I was innocently wandering the hillside the other afternoon when, quite without permission, a song leapt into my head. ‘You’re my favourite waste of time.’ I didn’t think I was wasting time, I was merely getting in a few steps, a modern-day euphemism for what used to be called taking a walk. There I was enjoying the views and minding my own business when a line from the song kept repeating itself. Very annoying, particularly as it wouldn’t go away and followed me all the way from the house on the hillside back to Taverna Zoi. There, I finally managed to get rid of it, but not before I’d taught it and its lyricist a lesson.
‘You’re my favourite waste of time.’ Has there ever been a more insulting love song? (Answer: probably.) But what exactly do the lyrics mean?
If you take a look at them (and I’m talking the lyrics used by Owen Paul, Bette Midler the al, in case there are others with the same title), you will see how, like a Donald Tr*mp speech, they have been intricately and carefully carved from the English language. I quote:
‘Here I am. I’m playin’ day dreamin’ fool again, You’re my game…’ The next bit has a classic squeezing-in of an ‘ove’ rhyme to match with ‘love’, to wit, ‘the clouds above.’ (Question: where else are they going to be?) Then comes ‘And you’re my honey, you’re my favourite waste of time. You’re my Said (sic) you’re my favourite waste of time.’ From then on, it’s basically a repeat of the title ad infinitum with something about giving you my love tonight, with ‘love’ being another euphemism, I suspect.
It wasn’t so much that the song was repetitive and the lyrics basic, most pop songs are written like that to make them more memorable, thus, commercial, it was the idea that someone has a favourite waste of time, and what that implies for the object of the singer’s desire, the ‘You’ of the song. What exactly is his message here?
I mean, what other wastes of time does the singer indulge in?
I think the message of the lyrics is clear:
‘Hi, baby (they’re always called baby in such songs). Just wanted to let you know that when it comes to watching the washing machine go around for three hours on its sixty-degree cycle, and when compared to staring at a newly painted wall for the afternoon, you come out tops every time. You know, doll (an alternative to ‘baby’), I could sit and watch reruns of Payton Place all day, but I’d rather threaten you with my insinuations of ‘love’ (read joystick), and let you know that ‘I don’t care if being with you is meaningless and ridiculous’, because when it comes to doing things which help me waste my life away, you’re top of the list.’
Mind you, at least the thing has survived all these years, is still a classic (read, ‘anything old no matter what’), and it got itself into my head without warning. It will probably stay with me all day now, hey ho!
I set out to talk about the views I’d seen over the weekend, but somehow got sidetracked by that song and now I feel I’ve wasted my time and yours. So, I’ll give you three of my weekend views (actually, it was Friday), so at least you have some Symi photos to look at: