When I wrote this song, I wanted it to be two things: a courtroom drama and an MGM musical. I have no idea why these two very different genres attached themselves to one another in my head, but whenever I think of this song, I picture its subject on trial, surrounded by tap dancers.
It usually takes me a couple of years before I can write a song about a man. I need them fully out of my system before I can write about a situation with the ironic detachment I use to keep myself from falling apart entirely onstage. This song was quicker - in fact, this man has heard me play this song, although I don't think he knew it was about him. He didn't really listen to lyrics.
Are you getting the impression that I'm still angry at this person? You are correct. That's why there's a several month gap between the post for "Surrender, Dorothy" and this one; I didn't know how to talk about this song. I rage in this song, not only at its particular inspiration, but at every man I've ever known who used me as an audience. My feelings, my thoughts, my art didn't matter to men like this one. They just wanted someone to talk at about their feelings, their thoughts, their art. They wrote fairy tale renditions of their own lives, recited them aloud and depended on my approval to make them real. When I was younger I confused this kind of behavior with love, or at the very least respect. I'm significantly more jaded now.
The song ends in a slight reversal. He spent years telling me his life story, but in the final chorus he's banned to the dark of the house, forced to listen to my testimony with no opportunity for rebuttal. He can stay there.