But it didn't feel as laborious, somehow, or as much of a challenge as this. It's no stretch to say that a huge reason why 'Somebody That I Used To Know' has resonated with so many people around the world is its achingly personal insights into the end of a relationship. You could be forgiven for thinking it's non-fiction, but as Wally explained triple j, that's a common misconception. It's kind of an amalgam of lots of relationships and experiences I've had in my life, and certain elements of fiction all kind of edited and rolled into one.
Since blowing up internationally, the tune's been a popular subject of cover versions: from Eskimo Joe , to The Big Pink , to these Canadians who played the whole thing on a single guitar. But, a mosaic can also be created by breaking something into fragments and then reassembling the pieces to create something different. I have no idea.
Anywho, nice interpretation and while this song is popular, hopefully it will open the airwaves to other Gotye songs because they are pretty good! Flag driftingdreamer on July 08, I really liked your interpretation of the video side of this song. However, I think the song itself is important to discerning the subtler meanings. I'll admit that I didn't scour all of the replies, but I did not see thus far anybody mentioning a few points.
Gotye, in his first and second verse, speaks of the relationship in his own words. Not once does he blame her during that time for the bad parts, though he does mention that she claimed to be happy. He told himself that she was the one meant for him, despite that he always felt lonely when he was with her. He compares the love he felt to an ache but still doesn't blame her.
Somebody That I Used To Know (feat. Kimbra)
The second verse continues this theme, and ends with him being relieved that she finally ended it when he wasn't willing or mentally capable of it, and believes her when she says they can still be friends. He feels lied to, but most of all, he feels that he hasn't been acknowledged in all of this. He feels like he's been treated as a spectator, or worse, a piece of furniture. In his hurt, he stops referring to her as a friend, but as somebody or some 'body' that he used to know.
Gotye's complaints are specific. The second verse, he feels betrayed because she was pointlessly sneaky, which only serves as a slight. And then she changed her number after claiming they could still be friends, which leaves him in limbo, still unacknowledged and without any real resolution to the relationship. Categorizing her as merely "somebody that I used to know," is his only recourse, casually dismissing her the way that he himself feels dismissed.
Cue Kimbra's verse. The first thing she does is blame him. She doesn't take any responsibility. To her, everything bad in the relationship was his fault, even though she told him she was happy. She doesn't want to have to figure him out anymore, but then she's offended that he's tried to write her off the way she's already written him off. When he then tries to restate his pain, all she can do is childishly shout him down.
She's never pointed out anything solid or particular, she just vaguely cast blame. He acknowledged what she told him, agreed when she wanted to end it, even crediting her for it. But after all of that and claims of still being friends, she snubs him and refuses to acknowledge him as more than something to blame. I do agree that it results in a tragedy, but in a slightly different way than you do.
She still stands out, a figure distinct against the image of his turmoil the red and green paints. He's blamed and dismissed, but she's a source of continuing emotional suffering for him, an already dysfunctional individual who was addicted to a sad relationship that left him feeling lonely and pained. He doesn't need her anymore, but he's stuck unacknowledged and suffering from the memory of her, perhaps even addicted to that very pain she left him with by casting him off in place of the pain her love gave him.
Flag rubicandt on December 19, My Opinion I am in love with this song. The film clip is something special, too. Kimbra's voice complements Gotye's perfectly. The chorus is so heart-wrenching and full of emotion. If this is any indication of what the rest of Gotye's upcoming album is going to be like, then I'll be one happy fan! I too am in love with this song. On it's own it is an amazing song, and with the video clip it is incredibly moving.
This is art. Flag emc on July 11, Flag HannaW on April 07, He's a narcissist, and the pattern represents his "reality". She loses the pattern after she asserts her own moral fiber. It's interesting how at first you sympathize with him, but as the song progresses you realize he's not the victim. Flag beeri on April 16, It's about narcissism. I dont think so. Flag semrugas on May 09, My Interpretation I don't think this is about regretting a break up, I think this song is about how after breaking up, he wanted to be friends and she won't acknowledge him anymore.
And that hurts worse than anything, being blatantly ignored after you've shared so much and loved someone so much. The person he left turned into someone he used to know, he has no idea who this person is anymore, stooping so low that they won't meet with him or talk to him or anything. The person changed their number so he couldn't call them or have any sort of communication with them, and he wouldn't have thought they'd be like that. But then the song gives it from her point of view, that she is hurting and pissed and doesn't want to have anything to do with him because she dislikes how he views her now.
I totally agree with the regretting a break-up portion. I think a lot of times people have an issue letting go of their ex's after a break-up. The whole idea of "we'll still be friends" is common, but destructive. You can be on friendly terms without being close and staying in touch. It's a very rare situation that the break-up can be truly amicable and end with friendship.
Most of the time, it's lop-sided, with one partner wanting the relationship to stay together. If a "friendship" is kept, that partner is constantly torturing themselves with hope of what could have been. To me, in these lyrics, he's acting childishly and she's handling it like an adult. She won't spit in his face if they run into each other, but she's not going to continue to torture herself with contact. A clean break it best, even if it's the most painful, and he's too obsessed to see that.
Flag altari on January 19, Totally agree with altari. Seems like he's self-importantly clinging on to his ideals whilst trying to drag down this girl who's just trying to move on after he screwed her over. He's trying to victimise himself but she won't take it, and her response is what makes this song so brilliant xD Flag GenericLoveShit on February 01, Totally agree. This song is not hard to interpret. Flag Sexyquil87 on April 28, General Comment I love how this song shows two sides of the breakup. The guy from the get go felt that there was something missing, but didn't really let on that this was a chronic state for him and that he really didn't think they had a future.
The girl felt totally fulfilled by him and guilty that he wasn't getting the same out of it, feeling like somehow it was her fault, that he was blaming her for his being unhappy.
When she realized that all this time he'd been hiding his disconnect, the whole thing must have felt like a sham to her. The kind of love she thought he had for her was never there, and it made her feel used and foolish, and she wanted to distance herself from the situation. He didn't mean it as a charade, though. He really wanted it to be love and considers it unfair of her to punish him for not being able to connect better. He doesn't like being made out to be the bad guy any more than she did. Thank you Flag emuInAmuumuu on May 25, You captured exactly what I was thinking!
Flag ElectricCityLake on May 31, General Comment I agree that Gotye blending into the mosiac is about his feeling of loss of significance, and Kimbra's emergence from the paint is her standing out for Gotye. I also agree that the song depicts the personal reflections of Gotye and Kimbra -- they are not literally arguing face to face, but rather monologing. The subtext is brilliant.
He expresses no understanding that Kimbra had been feeling hurt in their relationship for a long time. In fact, all he talks about are his own feelings -- alienation, unhappiness, resignation -- oblivious to the indubtible impact of his animosity on Kimbra.
Somebody That I Used To Know - Gotye - yvyluwigyduq.tk
When Kimbra proposed their break-up after enduring his unhappiness it was very serious for her -- for Gotye, it was just a nebulous sigh of relief. Demoting their relationship to a friendship works perfectly for him. The break-up was much harder on Kimbra. She'd been battling alone for their relationship for a while and then when she became exaspirated, he didn't even seem to mind their conclusion.
Angry and hurt, she distanced herself. Gotye is stunned by the severity of her reaction. We hear Gotye use the phrase "somebody that I used to know" in his own monologue, but it's clear from Kimbra's use that he doesn't always employ his sentimental, introspective tone with that phrase. After breaking final ties having friends retrieve her things, changing her number he inflicted that term on her as retaliation for her 'cutting him out. With a boy's wounded pride, Gotye chastizes Kimbra's emotionality, cruelly implying that she's beneath him because she just can't get over their break-up, and that the intensity of her reaction is innappropriate.
Meanwhile he's tormented by her distance. The title phrase's meaning performs a spectacularly poetic piroutte from dismissive apathy into an explosive, aching wist. It is the best analysis of a song I have ever heard. Just absolutely brilliant. Thank you. Flag katieH on July 15, I think that your interpretation hits the nail on the head. It is the closest to what I tried to express, but I think that your words put it across a lot better. Flag Ignis on July 19, Just wanted to say that I found this to be by far the best interpretation of this song out of every one here on this site.
I agree that the singer is expressing the point of view of someone who held the girl at bay during their entire relationship and it sounds like he thought he was holding much more power in the relationship. I was particularly struck by the line "Like when you said you were so happy you could die. It's such a teenaged cliche - like he thinks she was shallow and cliched and maybe even not nearly as smart as him. Most importantly, he thought she was way more in love with him than he was with her.
All he remembers about their relationship is love being an ache and a sadness, nothing good, while he thinks she thought of their relationship both very deeply and importantly, yet also with the depth and intelligence of a Hallmark card. It's really a briliant little line that sounds throwaway, but I think it isn't. And I find it interesting that despite his supposedly feeling the relationship was unsatisfying and doomed, he never broke up with her; she's the one who broke up with him.
And despite his supposedly being relieved it was over, I agree with you: he's clearly not over her, and in fact her decision to break up seems to have fueled his interest in her to greater heights, in a totally dysfunctional way. He sounds less upset that they are not together anymore and more upset that she challenged his sense of the relationship - i. The way she "[made] like it never happened and we were nothing" challenges his sense that he had all the power between them. He doesn't feel betrayed by her leaving him per se, but instead by her actions in the breakup, which he interprets as a challenge to his belief that he was all-important to her.
Anyway, this is long after the fact, but this was such a breath of fresh air in amongst what seemed to me many wild misinterpretations of this song. Just thought I'd validate you, since you only got two replies, while others that I felt were blatantly wrong got many more.
Flag millari on December 05, General Comment It's common for people who have abandonment and betrayal issues to focus on the temporary nature of relationships and have an innate inability to trust. Lovers like this Gotye often, even in the early and middle stages of relationship, convince themselves they don't need anyone or anything or any love as demonstrated in the lyrics "i guess i don't need that though" and "I don't even need your love.
They associate love directly with pain and they turn off or away from the beloved after brief glimpses of love, intimacy and closeness. But the attachments are still attachments -- the needs ARE real -- and when the attachments are broken they feel alienated even when they are in agreement it's not working. The protest phase begins In the video, notice how the volume of singing is quieter and more revealing and emotionally tender and honest when the lover is naked and alone and he gets louder when he is in her presence, camouflaged and "safe?
His body is rigid. This is genuine fear.
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The beloved's Kimbra's voice points out the experience of the beloved being blamed for actions that represented previous loss and feeling set up for failure. In the video, notice how the beloved's voice is softer when she's camouflaged, her face is NEVER camouflaged and she is able to look at him. Her body is fluid when it moves.
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