"No matter what you invest in a relationship, be it your heart, your soul, or $2.50 at a Taco Bell...it's okay to get it back."

The birth and evolution of this Ben Folds Five song are quite interesting. From an angst-filled stanza to a Japanese hit to a fan favorite, this is one cool song, on all of its levels.

The idea was originally conceived by the five's drummer, Darren Jessee, after the sudden end to a relationship. He angrily scratched out some lyrics on a piece of paper, which were to become the frame of this song. Ben saw Darren's work and thought it'd be a fun musical composition to work on. So Folds rewrote much of it, keeping the same jolly sentiment, and put some appropriate music to it.

The band recorded an amazing demo shortly after. It was very bass-heavy and had more frantic piano than the final cut. There was also some nifty organ fill to round it off. The nice southern-style piano solo wasn't written at the time of recording, but an amazing fuzz-bass solo by Robbie Sledge did just fine. Besides the instrumental difference, there were also some noticeably different lyrics as well. I, personally, heh, like the original lyrics better than the final.

In the chorus Ben sings:

Give me my money back
Give me my money back, you bitch
I want my money back, you fucking whore!

Also, there was no mention of the black tee-shirt until the outro:

I want my black tee-shirt...
I want my black tee-shirt...

When the revised version of the song was stuck to the album Whatever and Ever Amen, it achieved modest commercial success in the US. Ben Folds Five were invited to play it on The Late Show with David Letterman and some other TV programs.

On the Japanese pressing of WE&EA, a bonus track was added. It was written in Japanese characters in on the CD insert. Romanized it read "Kane wo Kaese" (which I suppose means "Gimme' my money back!"). It turned out to be SFTD in Japanese! As usual, there was also some in-studio madness included on the track, a trademark of BFF. Check my write-up for Kane wo Kaese for more info. Kane wo Kaese may also be a double bonus track (wow), as, to my ear, it sounds like "Dick Holster", a piano instrumental to appear on the album "Naked Baby Photos", is heard in the background of the final minute of the track.

The Japanese version of SFTD fared very well, I hear, in Japan. It was played at every one of the sold-out concerts that Ben Folds Five performed at. The song was occasionally lengthened by a long stint of fuzz-bass scratching and drum-pounding. This can be heard on the 1997 live performance of SFTD in Tokyo on the Domo! Ben-chan Desu! concert disks available for download on Kyle's FTP. Go to the Rockin' the Suburbs write-up for the FTP info.

Song for the Dumped is also a definite fan favorite all over the world. It is one of the most requested songs. The band used to go all out on this song and played their best and craziest. This is the song that you can count on Ben to start harpooning his piano with the piano stool. This is the song that you can count on Ben to start endangering the lives of his crowd. This is the song where...well, you get the point.

During Ben's 2001/2002 solo tour, he's been playing this song a lot. Halfway though his tour he decided the current sound of the song was too happy, so he now plays it in a minor key. It really drastically changes the sound of the song, much for the better, and the music is still evolving. Ben says he hopes to get a studio recording of the Song for the Dumped Minor soon.

...more on the minor: Performed live, Ben is prone to stop mid-way through the song. He includes the "you fucking whore" lyric now. So, he goes off and tells a little story about it. "There were some original lyrics that did not make the final cut... I just couldn't bring myself to say them. {All serious-like} Because they offended me. After all, you have to remember that Darren...he was...pretty upset."

Or, perhaps, "There was another line that was taken out from the original and hasn't been sung since. Until tonight.."

It also amazes be how awesome Ben's voice works in this new version of the song. He often sings (with a slow tempo):

Give me my money back,
You short,
Who really gives a fuck if I leave the toilet seat up or not?
Are you afraid that you'll fall in?
I don't think so, I measured.
And you broke my heart,
Oh, you broke my meart
You sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet,

Ben's voice SOARS rather angelically when he sings that "sweet". It's just fantastic how he hits that note and crashes back down into that "bitch". It's inspiring.

Well, you see, this song's gone pretty far. Oh, heh, and I guess so has this write-up... Well, if you haven't already heard the song, there are many varieties of it to be had and all are terrific.

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