“Around You” by Ingrid

Today was an Ingrid Michaelson day.  I had three of her albums on shuffle/repeat from 6pm and 1 am, at which point I fell asleep on the couch listening to her her smooth vocals.  This was actually why I didn’t want to get in my bed:  If I stayed on the couch, I felt like I could leave the music on.  (I admit that didn’t really make sense, since I easily could have moved my speakers into my bedroom and turned the volume down and put the repeat off.)

While I’ve played Ingrid around my apartment before, this was the first time I was alone and doing relatively nothing (cleaning up a bit and catching up with old friends on the phone/online) with her on, and I think it meant I actually heard her lyrics (while chatting more than on the phone, I suppose).  I haven’t been an Ingrid fan for too long—my friends Lindsay and Kate were all into her in college, and I thought I didn’t like her until Kate pushed her on me again during Thanksgiving break.  (I don’t really remember what specifically happened.  But we listened to her again.)  Suddenly in December, I’d decided I liked her and wanted Kate to burn me her three albums.

One of my favorite songs of the moment (oh, but there are many!  expect some more song posts soon) is “Around You” from her oldest album, Slow the Rain.  I’ll let you read, then offer my thoughts.

“Around You” by Ingrid Michaelson/Slow the Rain

I call you my friend
And thats all that I do
Why do I have to pretend
To find ways to be around you?

You’ve been there all along
Holding my hand like you do.
Why do I feel that its wrong
To love to be around you?

And I think I’m losing my mind
maybe I’ve been hopelessly blind to your beauty
And you have a sweet sinful smile
I’m in trouble
Cause you turn me upside down and around and around

Do you feel what I feel? Well?
Do you feel this way too?
That every wound seems to heal when I am around you

And I must be losing my mind Maybe I have been hopelessly blind to your beauty.
And you have a sweet sinful smile
I’m in trouble
You turn me upside down and around and around and around

And I must be losing my mind maybe you have a sweet sinful smile
I’m in trouble
Cause you turn me upside down and around and around
Turn me upside down and around and around
Turn me upside down and around and around

My feet don’t touch the ground when I’m around you
When I’m around you you you you you

In a way, I can’t relate to this song at all, because it seems to imply that one day the song’s “narrator”  suddenly realized she was in love with one of her best friends.  I don’t actually know any case when that’s happened–in my experience when people fall in love with one of their best friends, it’s something that begins at the beginning.  So I don’t actually buy that this happens all the time in reality.  But it makes a really good song.

I do feel almost everyone relates to the theme of having a friend that they’re actually in love with yet not knowing precisely what to do about it.  There’s a lot here about inner conflict–loosing your mind in not only your intense attraction to the person, but also the complexity of the situation–and I think that’s something many people feel, at least for a season, as they try to sort out their feelings.  There’s this nice intensification in the piano and vocals during the initial part of the refrain, which really adds depth to this painful hope.

While in real life we all want these situations to have some closure (even if it’s “bad”), I like that there’s no closure in the song.  It captures the real emotion people feel in the moment, both the delight of love and the insecurity of indefinition in the relationship.

The piano here is simple and gorgeous.

I would like to dedicate this brief song analysis to Michael Adams, who may not be in love with me but is certainly in love with every other woman on the planet.  ;o)

Sidenote: The next song on the album, “Charlie,” has a couple extremely catchy parts I must mention, including “with the green lunchbox,” “lunch was the happiest 45 minutes of the day,” and “hello, hello, charlie, hello.”  These parts are fantastic precisely because Ingrid sings them so beautifully.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to ““Around You” by Ingrid

  1. My favorite Ingrid song is probably Die Alone, then The Way I Am, then Charlie

  2. ashrebg

    Those are all some of my favorites, as well, along with “Be OK” and “Keep Breathing.” “Corner of Your Heart” isn’t my favorite, BUT every time I hear it, I’m fascinated by it. It’s rather creepsy sounding, I think, really.

  3. ashrebg

    Wait, did I mention “Breakable”? I loooooove “Breakable.”

  4. Breakable Breakable Breakable girls and boys

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