Yesterday, @snarke was playing the new Taylor Swift album as we were driving around, and during the intro to one of the songs, I inserted some Willyisms, those filler words that Will Smith drops into his music (see “uh,” “a-HA!”, “whut,” “word,” etc). Many of his characters seem to have the same predilection.
But my extraordinary rapping skills failed that day, because @snarke did not realize the Willenium was upon us; no, dear Reader, she thought I had entered into Boy Band Mode. This delighted me, for it allowed me to revisit the best of all possible singing tropes: The Thing Where The Guy With The Deep Voice Says “Girl,” And Then Has A Sensitive Conversation Via A Pop Song.
Now, we could argue, you and I, about the most beloved, perfectly-executed TTWTGWTDVSGATHASCVAPS, and you would be correct as long as you concluded that it’s “End of the Road” by Boyz II Men, carried by the sonorous stylings of Michael McCary.
When you just hurt me
And just ran out with that other fella
Baby I knew about it
I just didn’t care
I’m here for you
(Maybe I’ll forgive you)
Just like you did baby
But that’s all right
I love you anyway
(Maybe you will try)
And I’m still going to be here for you until my dying day
Michael, being one who’s Here For You, isn’t going to cheat on the Girl, as she did to him. No, instead, he’s going to remind her a third time that he’s here for her, but NOW it’s until his dying day. None of this short-term Hereing For You for our man Michael. He’s in this for the long haul.
(We should be happy together forever)
I’m just in so much pain baby
‘Cause you just won’t come back to me (You and I)
Just come back to me
While the rest of the Boyz butt in on the conversation, our cavernously-voiced crooner informs the Girl that he’s in pain. So much pain, in fact, that he asks her to return to him, but then keeps talking even before she’s permitted more than one second to respond. His “just come back to me” is impassioned, pleading. It’s such an earnest “back” that you’d endorse it for office.
Yes baby, my heart is lonely (Lonely)
My heart hurts baby (Lonely)
Yes, I feel pain too
And as it happens, the “back” was only the beginning, because now Michael is emphasizing syllables all willy-nilly. “My heart is lonely,” he says, adding “My heart hurts, baby,” in case the Girl hadn’t picked up what he was putting down. “He finishes with “I feel pain too,” driving his point home before asking her one again to reconsider. He’s sincere, honest, and singing in the basement’s basement.