The Australian Wouter De Backer alias Gotye certainly scored a hit in Germany with his song “ Somebody that I used to know” from the album “Making Mirrors (2011) and the wonderful associated official video.
Once more it is all about love – better said the failure of a relationship. Why, oh why are these things meaning so much to us so complicated? Peace, Justice, love – we are always looking for them and sometimes we seem to get hold of them, but then all of a sudden they vanish again.
What stays is the retrospective on something that the singer thought to be love:
“Now and then I think of when we were together
Like when you said you felt so happy you could die
Told myself that you were right for me…”
However, there was a doubt from the beginning, a sadness, knowing that she was not “the one”:
“But felt so lonely in your company
But that was love and it’s an ache I still remember
You can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness
Like resignation to the end…”
Can you get used to such a feeling, wallow in self-pity? I guess you can – and as nowadays relationships tend to be short term it might be necessary and even healthy to get used to this kind of experience. And anyway, we are adults and know how to deal with the situation, don’t we?
“So when we found that we could not make sense
Well you said that we would still be friends
But I’ll admit that I was glad that it was over…”
Until now the singer in the video stays relatively calm and motionless. He seems to be on top of things, but then suddenly he bursts out in pain:
“But you didn’t have to cut me off
Make out like it never happened
And that we were nothing…
But you treat me like a stranger
And that feels so rough
You didn’t have to stoop so low
Have your friends collect your records
And then change your number…”
The “Love of his life” becomes “somebody that I used to know”…
So far one side of the story. Now its HER part, sung and performed by New Zealand singer Kimbra :
“Now and then I think of all the times you screwed me over
But had me believing it was always something that I’d done
And I don’t wanna live that way
Reading into every word you say…”
She feels betrayed, constrained, made responsible for all the problems – and she draws a line. She literally moves out of the picture, shakes off the colors that weren’t hers. It looks as if HE really sees her for the first time, now that she has become an independent person.
Can you be so wrong about someone, so blind? Maybe we are all too busy designing our picture-perfect lives? Too busy to be aware of the persons living next to us – trying to insert them into the art work that our life is supposed to be?
Let’s have a closer look at those who are important to us before it is too late – and we have to add one more name to the list of those we “used to know”….