had a lot of those days that I'm going to regret when she's gone. I can only hope I do well enough by her today and maybe put a smile on her face or something akin to that.  
We got to a point where we we going to force my daughter to apologize for this perceived slight but then woke up the next morning to an email from my that just went scorched earth on everybody..my dad and step mom, my wife’s parents, my wife, aunts and uncles…it was awful.  And as the written word never forgets…that was pretty much it.  So much regret.  Thanks for the kind words RA.  Not a day goes by where I don’t regret my coldness and stoicism.  I didn’t even really involve my kids in the funeral or anything.  I was even selfish with my grief.  Not at all how I want to be or how she raised me.  But we move on.  

 
Some years ago I was curious about the origin of this song and did some research. Turns out Delilah didn't even know the singer. When it was revealed she was the Delilah that the song was written about her father yelled at her "WHAT EXACTLY ARE YOU DOING TO THIS BOY?!!"

I'm sure he was somewhat relieved to learn that they hadn't been on so much as a date.

:lmao:
Not only that, Delilah was an Olympic-level athlete. I remember watching her compete in, must have been the '08 trials in a fairly obscure event (steeplechase?) And before her race, they were talking about the song. It was kind of ironic, because I guess when he met her he was this dorky guy in an obscure band while she was the track star, but now the tables had turned and he was way more famous than her.
 
Some years ago I was curious about the origin of this song and did some research. Turns out Delilah didn't even know the singer. When it was revealed she was the Delilah that the song was written about her father yelled at her "WHAT EXACTLY ARE YOU DOING TO THIS BOY?!!"

I'm sure he was somewhat relieved to learn that they hadn't been on so much as a date.

:lmao:
Not only that, Delilah was an Olympic-level athlete. I remember watching her compete in, must have been the '08 trials in a fairly obscure event (steeplechase?) And before her race, they were talking about the song. It was kind of ironic, because I guess when he met her he was this dorky guy in an obscure band while she was the track star, but now the tables had turned and he was way more famous than her.

And even then, she wasn’t interested. Man, unrequited love is painful!
 
So I'm sitting there, thinking about me and my friends in our thirties and now forties, how X is no longer with K, who gave him the t-shirt, X whose outlook on life is going to be cynical but will at least hear you out like he heard out the guy in a teeny bopper song, and I just lose it. Well, not really. I've got shades on in the store. But I am welling up with tears, and it strikes me that to everybody looking, I'm a guy in his forties, still not grey necessarily, but getting up there in years, and I'm crying to "Hey There Delilah," which is admittedly a sort of emo manipulation of the highest order, in the middle of a chain store of which there are five in my town, and everybody looking at me must be creating their own narrative about what leads an older guy to do that in the middle of a store. Mind you, they can't see me, but this is in my head.

And I realize that there will never, ever be a critic that can do quite what an artist can do. And that's my takeaway from all this. In the words of an intro to a Chief XCel song. It's called "Multitude," and it was on an Astralwerks electronica compilation a long time ago. It's really a very worthy electronica track if you're into that sort of stuff.

https://youtu.be/w5TfvSmyyac

But what strikes me is about halfway in, where a sampled voice intones:

Only an artist can tell
And only artists have told
Since we have heard of man
What it is like for anyone who gets this planet
To survive it
What it is like to die
Or to have somebody die
What is like to see a death
What it is like to fear
What it is like to love


Point proved and rammed home, yet again.

And that's my emo moment for the day. I'm doing fine by the way. Just a thought in case anybody wanted to read it.

Yeah, critics can eat a bag of plain white Ds.
 
:bye:

Blame the "similar threads" that appear at the bottom of every thread (along with me not noticing the date)

I figured it was the similar threads and didn't know if the date had gone unnoticed or if there was just a will to comment on it. Thanks, ignatius. By the way, was thinking of you and how very un-politically correct that book is the other day. The humor is fit to be decried these days. Anyway, threadbump.
 

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