Earworm of the Week: Somebody, by Depeche Mode

Last week, Denisa and I took the kids down to Portland and places in between to run a few errands. As we were driving, I had my iPod on, shuffling through my music, when I came across a strange song I didn’t remember putting on there. It started out with what sounded like a heartbeat and some odd ambient noise. Typically, I’d just hit Next and go on to something more immediately rewarding, but I wondered what the song was. My guess was that it was Halloween sound effects I loaded on about 10 years ago, and I wanted to know if my guess was right or not, so I let it play.

Then singing started, and I was disappointed to discover I had been wrong. I hit Next without thinking, and then paused as the beginning of the actual singing caught up with my brain. I knew that song, didn’t I? (It’s a sign of how much music I have when I can put favorite songs on my iPod and then forget they were favorites in the first place.) I hit back to listen again and asked Denisa to read off what song it was.

“Somebody,” by Depeche Mode


It’s been stuck in my head since Friday, playing pretty much non-stop. I don’t particularly mind in this case. It’s a nice song, and I did some research into it to find out more about it–that it was written by the singer, for one thing (I’m always a bigger fan of a song if I know the performer wrote it as well as performed it), and it’s a really interesting contrast between saccharine and sarcasm.

You’ve got this very nice vocal/piano track from a group where I’m much more used to hearing synthesizers and drumbeats. The sentiment is all lovely, but then at the end it adds “Though things like this make me sick, in a case like this, I’ll get away with it.” That just confusing enough to make you wonder if he was serious or not the whole time, and to me it’s thrown in there to give the group an out. To let them have a sincere song that’s full of longing and hope for what they want in a relationship, but to be able to maintain there image of a new wave pop band. In many ways, it reminds me of Extreme’s More than Words:

Really, “Somebody” expresses a lot of what I was looking for out of a relationship, both when I first heard it back in the day and now when I heard it again. The modern day Bryce felt very connected to the 80s/90s Bryce for a moment. Interesting how a thing like a song can do that so quickly and so easily. No need for anything messy like time travel–songs can work so much better. Here are the rest of the lyrics, in case you’re curious:

I want somebody to share
Share the rest of my life
Share my innermost thoughts
Know my intimate details
Someone who’ll stand by my side
And give me support
And in return
She’ll get my support
She will listen to me
When I want to speak
About the world we live in
And life in general
Though my views may be wrong
They may even be perverted
She will hear me out
And won’t easily be converted
To my way of thinking
In fact she’ll often disagree
But at the end of it all
She will understand me

I want somebody who cares
For me passionately
With every thought and with every breath
Someone who’ll help me see things
In a different light
All the things I detest
I will almost like
I don’t want to be tied
To anyone’s strings
I’m carefully trying to steer clear
Of those things
But when I’m asleep
I want somebody
Who will put their arms around me
And kiss me tenderly
Though things like this
Make me sick
In a case like this
I’ll get away with it

And that’s your bit of sappy 80s nostalgia for today. Enjoy.

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