The eighth track on Kevin Gilbert's debut solo album, Thud, is entitled "Shrug (Because of Me and You)", but it was based off a song called "Because of You" that Kevin wrote several years earlier for his band Giraffe. The lyrics are very similar, but the differences between the two songs are signifcant and affect the message of the song greatly.

Differences in Lyrics Between "Because of You" and "Shrug (Because of Me and You)"

The first obvious difference between these two songs is the change in title. "Because of You" conveys the concept of blame, placing responsibility on the listener. "Shrug (Because of Me and You)" not only shares responsibility, but more importantly, it eschews the relevence of blame altogether, revealing instead a weary indifference. These differences become more significant upon further examination of the lyrics themselves.

The first meaningful difference in the song itself occurs in the first verse:

From "Because of You", 1987

Cause I am a cliff
And you are the sea
And I will be nothing
Before you stop hammering at me

From "Shrug (Because of Me and You)", 1995

I am a cliff
and you are the sea
You turn me into nothing
Whenever you hammer at me

The earlier version of the song takes an aggressive stance, asserting that the person to whom the song is directed is actively hammering, figuratively speaking, at the singer. The deeper implication is that if this is an action which is currently taking place, it's necessarily something that can be stopped, preventing further damage, and that the act of not stopping is allowing the singer to be destroyed, turned into nothing. The later version of the lyrics portrays this hammering as being continual rather than continuous, however, which makes for an interesting contrast. Whereas the earlier effort used "I will be nothing", implying that the singer is involved actively in conflict over this, the later song seems to downplay the singer's will entirely, showing him to be completely at his partner's mercy.

The choruses to the two songs differ similarly.

From "Because of You", 1987

And I don't know what to say
And I don't know where to go
And I don't know what to do
And it's all because of you

From "Shrug (Because of Me and You)", 1995

Feel our love has gone away
And I don't know what to do
And it's all because of me
And it's all because of you
Because of me and you

Once again, we see a concentration on people performing actions in the Giraffe version, with 3 lines focusing solely on the effects on the singer's psyche, followed by the direct causal connection to the listener, a simple "I'm hurt in this way, and it's because of you" train of thought that leaves little ambiguity. In contrast, the Thud version of the song is all about ambiguity and uncertainty over how things got this way or how to fix them. The effects on the singer remain, but this time, the focus is on the lack of any one person's culpability. Both people are involved and this is too complicated to pin on any one incident, any one person. Again, the Giraffe version shows a somewhat angry, aggressive stance directed solely at a single person, and the Thud version shows a weariness of someone who's too tired to assign blame and construct vitriolic arguments pro and con.

From "Because of You", 1987

I've made this transition
To live with the mission
And every deal has its strings
If it causes the tension
It's best not to mention
Cause only the dumb bee stings
We'll see what tomorrow brings

From "Shrug (Because of Me and You)", 1995

Love is a decision
To put away your ammunition
And every deal has its strings
If it causes the tension
It's best not to mention
Cause only the dumb bee stings

The differing bridges in the two songs do a good job of summing up the differences between the songs. In the world of Giraffe's "Because of You", this is a learning experience and an admitted failure, but there's always hope for the future, presumably free of problematic relationships. Of course, we know that that didn't quite work out as planned. In "Thud", the singer has a few more years, maybe a few more pounds, under his belt, and new love tomorrow isn't as much a certainty as it was in the 1980s. Throwing relationships away when some little thing goes wrong has become a less feasible option, and it has become time to compromise in order to make things work.

Lyrics to "Shrug (Because of Me and You)"

You are the tallest building
And I am the street
It's gonna take an earthquake
For our eyes to meet
I am a cliff
and you are the sea
You turn me into nothing
Whenever you hammer at me

Feel our love has gone away
And I don't know what to do
And it's all because of me
And it's all because of you
Because of me and you

Cause I am a single candle
And you are the sun
I'd need the help of millions
Just to equal your one
And you are the desert
And I am the rain
Am I just wasting my time?

Feel our love has gone away
And I don't know what to do
And it's all because of me
And it's all because of you
Because of me and you


Love is a decision
To put away your ammunition
And every deal has its strings
If it causes the tension
It's best not to mention
Cause only the dumb bee stings

Feel our love has gone away
And I don't know what to do
And it's all because of me
And it's all because of you

And it's all because of me
And it's all because of you

Lyrics to "Because of You"

"You have just heard eight seconds of silence, and silence is one of the most powerful tools at your command."

And I don't know what to say
And I don't know where to go
And I don't know what to do
And it's all because of you

Cause you are the highest building
And I am the street
I guess it will take an earthquake
For our eyes to meet
Cause I am a cliff
And you are the sea
And I will be nothing
Before you stop hammering at me

And I don't know what to say
And I don't know where to go
And I don't know what to do
And it's all because of you

Cause I am a single candle
And you are the sun
My light must be helped by millions
To equal your one
Cause you are the desert
And I am the rain
And I'm good as nothing
Knowing that each drop falls in vain

And I don't know what to say
And I don't know where to go
And I don't know what to do
And it's all because of you

I've made this transition
To live with the mission
And every deal has its strings
If it causes the tension
It's best not to mention
Cause only the dumb bee stings
We'll see what tomorrow brings


Sources:
http://www.shadowself.com/
http://www.kevingilbert.com/

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