I had warned you that I was just going to wing it. I said that I would present songs that I loved and songs that I hate. Whatever. Well, today I am going to feature a song I despise. It may well be the worst song ever written, Bread’s hit “Diary.”
really bad Bread songs, it is written by David Gates. It tells the story of a guy who finds a diary and starts reading. He becomes convinced that the woman who wrote it is secretly in love with him. But then he realizes that actually, it’s some other guy. Apparently, he isn’t Adam and she isn’t Eve. The song exist in a universe in which there are more than two people.
I’m pretty sure I know how the song was written. “I found her diary underneath a tree” came into Gates’ mind. And so he started thinking. “And then I was stung by a bee”? No. “It wasn’t very hard to see”? No. “The air was salty near the sea”? No. “I didn’t have to pay a fee”? No. “And started reading about her”? Oh, that’s the way, “And started reading about me”! Yeah! That’s a winner. And it just went on like that.
I have obvious questions about the song. For one, if the book said, “Diary of Lynn Anne Edwards,” wouldn’t you go and give it to her and tell her you found it. But no. Our hero just starts reading her personal thoughts. No wonder it turns out she isn’t pining after him. He’s a jerk! And why would he think she was writing about him? So he’s not just a jerk. He’s a narcissistic jerk. I think from now on I’m going to refer to it as Donald Trump’s Song.
Musically, it’s pretty enough. I like the guitar picking throughout. The vocal harmony on the refrain is nice. But I don’t think the strings add to it. They make the maudlin content feel all the more oppressive. But it is a good indication of what a great person I am to make myself listen to it again, just to share it with you.
How a Decent Man Deals With Finding a Diary
I found her diary underneath a stack
And so I found her and gave it right back
I did not even look at the inside
‘Cause I’m not a jerk or other awful guy.