Song of the Day #3,161: ‘The Other Me’ – Joe Jackson

joe_jackson_laughter_lustMy #4 album of 1990 is Joe Jackson’s Laughter & Lust, the signer-songwriter’s 12th studio album and the last to have any kind of chart success. This is the first Jackson album I owned and I played it quite a bit during my early college years.

My favorite track on Laughter & Lust is today’s SOTD, ‘The Other Me.’ It’s a brazenly romantic song about regretting the loss of an old love, but not quite enough to end your current relationship.

I’ve always interpreted this song as a nod to Jackson’s bisexuality. The “other me” is the Jackson who is attracted to men, despite being married to a woman. Jackson’s did end up leaving his wife (of two years) for a man.

I guess we can still be friends
I guess we can talk at least
But if we were seventeen
Imagine the things we’d do
I know that those days are over
I’m glad that those games are won
And the winners ride off into the sunset
But it’s not the same for you

And I don’t want to play
Those nasty games that adults play
But I can’t let you go
And I can’t see another way

And I know that she’s the only one for me
But you know that if I could split in two
The other me – would stay all night
The other me – would hold you tight
The other me – would be the only one for you

When I see you there alone
It almost breaks my heart
But it doesn’t break enough
For me to break my whole life apart
I guess we could still be friends
And we can talk all night
But I have to bite my tongue
And sometimes words don’t come out right

We’re old enough to know
What we can think or say out loud
To know that hearts are not just
Cards to play when two’s a crowd

And I know that she’s the only one for me
But you know that if I could split in two
The other me – would stay all night
The other me – would hold you tight
The other me – would be the only one for you

The other me . .
Would take you so far away from here
And he’d be . .
A man with a mission . .
The other me . .
Might even be better than this one

And I know that she’s the only one for me
But you know that if I could split in two
The other me – would stay all night
The other me – would hold you tight
The other me – would be the only one for you

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One thought on “Song of the Day #3,161: ‘The Other Me’ – Joe Jackson

  1. Dana says:

    I don’t own and have not heard every Joe Jackson album, but this remains one of my favorites. Interesting interpretation of the meaning on this song. I hadn’t thought of it in that way before, but it makes sense.

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