In Defense of John Mayer
John Mayer just released his new single, ‘Paper Doll’. If you Google “John Mayer Paper Doll”, you get a lot of links to articles speculating that the new tune is Mayer’s rebuttal to Taylor Swift’s ‘Dear John’.
Articles like this:
“John sings ‘you’re like 22 girls in one’ and Swift has a song called 22. Coincidence? I think not!”
John mentions dresses and Taylor Swift wears dresses so CLEARLY this song is about Taylor.”
“John says ‘girl’ and Taylor Swift is female. So, duh.”
Okay, so these are slight exaggerations — but you get the point.
It’s easy to attack/hate Mayer. I get it. After his infamous Playboy interviews of 2009, you want to peg him as a “jerk.” Then he lost his voice. It seemed like everyone was waiting for him to open up his self-proclaimed “stupid mouth” again.
And then he releases “Paper Doll.”
I love it. Especially how the “official music video” is of Joanna Rohrback “prancercising,” which appears to be some sort of frolic workout? Unclear. It might be my favorite thing on the Internet right now, next to Lil’ BUB.
So why do we care who this song is about? Can’t we just enjoy the new single and its funny video?
I’m a fan of Mayer AND Swift. (Can I say that on the Internet?)
As a John Mayer enthusiast, I understand why he has haters. But I relate to his music. Continuum and Battle Studies have gotten me through more break-ups than I can count. I listen to ‘Perfectly Lonely’ like, every day, because well… I am. Hate him or love him, there’s no denying that John Mayer has talent.
As a Taylor Swift supporter, I get why people don’t like her, but her music is super catchy and very empowering during heartbreaks. I’ve listened to ‘We Are Never Ever Ever Getting Back Together’ about 876 times last summer and I wasn’t even going through a break-up. It was just Tuesday.
Point being, good musicians and artists draw from life. And life inspires music.
Okay, so maybe ‘Paper Doll’ is about Taylor. Or Katie. Or Jen. Or maybe it’s just another “love song for no one.” But why does it matter?
But more importantly, what do you think of this sign I made for John Mayer’s tour?
That’s a joke.
I perform stand-up, and as a comic, I can relate to the Paper Doll speculation on a much smaller scale.
In my stand-up I’ll often talk about my “ex” (like most female comics). And some of those jokes are online. (Oops!) I’ve had exes confront me about this, or assume every joke was about them, but it’s not. My “ex” is a little bit of every ex – a character, a subject, a “super ex”. But none of that should matter, just listen to my jokes! Perhaps Mayer’s “Paper Doll” is just a character? Regardless, just listen to the music!
When John says “You’re like 22 girls in one,” maybe he’s not jabbing at Swift’s ’22’ (because that doesn’t even really make sense). Perhaps he’s referencing all of the girls he’s ever dated? Maybe the ‘Paper Doll’ is Mayer’s “super ex”? Or the lady in the prancercising video? (It’s probably not the lady in the prancercising video.)
What I’m trying to say is, it’s a song – not a manifesto, just a ditty. What next? Are we going to analyze the lyrics to Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’? (Spoiler Alert: It’s a lot of hey, hey, heys…)
So, what do you think? Can we just listen to the music? Should it matter who the “Paper Doll” is? Are there any other songs you can think of that have been over analyzed? What does “Blurred Lines” REALLY mean?!? Is prancercising the new workout trend?
Okay I G2G prancersise to John Mayer. Prancercising is totes the new spinning!
Featured Image via JohnMayer.com