Song of the Day #1,607: ’83′ – John Mayer

Including this one, the last three songs I’ve featured have all mentioned the years 1982 or 1983. Surely that’s a coincidence, as each of these songs would work using any other year, but it’s striking nonetheless.

I was 11 in 1983, five years older than John Mayer, but I nonetheless share his fond memories of that much simpler and more carefree time.

Mayer doesn’t get enough credit as a lyricist. He has a knack for putting meaningful thoughts into simple language. For example, the line “most my memories have escaped me or confused themselves with dreams” is a lovely way of describing the haze of childhood reminiscence.

And it surely is a bittersweet feeling hearing ‘Wrapped Around Your Finger’ on the radio.

I’ve these dreams of walking home
Home where it used to be
And everything is as it was
Frozen in front of me

Here I stand, 6 feet small
Romanticizing years ago
But it’s a bittersweet feeling hearing
“Wrapped Around Your Finger” on the radio

And these days
I wish I was 6 again
Oh make me a red cape
I wanna be Superman

Oh, if only my life was more like 1983
All these things would be more like they
Were at the start of me
Had it made in ’83

Thinking ’bout my brother Ben
I miss him every day
He looks just like his brother John
But on an 18 month delay

Here I stand
6 feet small
And smiling cause I’m scared as hell
Kind of like my life is like a sequel to a movie
Where the actor’s names have changed
Oh well

Well these days
I wish I was 6 again
Oh make me a red cape
I wanna be Superman

Oh, if only my life was more like 1983
All these things would be more like they
Were at the start of me
If my life was more like 1983
Plot a course to the source of the
Purest little part of me

And most my memories have escaped me
Or confused themselves with dreams
If heaven’s all we want it to be
Send your prayers to me care of 1983

You can paint that house a rainbow of colors
Rip out the floorboards
Replace the shutters but
That’s my plastic in the dirt

Whatever happened to my
Whatever happened to my
Whatever happened to my lunchbox
When came the day that it got
Thrown away and don’t you think
I should have had some say in that decision

If only my life

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2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,607: ’83′ – John Mayer

  1. Dana says:

    For the man who repeated “say what you mean to say” 300 times in a song, I think his under appreciation as a lyricist is well deserved­čśä of course these lyrics are better, as are the ones in his hit song about running through the halls of his high school (which by the way sounds quite a bit like this song, though the chorus here has less of a hook)

  2. Clay says:

    Oh, come on, that’s a silly comment. That’s like saying Sting is a poor lyricist because he repeated “together… we’ll be together tonight” over and over again in one song.

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