The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

I hope I never hear this song again

I hope I never hear this song again

The Unhealthy themes in “So I Can Have You Back”

The first time I heard R&B singer Joe’s song “So I Can Have You Back” I was on the West shuttle at 8:30 a.m. going to my Music Fundamentals class. There aren’t many songs quite like this one and for a good reason—it sucks.

Though I was still half asleep while listening to this song, I knew that I never wanted to hear it again. Except that I did. I always heard this song on my shuttle rides and became so sick of it that I often considered calling the radio station and begging them, for the sake of my ears, to kindly stop playing this horrendous song.

The song is about a break-up between a man and a woman, which is obviously, totally unique, never been done before. Someone should contact the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Did anyone else feel the Earth move? Because clearly this song is ground-breaking.

The woman whom Joe is singing about, has moved on (a natural and normal thing to do), while Joe is still not over her. In fact, he wishes that something bad will happen to his ex’s relationship, just so he can have her back. The need for Joe to be that possessive and that controlling is unhealthy. It does not evoke sympathy from me and it makes me feel better that this hypothetical woman is no longer with him.

The song’s chorus is, “I hope he makes the biggest mistake / The unforgivable that makes your heart break / I hope you tell him ‘sorry is just not enough’ / And it goes from good to bad, so I can have you back.”

If you’re still not sure why I have a problem with this song, in the wise words of an actually talented artist, Outkast’s André 3000, “we’re gonna break this back down.”

Joe wants this woman’s relationship to be ruined by something her new boyfriend does. This is wrong and creepy for a variety of reasons.

While it’s normal to grieve over a break-up, wishing ill fortune on someone else is not normal. Wanting her happiness to be completely destroyed is an upsetting and disturbing request. Instead of wasting so much time on hoping that this woman’s relationship ends, maybe Joe could have spent more time and energy on moving on with his life.

Also, why does he just assume that his ex-girlfriend will automatically return back to him? Just because she broke up with her new boyfriend, that certainly does not mean she is going to return to Joe. It seems like she is a good decision maker because she left him in the first place. She could find someone totally new, or take some time to herself, or more importantly file a restraining order against Joe for being a possessive, threatening ex-boyfriend.

In other songs, the boyfriend acknowledges that his ex-girlfriend has moved on and places her happiness above his own needs. 

For example, Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man” exemplifies a perfect reaction to a break-up. Mars sings about his regrets with his ex-girlfriend mentioning things like, “I should have bought you flowers / And held your hand / Should have gave you all my hours / When I had the chance. ”

The song’s final verse changes this perspective. It’s no longer Mars wishing that he would have been a better boyfriend, rather it is him respecting that his girlfriend is content with the new man. Mars sings, “But I just want you to know / I hope he buys you flowers / I  hope he holds your hand / Give you all his hours / When he has the chance…Do all the things I should have done / When I was your man.”

Mars is not pressuring her to get back together with him, he does not make her feel guilty for moving on, and he’s not creepy—he just wants the best for her, even if the best means being with someone else.

More recently, Ed Sheeran wrote a song called “Happier” about a man seeing his ex-girlfriend with someone new for the first time. GQ magazine describes the lyrics as “his [Sheeran’s] cleverest and most mature lyrics yet,” while Sheeran described “Happier” as “a grown-up song ” to Glamour magazine. Sheeran believes as you grow older, the best thing you can do for an ex is just to be happy for them because they are genuinely joyful and in love. It’s immature to not want someone to be happy and move on.

Thus, Joe could seriously benefit from learning from these two gentlemen. Mars and Sheeran are much more mature and have a healthier mindset about break-ups than Joe, despite the fact that they are both over a decade younger than Joe. The only mistake that was made was the production of “So I Can Have You Back,” and that’s pretty unforgivable if you ask me.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Hawk News

Your donation will support the student journalists of St. Joseph's University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Hawk News

Comments (0)

All The Hawk News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *