Somewhere in my Pandora listening, I came upon the Ingrid Michaelson song “The Way I Am.” I had never much paid attention to the lyrics. I think it shows up on my Jacques Brel station, and so most of the songs are in French, and I don’t know much French. I do, however, find some songs are so compelling that I stop and translate the lyrics. But most of time, I just enjoy the music and emotional impact of the songs. So it isn’t too surprising that I never really listened to the lyrics of this quiet, jazzy tune.
This morning, I was talking to my older sister about it. She doesn’t like the song because of the lyrics. She seemed to have a problem with the line, “I’d buy you Rogaine when you start losing all your hair.” So I decided to listen closely to the lyrics.
But before I get to them, let me explain something about myself: my personality is such that most of the outside world seems distant to me as though I were interacting with it through a bubble. I never remember faces or pretty much anything physical about an event. What I do remember is my subjective experience of the event. But that means that I am often completely clueless about things that are obvious to other people. So I am not exaggerating when I say that I can listen to a song many times without having more than the vaguest of ideas about the lyrics.
The song is shockingly simple:
All she is saying that she will love me forever, even as I start falling apart. What strikes me about the song is that it is a response to The Beatles song “When I’m Sixty-Four.” In that song, Paul McCartney asks if his girlfriend will still love him as he gets old and feeble:
So Paul McCartney asks the question and Ingrid Michaelson answers in the affirmative.