If you’ve never listened to Read Southall Band’s“Why,” I’m going to stop you right here and tell you to go listen to it now… I’m also going to highly recommend you pour yourself a stiff drink, beforehand, because you will most definitely need it.
If you’ve have listened to “Why,” you know exactly what I’m talking about. This song is sad. So sad… but a mesmerizing kind of sad.
Read entices us with a gut-wrenching melody and lyrics to boot… the kind of stuff that’ll keep this track on replay.
“Why” is the song you sit in your car in the driveway for an extra 10 minutes because you are comatose by the lyrics being thrown at you. It’s the song that gives you a “friendly” reminder that you are not over a certain someone, even though you have tried convincing yourself time and time again that you are.
“I saw you downtown, through the glow of my tail lights. You were stopped behind me, and your car caught my eye. I’m glad this light’s slow, gives me a chance to catch my breath.”
Hear me out… as much as we don’t want to admit it, “Why” is so relatable.
Let’s be honest, we all have had that one person that shook our world. We fell, and we fell hard. In most circumstances though, as much as we tried, things did not work out.
Just as they shook our world coming in, seeing them in the aftermath is another kind of shook. It’s the effect that they can still have on us. That’s exactly what the band portrays in just the first three opening lines. It’s the paralyzing moment, seeing that one person out unexpectedly… where everything stands still.
In that moment, every memory of you two hits you like a ton of bricks.
The chorus is where it really breaks you, though.
“Why do I give a damn after everything went south?”
This is where it cuts deep. It’s immensely aggravating that after the hell someone may have put you through that they could still constantly be on your mind. The frustration in the reality that no matter what, you still care.
“Why do I write songs, why can’t my heart shut its mouth?”
Granted, maybe you are not writing songs about the person and your experience with them, but I can bet that there’s a good amount of songs in your music library that are great reminders of what you’ve been through with them. The one’s you listen to over and over again… Don’t deny it.
“Why can’t I move on and give a fair chance to someone new?”
Ouch… Yep, you say you’ve moved on. Your friends and family begin to believe it. You talk yourself in to believing it also. You throw yourself into other relationships, but in those relationships you find yourself looking for something that cannot be duplicated.
The new person could be everything and more, but you are still haunted.
“Why can’t I fall out of love with you?”
There it is. The question that plays in your head over and over again. The unmistakable reality of it all. It is a sucker punch to the gut. You can try running from it, avoiding it, but in the light of the day you cannot fall out of love with someone that made such an impact in your life (good or bad) so easily. It’s agonizing.
So yes, Read Southhall Band hit us where it hurts with “Why”… What a blessing and a curse this song is, though. It is depressing as all hell, but it also speaks the truth that we often won’t vocalize ourselves.
I’d say we are all lucky that we had something so significant that it makes it hard to get over. Until then, my advice is to pour yourself another one and get your tears ready this song to be on replay.