Thursday, October 27, 2011

I Saw Her Again

Having recently finished a huge amount of work and now in a fallow period, I have been wasting immense quantities of time on (do not click on this link) the website of evil and dismay. As you do. On the page for (do not click on this link) "ThrowItIn" - accidents that end up being kept in an artwork because they turn out to be pretty cool, it mentioned "I Saw Her Again"(the part where they say "I saw her - I saw her again last night," was apparently a mistake originally). This reminded me that "I Saw Her Again" is a completely awesome song - an undeniable truth. But I also love "I Saw Her Again" because it is evil, which is not true of most pop songs and thus makes it stand out rather. I've already mentioned in the past how "Ziggy Stardust" is really creepy. David Bowie writes a song that he then sings, but it's not from his point of view, it's from the point of view of his putative band members, expressing their supposedly negative feelings towards the character represented by David Bowie himself.

But "I Saw Her Again" is kind of the opposite. As far as I understand, the story goes that John Phillips and Michelle Phillips were married, but then Michelle started having an affair with Denny Doherty. So John found out about it, got angry, and wrote the lyrics to "I Saw Her Again" for Denny to sing in order to punish him and Michelle. The lyrics, and it seems like everyone in the band knew this, were about the affair. And the lyrics are so. . . "now she thinks that I love her (yeah, yeah) / Because that's what I said / Though I never think of her." And supposedly they all knew that this was what John was writing for Denny to sing about Michelle. So uncomfortable! In this case, we have the lyricist writing in the supposed viewpoint of the singer to express feelings that the singer really shouldn't be expressing (and, of course, Michelle herself was one of the backup singers emphasizing all the points). Oh, yeah. And apparently Denny wrote the music, so he gets songwriting credit for the song, as well. I will never get over how amazing this is. I mean, in a bad way, but amazing.

I first heard this story on VH1's Behind the Music for the Mamas and the Papas. But afterwards I thought that I must have been misremembering, because the story was just too much like what would happen in a good book to be true. However, the internet corroborates the story, much to my pleasure. So I should put it up here just to commemorate how much I like it.

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