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Oh Love (Song of the Week)

Song of the Week

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106 replies to this topic

#1
pasalaska

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Song of the Week this week is the brand-spanking-new Oh Love, originally released earlier today, causing Green Day fans to explode with squee world-wide. Oh Love is the first song to be released off the up-coming trilogy ¡Uno!, ¡Dos¡, and ¡Tré!.

From what I can tell from my few hours of listening to Oh Love, Billie’s lyrics are a calling to a lost or unrequited love; a sort-of loss of control after trying to supress those feelings for some time and moving on with life (“oh life, please don’t pass me by”). That sudden loss of control seems to have come from a night of drinking and reflection: “waste away tonight, tonight my heart’s on the loose”. The third verse seems to suggest that he’s trying to pull away from falling deeper in love with this person (“talk myself out of falling in love”), because he knows they don’t feel the same, but at the same time he’s enjoying the feeling of being in love. Obviously he’s been through this cycle before, saying it’s the “same old story”, but that’s not a strong enough deterrent, as he still longs to be “close to you”.

Here’s a live audio recording of Oh Love, from the secret Green Day show at Red 7 in Austin, Texas in November of 2011. Thanks to GDCer LouLou for live-streaming this audio from outside the venue.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOnQYCrB8nc

Lyrics:

Oh love, oh love
Won't you rain on me tonight?
Oh life, oh life
Please don't pass me by

Don't stop, don't stop
Don't stop when the red lights flash
Oh ride, free ride
Won't you take me close to you?

Far away, far away
Waste away tonight
I'm wearing my heart on a noose
Far away, far away
Waste away tonight
Tonight my heart's on the loose

Oh lights and action
I just can't be satisfied
Oh losers and choosers
Won't you please hold on my life?

Oh hours and hours
Like the dog years of the day
Old story same old story
Won't you see the light of day?

Far away, far away
Waste away tonight
I'm wearing my heart on a noose
Far away, far away
Waste away tonight
Tonight my heart's on the loose

Talk myself out of feeling
Talk my way out of control
Talk myself out of falling in love
Falling in love with you

Oh love, oh love
Won't your rain on me tonight?
Oh ride, free ride
Won't you take me close to you?

Far away, far away
Waste away tonight
I'm wearing my heart on a noose
Far away, far away
Waste away tonight
Tonight my heart's on the loose

Far away, far away
Waste away tonight
I'm wearing my heart on a noose
Far away, far away
Waste away tonight
Tonight my heart's on the loose
Tonight my heart's on the loose
Tonight my heart's on the loose

*********************************************************************************************************

You can nominate songs for discussion as Song of the Week in the SotW Nominations and Archive thread, which contains links to each previous Song of the Week in its first post.

Also thanks to Alex for helping me decipher some of the meaning in the lyrics.
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#2
Cori

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Excellent song of the week choice! :D

I love this song, I really do. I feel like it's a really uplifting song that's actually a great choice for a first single. I know there have been mixed reviews, but doesn't Green Day get that with everything they do? It wouldn't be Green Day if they didn't stir up a little bit of controversy along the way. :P

#3
Psycho Britney

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Wow Pasalaska that is a great description and interpretation of the song, better than I could do!

#4
Sixtrix

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Nice choice for song of the week!
It's like the song has just been born and already made it as a superstar :P (metaphorically speaking)

I really love the song and its dynamics. How it builds up towards the chorus and the beautiful climax in the solo.
And now that I slowly start to understand the meaning of the lyrics, I am falling in love even more with this song.

Funny how there lies such deep meaning in such simple lyrics. The power of Billie's writing.

#5
Sarcasm

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So it's basically a glorified 1039/smooth song?
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#6
Eva

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I'm going to be honest, when I read the short interview Billie did with the Rolling Stones Magazine (I think it was Rolling Stones) where he says the band was heading in a more power-pop direction with these albums, I was pretty doubtful. However, after listening to Oh Love over and over and over again, I've fallen completely head over heels for the song and I am so much more pumped for this trilogy :dance:

#7
drugstore hooligan

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I'm going to be honest, when I read the short interview Billie did with the Rolling Stones Magazine (I think it was Rolling Stones) where he says the band was heading in a more power-pop direction with these albums, I was pretty doubtful. However, after listening to Oh Love over and over and over again, I've fallen completely head over heels for the song and I am so much more pumped for this trilogy http://www.greendaycommunity.org/public/...


Billie described 21cb as power pop too. I'm not worried about what the music is classified as cos it will rock regardless, besides the guys can pretty much pull off anything.

#8
kaylubd

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Great choice for song of the week!

This is really one of those songs that will grow on you the more you listen to it. The pace is a little slow, but I think it's because all of Green Day's first singles were loud, fast, and super energetic, so the change is a little unexpected. But I like it. I was already singing along by the third time I head it!

#9
Eva

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Billie described 21cb as power pop too. I'm not worried about what the music is classified as cos it will rock regardless, besides the guys can pretty much pull off anything.


Did he? 21CB is not something I would classify as power pop :lol: But yeah, I agree, they can pull of anything and somehow make it sound good.

#10
LetItBeHappy

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For some stupid reason, me and a couple of friends decided to stay up till 9AM to listen to this.... It was worthy, it's a really catchy song, the guitar solo was great and the lyrics are amazing. And I think I've listened to this about 15 times today :lol:

#11
Starred Thoughts

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what an appropriate choice for song of the week :lol:

and an very interesting interpretation, too. I think there's a lot of ambiguity in this song, so it depends on what the listener takes away from it. I love the line "I'm wearing my heart on a noose". It's such a powerful metaphor; it's like he's taking a risk by putting his heart out there on the line to see where the night itself takes it.

#12
July21

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So it's basically a glorified 1039/smooth song?


i was actually thinking about that, too. the topic fits perfectly! but again, you can see billie's further development when you're considering the lyrics and billie's writing style.. same topic but Oh Love still differs a lot from the ones from the 39 era. but of course that's no wonder now that over 20 years have passed :D
BJA - god of lyrics!<3
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#13
captainperoxide

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So it's basically a glorified 1039/smooth song?


No, other than that they both deal with love. Early Green Day love songs were very, very explicit and simple in the lyrics. This is much more vague and open to interpretation.
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#14
Heather.

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Agreed. 1039 songs were always like "I looked at you, you were with your boyfriend, it made me sad." Here we're talking about fucking nooses and dog days :P

I really like your interpretation Aska. And considering how many times Billie used the words "sexual tension" to describe these albums, I'm sure you've hit the nail on the head about lost love and whatnot.

A lot of people were convinced the Red7 lyric was "don't stop under my touch," because it sounded just like that, and were sad that it was changed to "don't stop when the red lights flash," but now that you posted the Red7 version again, I realize it was ALWAYS red lights flash. Ah well :lol:
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#15
Bosils

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Haha this is just great! I think this is the only Green Day song i will listen to all week, so, that fits well :P

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#16
Brigister

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I see this song as 1039/smooth-21stCB-Dookie mixed together with that touch of maturity that makes it unbelievably perfect. It's like I can't find words that are strong enough to describe it. I used to think (from the live recordings) that this wasn't the right song for the first single, but GOD I was wrong, I don't think any other song would make me more eager to hear more of ¡Uno! than this.

#17
Laurawr_xD

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Feels odd to hear the live recording now that we have the real song :')

#18
Makeout One

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Wow, what an idea! The song of the week is the single released earlier the same day! :D

#19
Cre Tool.

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What better song to choose then the one released just yesterday!
And I think I finally get the meaning now. xD

#20
Laly

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New and already sotw! :rolleyes:
But it's great, can't complain 'cause I enjoy it so much, I'm not listening to it the 24 hours, but a couple times yesterday... :shy:
Anyway, a love song... if the "falling in love" part wouldn't be on the lyrics, from my perspective the song would be about something completely different to love someone. But idk. We all have our own interpretations.

#21
Sarcasm

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No, other than that they both deal with love. Early Green Day love songs were very, very explicit and simple in the lyrics. This is much more vague and open to interpretation.

I also took in notice the solo. Something that was standard on 39/smooth.

#22
WestboundSign!

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Brilliant choice for this week, I'd say :P In my opinion, this is an amazing song. Seems like some sort of the perfect crossover between the early and the latest Green Day years. And I have to say, Aska, that your interpretation is definitely the best one I've read so far! You seem to have a talent for this!

#23
Rob716

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The best bit of the song is Billie's 'yeah' :D :lol:
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#24
colour_me_stupid_

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I have to admit, Green Day have not made me... emotional? in a long time, but yesterday when I heard this for the first time they did :wub: They made me feel like I was 12 again and just listening to them put a silly grin on my face :D It was 8 years ago when I was 12, so for them to be able to do that after all that time is impressive. I can tell that I am going to cry when I next see them in concert :lol:
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#25
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I like the ambling pace of this song.

#26
justcause

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Regarding the pace of this song - it's not what I would term 'slow' in a simple way, it's really fucking slow, the pace is deliberate and emphatic, dragging. It makes you feel impatient, like how people have commented on this sense of waiting for the big explosion that's still out of reach by the end of the song - lol, the climax of one kind or another. Fuckit, this is expressing and amplifying what the words are saying - 'hours and hours, dog years of the day', 'I just can't be satisfied' - the pace is creating that sensation, like 'Static Age' created the nerve-jangling, overloaded chaos its lyrics spoke. This song does more than talk about stuff - it takes you there.
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#27
Bastard of 1967

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Ever since Oh Love dropped, I've been trying to figure out why it seems to resonate with me so much. Big-shit-eating-smiles-and-chills-up-your-spine resonating, that is...and this is happening even though a too-sizeable number of other old-school Green Day fans and music reviewers are trying to tell me that the whole song is absolute crap. Yes, the song has a crisp, fresh, sound that we haven't heard from Green Day in a *long* time and introduces small gaps of silence intermixed with an uplifting chorus and powerful harmonies, but there has got to be more to it than that. The track has a curious, slow, "tick - tick - tick - tick" tempo paced using guitar crunches instead of the fiery percussion we are accustomed to expecting from Green Day. What's more, it is filled with vague, spastic, disconnected lyrics that are challenging to interpret -- which makes Oh Love particularly uncharacteristic and unusual even for the always-envelope-pushing Green Day. Yes, in some ways it's the band bringing back a touch of their old-school style, but those lyrics.... They are either absolute nonsense or they're trying to convey something huge -- and whenever Billie Joe Armstrong is the songwriter, I'd put money on the latter.

I posted probably WAY too much in the first single thread yesterday, trying to make some sense out of the lyrics, bouncing back and forth between viewing the song as both a solicitation ("let's get it on, baby!") and a threat ("and if I can't get it on with you I'll just go get it on with someone else!") on the one hand, and as a plea to make the rush of life stand still on the other. Another interpretation that seems to have a lot more support in the lyrics came to my attention offline, from @melissaswebster and a few other fans I follow on Twitter, and I'm finding myself really buying into it -- to the point that I think I understand now why the song resonates so much. Let me try to summarize it here.

We know from the band's recent interviews and all the lead-ups and teasers to Oh Love's release that the U/D/T trilogy is going to be a pretty sexually charged album. We also know that Oh Love will be the final track on Uno, which in context will be setting up a "party from hell" or "party like hell" atmosphere. Dos and Tre are reported to be "At the party" and "The hangover/aftermath", respectively; and a recent rumor has a new song called "See You Tonight" leading off Dos. Now.....Many of us -- myself included -- have sometimes wanted to just say "what the fuck" and do what you want, when you want, "just because", without inhibition, without regard for the consequences, and even though you know those consequences might kill you. That's what Oh Love seems to be aiming at, and I'm finding myself agreeing that it's expressing this urge as an escape from mid-life drudgery via release of no-holds-barred lust -- probably within the context of some "forbidden love" theme that could run the gambit from an "I want who I cannot have" scenario all the way up to a full-blown affair.

Thus far, this is the only interpretation I've come across where the lyrics all start making sense and point in the same direction: Oh Love picks up where Redundant left off back in Nimrod; it sets a course for what sometimes happens "when I love you is not enough" anymore -- and in so doing it way ups the ante, setting itself up as the trilogy's "this is what's wrong and this is how I'm going to fix it" game-changer.

Let's zoom in now for a close look at the lyrics.

Oh love, oh love

Won't you rain on me tonight?

Oh life, oh life

Please don't pass me by


The song opens with our narrator first explaining that he's not living life to the utmost, that he's missing out on a thrill in life that he desperately wants to experience. These verses frame everything that follows in the context of a mid-life crisis.

Don't stop, don't stop

Don't stop when the red lights flash


When that "DANGER, WILL ROBINSON!" alarm goes off in your head this time, ignore it. Just keep going even though every bone in your body's telling you that you're about to make a royal fucking mess of things.

Oh ride, free ride

Won't you take me close to you?


There's the lynchpin: "Free ride". The "out cruising" analogy set up by the flashing red lights, taken to the maximum, yearning for all of the glory without any of the consequences. Maybe another way of expressing this would be the old saying, "why buy the cow when you can have the milk for free?" Add the sexual charge that the tick-tick-tick-tick tempo and rising keyboard chord in the background leading into the chorus both introduce, and this implies someone who has hit the midlife doldrums contemplating escape by taking the plunge with the first pretty little tchotchke that comes walking by.

Far away, far away


The narrator is pleading for escape from his humdrum existence. "Far away", as in "get me the fuck out of here".

Waste away tonight

I'm wearing my heart on a noose


Here our narrator describes not just what he wants to do, but how he's completely aware of the risks he's taking to do it -- and how because of these risks he's been holding himself back. "Waste away" can be taken very literally in that the rewards of, metaphorically at least, "getting wasted" are tremendous; and at the same time the forbidden-love nature of his pursuit of a good time might result in the loss -- the "wasting away" -- of anything and everything he holds dear. Billie Joe uses his gift for wordplay to the fullest right in this lyric. And, yep, his damn conscience is squawking again -- it's the leash that's keeping him contained, the "noose" that's choking off the thrill that he wants his life to be.

Far away, far away

Waste away tonight

Tonight my heart's on the loose.


"Tonight my heart's on the loose" -- setting up the force that lies on the other side of the fear. The drive, the desire, the adrenaline rush, the danger. Picture a pit bull (or, in context of U/D/T, our little horn-dog :eyebrows:) straining against its leash, and you'll get the "I'm wearing my heart on a noose" - "Tonight my heart's on the loose" push/pull dynamic that's going on here. "Oh Love" is our narrator weighing the pros and cons of going for it, fighting his internal battle between conscience and thrill out in the open, right before our ears.

In the next verse, we step back into another set of metaphors for the narrator's longing for where the fun's all at. "Lights and action" is what he craves, and he knows his blah existence won't satisfy his needs. Following this is a snarky labeling of those who actually listen to their intuition and conscience as "losers and choosers". The narrator thus may be branding himself as one of those people and is rebelling against it. He responds "Won't you please hold on my life?" -- or with proper punctuation, "Won't you please hold on, my life?" -- in other words, "take all these boring responsibilites I have and shove 'em."

The next verse, "Oh hours and hours, like the dog years of the day, old story, same old story, won't you see the light of day?" rising back up into the chorus sets up the daily-grind slog that the narrator wants to break free from. Green Day covered some of that territory in Redundant as I mentioned earlier, but Oh Love actually proposes a remedy when the second chorus begins!

Now we're into the bridge:

Talk myself out of feeling
Talk my way out of control
Talk myself out of falling in love
Falling in love with you


Here I think the narrator convinces himself that he doesn't want either commitment or consequences to follow from his lust. He talks himself out of having any real feelings for the object of his desire and persuades himself that he won't actually fall in love with that person. This sets up a classic "friends with benefits" scenario at best, or the ground rules of an affair at worst. His internal conflict reaches the breaking point right here in the bridge, as he "talks my way out of control" -- he disregards whatever's left of his good judgment and throws himself whole-hog after his fresh, new, exciting entrapment.

Following the bridge is a wicked guitar solo, interrupted again by that contemplative, tick-tick-tick-tick guitar-set rhythm. The final verse is the summation: "Oh love, oh love ... Oh ride, free ride" -- a recap of the "fun without the consequences" theme that the entire song is built around -- that sets up the final chorus.

The song ends with "Tonight, my heart's on the loose" repeated three times. The horn-dog has broken free from his leash, urge triumphs over conscience and responsibility, and our narrator leaps at that tasty, low-hanging fruit, setting up a cliffhanger that closes out Uno and leads us into the bender that will become Dos.

....and that brings me back to why this simple, weird little love song seems to be resonating with so many of us. It speaks right to that desire to escape our own lives, our own limitations, whatever the hell happens to be the thing that's holding us back from what we "really" dream of, whatever that dream happens to be -- and importantly, whether or not that dream is actually something good for us. We contemplate, we take baby steps, we choke ourselves on our own noose and pull away again out of fear for the consequences, before we ever have a chance to know what it's like to truly and freely live. Then that chorus and those harmonies crank up. Muusically, they propel us to a place where life is reckless but thrilling, free from consequence and full of fantasy -- and we can't seem to get enough of it.

Many thanks to Melissa and Tanya for helping to blow this puppy wide open for me.
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#28
Malleus

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Damn. I nominate Bastard for "best poster ever" when the next GDC awards roll around. Seriously, every time I see that you posted I am excited to read it. :lol: You guys did an awesome job with the lyrics too.

Also I love the song. It's easy and fun to listen to and is getting me very pumped up for Uno so I'm happy.
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#29
lizziebix

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Thanks Michael, Melissa and Tanya for your interpretation. Awesome, really really awesome. And yes, I now also know, and understand, why this song has stuck with me and resonated in my brain.

#30
pieterv

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Damn. I nominate Bastard for "best poster ever" when the next GDC awards roll around. Seriously, every time I see that you posted I am excited to read it. http://www.greendaycommunity.org/public/... You guys did an awesome job with the lyrics too.

Also I love the song. It's easy and fun to listen to and is getting me very pumped up for Uno so I'm happy.

I don't get how he ever ended up with a post/rep ratio of only about 2/1… Always a nice read!
I'm a sucker for probably too complicated and far fetched song meanings :P



Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Song of the Week

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