Jim Adams is the dependable host of Mindlovemisery Menagerie’s Music Challenge. Jim says:
The challenge today is to focus on [Tom Petty’s, “You Don’t Know How it Feels“] and use it for inspiration in any form of creative expression.
Reading through the lyrics, it strikes me that Tom is torn between allowing himself to feel the melancholy of being rejected by someone he loves and turning to manipulation in order to forget about his feelings and get laid by a Miss Right Now.
What I’m going to do is take each line and give it a “thought bubble” in italics. Since it’s written in first person the thought bubble will be Tom’s unvarnished honesty with himself, which is so difficult for anyone to do, let alone when you’re a rock star like he is (or was at the time of writing the song.)
Let me run with you tonight
I want to f*ck this bimbo’s brains out. How can I get her to say yes?
I’ll take you on a moonlight ride
It will be me riding you, but let’s spin it with a little romance.
There’s someone I used to see
One day my love will be sorry she gave me the boot!
But she don’t give a damn for me
She got tired of my sh*t – but isn’t love supposed to be about forgiveness? No matter how many times?
But let me get to the point, let’s roll another joint
I can’t bear to think about how much I miss her. Time to forget through pharmaceuticals.
And turn the radio loud, I’m too alone to be proud
I don’t want to hear this bimbo talk. She’s not interesting. Let’s just get to the f*cking part!
You don’t know how it feels
I’m at the top of my game. Why do I feel so lonely?
You don’t know how it feels to be me
I can make this bimbo feel sorry for me. It works every time.
People come, people go
People use others. I’m a user. It’s what people do.
Some grow young, some grow cold
I get high to forget about time passing. My love got tired of my getting high all the time.
I woke up in between
When I’m high, it doesn’t bother me to use others.
A memory and a dream
I can’t forget you my love, but you’re gone, so I f*ck her and think of you when I do it.
So let’s get to the point, let’s roll another joint
I keep bringing up the great weed I have to entice this bimbo.
Let’s head on down the road
The hotel I use regularly is just a couple of miles away.
There’s somewhere I gotta go
They know me there. I get a big discount!
My old man was born to rock
Why am I thinking about my dad right now?
He’s still tryin’ to beat the clock
Oh yeah, right, I learned how to forget from the best.
Think of me what you will
I am famous and rich and not answerable to anyone. Why am I so lonely?
I got a little space to fill
Your love was everything to me. You’re gone. I miss you. I feel so empty.