Song of the Day #1,203: ‘Superball’ – Aimee Mann

My examination of songs that utilize metaphors has brought me to an Aimee Mann track that is apparently despised by a significant percentage of her fans. I didn’t realize that until reading about it for this blog entry. I’m often surprised to find out which songs are either loved or hated by an artist’s fan base.

‘Superball’ certainly isn’t among my favorite Mann songs, but neither is it something I’d ever think of skipping when listening to her albums. Tucked between two slower songs on her 1995 record I’m With Stupid, the song works as an oddball pick-me-up.

And while the lyrics aren’t exactly deep (“I’m a superball, you can bounce me once and I’ll ricochet around the room” sounds like something an actual superball might say if it could speak), the production is inventive and appealing.

As for the metaphor itself, I read it as a warning that her partner should be careful not to drop her too hard, because there’s no telling how she might respond.

I’m a superball
You can bounce me once and I ricochet
Around the room

I’m a superball
If I pick up speed get out of my way
I’m a sonic boom

And I warn you now
The velocity I’m gathering
Will knock you down
Send the chairs and lamps all scattering

‘Cause I’m a superball
If you think there’ll be no aftershocks

Well I’m a superball
Read the fine print on the back of the box
Stick to slinkies, hot wheels, alphabet blocks

And I warn you now
The velocity I’m gathering
Will knock you down
Send the chairs and lamps all scattering

It’s got nothing to do with me


3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,203: ‘Superball’ – Aimee Mann

  1. Dana says:

    yeah, not one of her better songs. There are just some words that should not comprise your chorus or the theme of your song, and I’m pretty sure “I’m a superball” is one of them.

  2. pegclifton says:

    I think you’re right about the metaphor and I’m not too impressed with this song either.

  3. Amy says:

    I can easily see why her fans hate this song. It is the antithesis of what most of them probably love about her. I’m actually quite surprised this song made found itself on an album. Seems like a bit of a throwaway to me. Meanwhile, I’m just realizing that you probably don’t even know one of the best metaphor songs of all time – “I Am a Town” by Mary Chapin Carpenter. This is just one of her great figurative songs. The woman is a poet.

    I think Mann is far more of a poet than this “Superball” song indicates, so I don’t mean to offer this song as a contrast to what you’ve offered up today, but rather just as another great female singer songwriter who could fit this category if you were a bit more familiar with her.

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