Bruno, don’t blame the piano! Grenade – Bruno Mars

Bruno Mars – Grenade from Mazlanlan on Vimeo.

Bruno Mars – Grenade from Mazlanlan on Vimeo.
In case the video doesn’t work watch it on this website. The song’s lyrics can be found here.

“I encourage everyone who watches this video to understand that it is an artistic interpretation of the song, and not something to imitate.” This is what Bruno Mars advises on his website.
That’s good to know, Bruno! I was already picturing in my head all those painful and somehow senseless actions you are singing about in this song.

I have to admit I quite liked the hook, the melody, the rhythm of “Grenade”. But then of course I was curious about the lyrics. Why would someone “catch a grenade, throw his hand on a blade, jump in front of a train, take a bullet straight through his brain, yes, even die” for someone else? Well, obviously because he is in love with the girl – and she is not. He would do all these things for her – but what for? To save her life? To attract her attention? To show her how much he loves her? I’ m not sure that would work – and if it worked and she would start loving him he wouldn’t look nice anymore… 😉
But it all starts with some heavy reproaches: “Easy come, easy go, that’s just how you live, oh, take, take, take it all, but you never give.” He gave her all, but she “tossed it in the trash”, she “doesn’t understand” and even seems to be the violent kind “beat me ‘til I’m numb”, coming straight from hell (“tell the devil…”). I wonder why he loved her in the first place, but then again, love happens, right, and you don’t have the choice…? Bad woman, good guy – the modern version of a drama, another bad romance?
I am not saying that people don’t do these things for someone they love. I’m not sure if I would catch a grenade, which means to kill myself to save someone else’s life – maybe I would for my children, but I don’t know if I really had the courage to do it in the very situation. But why would I jump in front of a train for someone – this doesn’t make sense, really… which leads me to the official video for this song.

The idea of dragging a piano across town and overcome several obstacles such as traffic and street gangs is quite a romantic project. I like the idea. However, we already know that the girl is a bad one, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that she is with another man. Poor Bruno decides to end his life (and the piano’s!) by positioning himself on a rail track. He kills himself because she doesn’t love him. This is suicide – and it happens all the time and has nothing to do with martyrdom and saving someone’s life. So what’s the point? I don’t really get the message. Lyrics and film tell a different story.
Can someone please come up with some less destructive ways of showing your love to someone? Dragging a piano to the beloved’s house and singing a song would indeed be a good start… 😉  Any other ideas?


No Happy Ending: Bad Romance – Lady GaGa

These days there is no way around Lady GaGa. Her song “Bad Romance” was titled “best song of the year” at the 2010 MTV Music Awards. Whenever I listen to the song on the radio I cannot help singing and dancing along, it is such an earworm, has such a catchy tune. I know it’s not so much about the lyrics but more the tune, the rhythm, the whole concept of the artwork “Lady GaGa”. Her videos, her costumes, her performances, everything is so professional. She really seems to know what the audiences are waiting for. I admire her for that talent and intuition.

But, then again, the song has got its lyrics. Not as if I would understand everything: I couldn’t find „Rah-rah-ah-ah-ah! Roma-Roma-ma-ah!” in any dictionary, but I guess that doesn’t matter…

The song seems to be about a relationship- a “bad romance”. There are indeed some passages that sound romantic in a conventional sense: “I want your love, I want your drama, the touch of your hand. I want your leather studded kiss in the sand.” But these same words already imply the darker side of this romance. It’s all about vengeance and violence: “All your love is revenge, you and me could write a bad romance.” The lover is not being depicted as the classical romantic type: „I want your ugly, I want your disease, I want your horror, I want your design ‘cause you’re a criminal as long as you’re mine.” He is a bad boy, threatening, ugly and seems to be suffering from an illness. She wants him nevertheless, or maybe that is why she wants him. “I want your love and I want your revenge. I want your love I don’t wanna be friends.” She is not looking for friendship or romantic love. She wants lust, subordination – this is her way of exerting power. This is shown very drastically in the official video for the song. She is victim and culprit at the same time. Hitchcock’s films are quoted in the video scenes and in the lyrics:  „I want your psycho, your vertical stick, want you in my rear window…“ At the end a burned skeleton is lying in


bed next to her. There is no happy ending in a bad romance.

Despite these hard and at times shocking words and scenes the song was very successful. Maybe that is WHY it was so successful? There are so many songs about love – songs which are sometimes boring and one-sided – just the other way round. As if love was just sunshine and fun. As if there was only real and true love to be experienced.  Many would be able to tell a different story. Even when the facade looks all ok, tragedies might be happening behind closed doors. I dare say: there is a bit of “bad romance” in all of us, a fascination with the bad, the dark and the inexplicable. I have heard that most violent crimes are being committed by people related or at least known to the victims, not by complete strangers. There is more bad romance in our daily lives than we want to believe.

Maybe that had to be said – or sung. Maybe that is psychologically healthy. Thanks, Lady GaGa!