Song of the Day #4,341: ‘Go Home’ – Barenaked Ladies

The 2000 album Maroon turned out to be peak Barenaked Ladies. At the time, the album felt like a more than worthy successor to the 1998 breakthrough album Stunt, and in my view, heralded many years of great material to come.

To be fair, the band’s next few albums contain their share of good songs. But signs of creative stagnation and tension within the band were already evident on 2003’s Everything to Everyone, the release immediately following this one.

I guess looking at most bands’ discographies would reveal a summit like this one. A movie podcast I listen to (The Rewatchables) refers to an artist’s “Apex Mountain,” the film or span of films that marked the peak of her career.

Maybe I’ll do a theme week or two on the Apex Mountain albums of various performers. Paul Simon’s is definitely Graceland. Was it Revolver for The Beatles, or did they go out on top with Abbey Road? How many reached their Apex Mountain on their debut release, doomed to never top it? Lots of good material to mine.

[Verse 1]
Well, let me tell you if you’re feeling alone
Instead of whining and moaning
Just get on the phone
Tell her you’re coming home
If you need her, you should be there

And if you scream in your sleep
Or collapse in a heap
And spontaneously weep
Then you know you’re in deep
If you need her, you should be there
Go home

There’s nothing better than affairs of the heart
To make you feel so good then tear you apart
Make up your mind and stick it out or start again

[Verse 2]
You can’t imagine what an effort it takes
When you make a mistake
And you know in the wake
That a heart’s going to break
If you need her, you should be there

Well, if you’re flummoxed and flushed
And your heartbeat is rushed
Then get out of the slush
Tell your dog team to mush
If you need her, you should be there
Go home

If you think of her as Joan of Arc
She’s burning for you, get your car out of park
And if you think of her as Catherine the Great
Then you should be the horse to help her meet her fate
If you need her, you should be there
Go home

[Bridge]
You can’t believe it, but it’s true
She’s given everything to you
Now take a moment to be sure
Before you give it all to her

[Verse 3]
Well, now you’re thinking that it’s over at last
All your woes in the past
But you’ve got to be fast
Put your foot on the gas
If you need her, you should be there

So now you’re out from under the gun
And it’s over and done
I won’t spoil all the fun
But if you ever wonder
She’ll be there if you need her
Go home

If you’re lucky to be one of the few
To find somebody who can tolerate you
Then I shouldn’t have to tell you again
Just pack your bags and get yourself on a plane
If you need her, you should be there
Go home
Come on, man
If you need her, you should be there
Go home

One thought on “Song of the Day #4,341: ‘Go Home’ – Barenaked Ladies

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    Interesting idea to explore. Of course, sometimes that apex is commercial success, which is easier to quantify objectively, versus critical success, which is by definition subjective, though in a more collective way.

    As an example, Graceland as an album was, to be sure, Simon’s apex of solo commercial success, but one could argue that Rhythm of the Saints was the apex critically.

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