(Lucky 4 You (Tonite I'm Just Me): Written by Kristyn Osborn, Jason Deere & Coley McCabe; performed by SHeDAISY; a fascinating and funny exploration of multiple personalities in a breakup... which I always think is called just that!)
It’s a pretty song; it’s a lovely tune. The sisters of SHeDAISY have put together a very nice little angry jingle about lost love and joyful vengeance. But the genius of this song, especially in music video form, is the layers of metaphor and meaning that they weave together.
You always said that I have multiple personalities
I bounce around somewhere between my dreams and reality
So where'd you dig up the audacity to ask me
How we've all been doing
Since you broke our hearts?
From the beginning of the song, they use multiplicity both as a metaphor and as the basis for their plot. The ex in the song joked that xir girlfriend had multiple personalities because she was crazy, we assume, but apparently it was true; xe couldn’t handle it, and the “two” of them broke up, and then xe dared to be so patronizing, or mocking, or clueless, as to half-teasingly ask how these people xe didn’t really believe were there had been doing since they broke up.
And they tell xir.
Well, so far:
Number 5 just cries a river a minute
7 wants to tie you up and drown you in it
Yeah, 14 just wants to say so long
32 wants to do things to you that'll make you blush
10 would key the El Camino that you love so much
And there ain't nobody wants to mess with 23
Oh, lucky 4 you tonight I'm just me
The genius of this song is that it has so many layers. Around the concept of multiple personalities, for example, we have the characters in the song singing about what that’s like for them. Then we have the music video, where all the characters in it are people in the system who are featured in the song lyrics: the ex and the ex’s new girlfriend mentioned later are never pictured. Everything seems to take place internally, in an inner landscape patterned after a diner.
Then on top of that, we have the members of SHeDAISY, who are all singing this song as one person, but who we can see are clearly three separate individuals. They play with the parallels between themselves as a group and the group of characters in the song: they alternate lyrics from time to time, singing different words in a sentence and taking turns being the lead singer - just like people within a multiple system might take turns being out and might all be “performing” at once. (Their website says, “'Together, we fit like pieces of a puzzle,' says Kelsi, of the way her distinctive voice and personality mesh with those of her sisters." Kind of like a well-run multiple system!)
On top of that, the three singers play all of the characters in the music video, regardless of gender, from a spiky punk grrl to a delightfully sleazy, well-moustachioed butcher. They even play with the lyrics on a more subtle level; for example, on “dreams,” the meat delivery guy leers at a waitress, and then we flash back to the three SHeDAISies on “reality.”
I guess this party's more than your new Barbie bargained for
She's got you by the sleeve, slowly easing towards the door
She's probably right, you should be movin' on
Don't know how long we can behave
Better have the valet get your car
('Cause you know how women are!)
They save this last line from being truly dreadful by having it lightly, sarcastically tossed off by the butcher - ably played by (I think) Kristyn in fantastic drag.
Each character in the music video is carefully drawn to be a full person: the butcher has a long, lascivious moment pulling a hairnet on; the little girl has a doll that looks just like her, and she turns its head slowly and ominously to make it stare at the butcher; the wicked punk kid teases the server by yanking her table number away several times before finally handing it over.
Forgiveness is the key
According to my shrink
But, it's not just up to me
(I don't know girls, what do you think?)
And here we see the singers exchange mischievous looks, adding to the illusion that they are all part of the “in crowd” that the song is about.
The attraction of this song and its video, for me, was the joy of seeing a portrayal of multiplicity that I can identify with. As someone who is multiple myself, I am plagued by all the ridiculous and clueless jokes people make about it on TV and in everyday conversation, and all the exploitation of multiple characters in crime dramas and mystery novels; it’s incredibly refreshing to watch something with such a light-hearted and humanizing touch.
It does veer occasionally into the stereotypical; 32, for example, is a sexy fat woman who nevertheless is occasionally played for somewhat exploitative laughs, as when she is served an entire table full of food; 23 is apparently a ninja, which is cool, but teeters on the edge of cultural appropriation. But they get off easily, with me, for these gaffes, because I... uh... well, because I sacrifice politics for personal enjoyment sometimes.
For those of us with the resources to watch such a thing, the music video can be viewed online (hooray!) at http://www.shedaisy.com/real/audio/lucky4u.ram. The song was was honored at the 2002 ASCAP Awards for being one of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers’ most-performed songs that year.