Waxing lyrical 2

White Stripes!
White Stripes! (Photo credit: Martin Cathrae)

I love Jack White. I love his solo stuff, The White Stripes and The Raconteurs. I went to see Jack in November. He sounded amazing, his band sounded amazing, he played his own stuff and he played White Stripes and Raconteurs stuff, he didn’t talk between songs and, at the end, he thanked everyone for coming and for being “very nice to us.” How sweet.

I read somewhere that Jack believes that songs should tell a story. I can see this in his lyrics as they really do tell a narrative. I think that’s why I like him so much. I’m also sure that, if I continue with this feature, he will pop up regularly. My last post was about how, as a parent, I sometimes expect too much of my kids. How I forget they are only five and expect them to make the same decisions and choices that I do. This is clearly incredibly stupid of me.

The fact that I did this (and probably will do again) reminded me of one of Jack’s songs – Effect and Cause. The song is about how some people take the effect of what happened and make it into the cause. This is what I did. I was the one who left glue and glitter in handy reach of my children and then got mad when they used it to have fun.

This song is not really about leaving potentially havoc causing items in the reach of young children. It is about relationships. I can relate to all of the words and could quite easily transcribe the whole song lyrics in this post. But the bit I like the most, the bit that resonates most loudly with me is:

You seem to forget

Just how this all started

I’m reacting to you

Because you left me broken hearted

Well you just can’t take

The Effect

And make it the Cause.

Effect and Cause, White Stripes, Icky Thump (2007).

I guess most of us have been unlucky enough to be in a one-sided relationship whether this be with a lover, friend, relative, or work colleague or boss. If you have been unfortunate enough to be in this sort of relationship, you’ll know that everything is your fault whether it is or not. Your lover/friend etc does something unreasonable and pisses you off. You react emotionally to this. Your lover/friend etc doesn’t like your passionate response but is so self-absorbed that they can’t see that they are at fault – that they have caused the emotional effect. Instead, they excuse you of being over-emotional, a drama queen; crazy even. They take the effect of what they have done and twist it and turn it and reshape it into being the cause of why they are mad at you. This confuses and confounds you because you really can’t argue with a person like that. And, sometimes, it confuses and confounds you so much that you actually start to believe that what they say is true.

There is only one way to deal with a person like that. All you can do is walk away and leave them to their own egocentric ways. It may hurt, but the reality is they probably won’t even know you are gone. They’ll just move onto the next person to control because control is all they have. These people are racked with insecurities. They are not as confident and clever as they like to make out. They can’t debate or have rational, adult disagreements with other people so they hide this by always having to be right. By shouting down others and making you feel small and stupid.

If you do find yourself in this type of relationship, please always remember – you are not the small and stupid one. And, judging by his lyrics, I’m sure Jack will agree.


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