Category Archives: Johnny Hates Jazz

Radio XXII, side B, track 8: “Shattered Dreams” by Johnny Hates Jazz, #26 on The Top 88 of ’88

Johnny Hates Jazz - Shattered DreamsOh, Johnny Hates Jazz, let’s talk about expectations, shall we?  I don’t want you to get defensive here, Johnny Hates Jazz, because this is one of my favorite songs of my little recording era, but now that I’m paying a little more attention to the lyrics and have a good twenty years to reflect back on stuff and having grown a hard cynical candy shell that melts in your mouth and not in your hands, I’m just gonna say that maybe you’re being a tad unfair to whoever you’re singing this to.  I mean, you keep bringing up that they said they’d die for you and that they’d die for love and such.  Let’s take a step back, ok, or as one of my co-workers would say, let’s pump the brakes.

We say a lot of things when we’re in love, and oddly, in the early part of relationships, it will center around death.  I’m not talking about relationships that involve candle wax and whips and safe words, well not JUST those.  I’m talking about plain old vanilla relationships straight out of an episode of “Happy Days”.  When I was in high school, before I had a good grasp of what real love was, I remember many a conversation with the few girls I dated back then where we would talk about how we wouldn’t know what we’d do if the other person died or how we couldn’t live if we didn’t see the person every day.

Well, Johnny Hates Jazz, when someone tells you they’d die for love, they might believe it in the moment, but if someone put a gun to their head, and I mean that literally, I don’t know that you can hold them accountable if they have a change of heart.  And why would you want them to die for you anyway?  Or an even better question, why are you so bitter that they wouldn’t die for you?  I mean, if you loved them so much, wouldn’t YOU rather die for THEM because you couldn’t bear the thought of them dying?

Also, is this a big problem?  Are there squads of Love Police testing couples’ love for each other and seeing who would die for whom?  I get that there are some actual situations where one might have to sacrifice themselves for their loved one, and I’m sure the producers on “Dateline” will have a field day when it happens, but why don’t you just enjoy making out with your girlfriend until she breaks up with you and not get so dramatic about all of it, huh?

This might be a bit of a tangent, but this also reminds me of that old gem they’d trot out now and again in church about Abraham and Isaac when God told Abraham to take his only son up a mountain, tie him up and kill him, but then right before Abraham did the deed, God explains it was just a test of the Emergency Filicide System.  As a kid I understood it to mean that Abraham was so faithful that he was willing to murder his child for a voice in the sky.  Recently, I read another interpretation that said Abraham knew he would never have to actually kill Isaac because he had faith that God wouldn’t make him actually go through with it.  I’m just gonna say, if you’re in a relationship with someone where they’re testing how much you love them by seeing who you’ll kill, it’s time to get back on Match.com.  Just sayin’.

And for the record, Johnny Hates Jazz, my wife hasn’t come right out and said it, but we both secretly know that if she was ever in a life or death situation where she had to choose between me or our dogs, I’d better find another way out of that situation because the dogs are getting priority.  It’s not my ideal, Johnny Hates Jazz, but I’m not gonna sing about how she betrayed me or anything.  Well, maybe I would, people do crazy stuff for love.  Look at Abraham.

“Shattered Dreams”

So much for your promises

They died the day you let
Me go

Caught up in a web of lies
But it was just too late
To know

I thought it was you
Who would stand by my side

And now you’ve given me
Given me
Nothin’ but shattered dreams
Shattered dreams
Feel like I could run away
Run away
From this empty heeeeeeart

You said you’d die for me

Woke up to reality
And found the future not
So bright

I dreamt the impossible
That maybe things could work out right

I thought it was you
Who would do me no wrong

And now you’ve given me
Given me
Nothin’ but shattered dreams
Shattered dreams
Feel like I could run away
Run away
From this empty heeeeeeart

You’ve given me
Given me
Nothin’ but shattered dreams
Shattered dreams
Feel like I could run away
Run away
From this empty heeeeeeart

From this empty heeeeeeeeeeart

I thought it was you

Who said they’d die for love

And now you’ve given me
Given me
Nothin’ but shattered dreams
Shattered dreams
Feel like I could run away
Run away
From this empty heeeeeeart

You’ve given me
Given me
Nothin’ but shattered dreams
Shattered dreams
Feel like I could run away
Run away
From this empty heeeeeeart

Oh no nooo no

You said you’d die for me

Oh-oh

For

Die for me

So much for your promises

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