Til Summer Comes Around

Keith Urban

Keith Urban’s single “Til Summer Comes Around” was …around last year sometime. But the song still bothers me, and I can write about whatever I want to, so deal with it. 

Written by Keith and Monty Powell, this song takes the old “lady waiting around for a man” trope and turns it on its head! Or just makes it creepy. Donald Glover has a great bit about how guys can tell “crazy ex-girlfriend” stories and it’s funny, but you don’t ever hear many crazy ex-boyfriend stories. Why not? In the words of Donald Glover, “Because if you got a crazy boyfriend, you gon’ die. Just something about men; the second they realize they’re crazy, they’re like, “TIME TO KILL EVERYTHING!”

In much the same way, when a girl gives up all her hopes and dreams to wait for and/or follow a man (eg, “Shotgun Girl”) it’s sad. But when a man does? It starts to get creepy. Just like in this song.

Another long summer’s come and gone
I don’t know why it always ends this way
The boardwalk’s quiet and the carnival rides
Are as empty as my broken heart tonight

But I close my eyes and one more time
We’re spinnin around and you’re holdin on tightly
The words came out, I kissed your mouth
No 4th of July has ever burned so brightly
You had to go, I understand
But you promised you’d be back again
And so I wonder ‘round this town
'Til summer comes around

I got a job workin at the old park pier
And every summer now for 5 long years
I grease the gears, fix the lights, tighten bolts,
Straighten the tracks
And I count the days til you just might come back

And then I close my eyes and one more time
We’re spinnin around and you’re holdin on tightly
The words came out, I kissed your mouth
No 4th of July has ever burned so brightly
You had to go, I understand
But you swore that you’d be back again
And so I’m frozen in this town
'Til summer comes around

Oh, and I close my eyes and you and I
Are stuck on the ferris wheel rockin with the motion
And hand in hand we cried and laughed
Knowin that love belonged to us, girl,
If only for a moment
Baby, I’ll be back again, you whispered in my ear
But now the winter wind is the only sound
And everything is closin down
'Til summer comes around 

Really, Keith? You don’t know why it always ends this way? Here’s why: you had a summer fling, and it all sounded like roses when yall were on a freaking teacup together [ed. note: I’m guessing since they were spinning it was either the Scrambler or the Teacups. Maybe the RoundUp, but I think, out of those choices, the Teacups are the most romantic. Ugh. Yeah, probably so. I kind of hate myself for thinking about it this much.], but then you tell her…something (“I love you,” I’m guessing) and she was ok with it, but probably the next day she called her bff and said something like, “Oh gosh, you will not believe. This hottie I’ve been fooling around with this summer, here at…the carnival? So he’s like…a carnie? I don’t know. Anyways, he told me he loves me last night! And we kissed on the teacup ride and it was so beautiful!!”

And her friend sat in silence for a minute and then said, “So…you’re in a love with a carnie you’ve known for like a month? Awesome. Bet he’s a keeper.”

And Keith, as your lady friend realized what happened, her jaw dropped open. “Oh. My. Gosh. I made out with a carnie. And, no offense to carnies, but you’re right. I’ve known him for like a month and all we’ve been doing is hanging out on this boardwalk place for a while and riding rides together and I don’t know if he even has a job or what…and what about me? Shouldn’t I be a little more responsible? I’ll just leave. I’m so coming home.”

And sassy friend (who probably wears glasses, I think? Or maybe has an edgy bob) kind of snorts, then says, “Yeah. Probably the wisest choice you’ve made all summer.”

So she gives you this lame excuse (“I have to go. But I’ll be back, promise.” “Ok, sweeties! When will you come back?” “Uhh…soon. Promise. I’ll uh,…I’ll see you later.”) and then runs away. And what does Keith do? HE WAITS FOR HER.

Yup. He drops whatever life plans he had going on (I just assumed up there that he was already a carnie, but who knows. Maybe he wasn’t.) and gets a job AS A CARNIE FOR REAL and does that for FIVE YEARS. Now, I’ve (obviously) thought about this song a lot, and I cannot for the life of me figure out how old these people are supposed to be. Do adults actually hang out at boardwalks that much? Well, Jersey Shore might have you believe that, but for some reason I have a hard time imagining Keith and Monty writing this song for Snookie and…that guy with the baseball cap she dated that once. Wasn’t he from Georgia? Maybe it was written about them. 

Ok, so maybe not adults (and that’s a stretch, saying that Snookie is an adult. What if it were about real adults. Can you imagine the woman in this song as like a 30 year old lawyer, hanging out at a boardwalk all summer? Hahah it’s so ridiculous. Just all over.). My little sister is 13 and she likes hanging out at fairs with her friends. So perhaps the narrator is a 13 year old boy? But then who hires a 13 year old to work at an “old park pier”?

I guess this only works if the protagonists are retirees. Anyways, it’s still creepy. He just hangs out there for YEARS waiting for her to come back. And I guess he never got a phone number, which makes the whole thing even sketchier. There’s got to be a reason she didn’t give him her number. Anyways, she never comes back because he’s creepy and obsessed with her and a carnie who abandoned his entire life, hoping that this woman he went on some rides with would come back to the fair like she promised. 

And that’s what this song is about. Him being a sad, scary, creepy man who can’t get over this woman from five years ago.

But here’s what really makes me sick about this song: this is supposed to be romantic for the ladies. Oh yes. I know we are ALL dying to find a guy with no personal goals, no friends to talk sense into him, no way of handling subtle rejection. That is truly romantic, for me, at least. I know yall all certainly agree, am I right, LADIES?

 So I actually watched (most of) the video. No more answers. I guess they’re adults, but they didn’t show what ride they were on!! Ugh. Way to leave me hanging, Keith. Now I’ll never know what ride is most romantic for when I hook up with carnies. And isn’t that the real tragedy here?

  1. countrycritic posted this
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