Some Nights

My January 2013 Song of the Month

Some Nights by fun.

I launch my 2013 Songs of the Month with another entry courtesy of Kate Strycker: Some Nights by fun. As in “fun.” the indie pop band headlined by Nate Reuss. He previously was part of The Format, and Kate gave me a selection of songs from both groups, wanting to know my preference. I haven’t made a firm choice yet, as I haven’t scrutinized the lyrics of my favorite songs. But Some Nights is a standout song from the whole group. It was also featured on one of NPR’s All Songs Considered end-of-year collections.

The song was released in June 2012 as the second single from the eponymous album. You can find many interesting reads on the song’s meanings at the often helpful songmeanings.net. Songfacts points out, “The song expresses the anguish of a young man who is a long way from home, as he lies in bed at night thinking of his family members.” And Reuss said he was inspired in part by the music from one of my favorite albums, Graceland by Paul Simon (which you can currently buy for only $3 from Amazon!).

The opening is powerfully multitracked; Les Paul would be proud. Then a tremendous drum begins beating, with a few guitar licks. The pounding percussion certainly reminds one of the later Paul Simon, whose music came to emphasize percussion over melody, something foreshadowed by Cecilia back in the Simon & Garfunkel days, which clearly influenced Some Nights.

But then it suddenly eases off and Reuss sings more sweetly, with a dash of Auto-Tune in the background. I must confess I still have a soft soft for extreme Auto-Tune fun all these many years after it first pricked my ears in Cher’s BelieveAbout 2/3 of the way into the song Reuss severely Auto-Tunes his main vocal to good effect.

The song is relentless, with guitars dancing around the melody and Reuss singing his heart out. He said he wrote to himself, “This will be the best song you’ve ever written.” when composing Some Nights. I think he and his co-composers lived up to that challenge.

SOME NIGHTS

Some nights, I stay up cashing in my bad luck
Some nights, I call it a draw

Some nights, I wish that my lips could build a castle
Some nights, I wish they’d just fall off

But I still wake up, I still see your ghost
Oh Lord, I’m still not sure, what I stand for oh oh oh
What do I stand for? Oh what do I stand for?
Most nights, I don’t know anymore
Oh whoa, oh whoa, oh whoa oh oh
Oh whoa, oh whoa, oh whoa oh oh

This is it, boys, this is war, what are we waiting for?
Why don’t we break the rules already?
I was never one to believe the hype,
Save that for the black and white I try twice as hard and I’m half as liked,
But here they come again to jack my style

That’s all right, I found a martyr in my bed tonight
Stops my bones from wondering just who I, who I, who I am, oh who am I, mm, mm

Well some nights, I wish that this all would end
‘Cause I could use some friends for a change
And some nights, I’m scared you’ll forget me again
Some nights, I always win, I always win

But I still wake up, I still see your ghost
Oh Lord, I’m still not sure what I stand for, oh
What do I stand for? Oh what do I stand for? Most nights, I don’t know (come on)

So this is it? I sold my soul for this?
Washed my hands of that for this?
I miss my mom and dad for this?
No. When I see stars, when I see stars, that’s all they are
When I hear songs, they sound like a swan, so come on
Oh, come on, oh, come on, oh come on!

Well that is it, guys, that is all, five minutes in and I’m bored again
Ten years of this, I’m not sure if anybody understands
This is not one for the folks at home, I’m sorry to leave, mom, I had to go
Who the fuck wants to die alone all dried up in the desert sun?
My heart is breaking for my sister and the con that she called “love”
But when I look into my nephew’s eyes,
Man you wouldn’t believe, the most amazing things, that can come from,
Some terrible nights, ah (oh whoa, oh whoa, oh whoa, oh oh)

Oh whoa, oh whoa, oh whoa, oh oh
Oh whoa, oh whoa, oh whoa, oh oh

The other night, you wouldn’t believe the dream I just had about you and me
I called you up, but we’d both agree
It’s for the best you didn’t listen
It’s for the best we get our distance, oh
It’s for the best you didn’t listen
It’s for the best we get our distance, oh

< December 2012 Song of the Month

February 2013 Song of the Month >

About Granger Meador

I enjoy day hikes, photography, podcasts, reading, web design, and technology. My wife, Wendy, and I work in the Bartlesville Public Schools in northeast Oklahoma, but this blog is outside the scope of our employment.
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2 Responses to Some Nights

  1. Kate says:

    The first time I heard it I was like ‘Cecilia!!!’ definitely figured those undertones out. When I heard the lyric “I woke up to the sound of silence’ in “Carry On” I was like, Nate MUST be a Paul Simon fan! Another reason to love Nate.

  2. god awful video/nate is paul simon with a planet of the apes tinge/pure punishment

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