All around, people looking half dead / Walking on the sidewalk, hotter than a match head…
Of course, they do go on to describe the night in the city, which is a different world entirely. “Despite the heat it’ll be alright…” but it’s a pity that the days can’t be like the summer in the city, so we’re told. Regardless of whether you agree with that (and I don’t, actually) there is something, and I can’t quite say what, rather languid, sultry, almost erotic, about moving through New York’s sweltering heat – but then, that may be more of a frame of mind.
If you’re doing the daily grind, then perhaps not, but I was working and felt this way and everywhere is air-conditioned (overly so). One only need be in the heat for a few moments at a time. Get too hot, duck inside a building. I can’t mention this song without mentioning Regina Spektor’s “Summer in the City” which is entirely different. Spektor’s song is spoken to an absent lover:
- It's just when it's summer in the city, and you're so long gone from the city
I start to miss you, baby, sometimes
When it's summer in the city
And you're so long gone from the city
I start to miss you, baby, sometimes…
"Worn Me Down" by Rachel Yamagata – The song talks about having had enough of being used and caving in to various demands, even though they were done willingly. It sounds as if this woman is tired after having done “everything you told”; the main refrain is this:
Worn me down like a road / I did everything you told / Worn me down to my knees / I did everything to please / But you can't stop thinking about her / No, you can't stop thinking about her.
She’s been worn down to her knees, “I did everything you please.” She’s obviously tried and tried, but in the final account, the lover — in this reviewer’s opinion — has been used, abused, and taken advantage for his own reasons. He turns his back at the eleventh hour because his mind is still elsewhere and likely he is going to walk, or the person speaking in the song will say, “Enough” (one hopes) and just leave.
A great song, and I thank my friend Patrick in Paris for sending it along, because otherwise I wouldn’t have known of Yamagata. I admit, I didn’t like her so much on the first few listens. I thought she was a bit harsh, but the more I listened, the more I liked until I grew to love this song.