“Nobody Knows Me”
Posted by purplemary54 on August 11, 2015
I figured it was time for a little variety from Lyle Lovett.
I think this might have been the first song I ever heard by Lovett. It’s so achingly tender and heartbroken. Lovett’s hushed, almost whispered, delivery is perfect for the mood of this song. It’s clear the protagonist has sabotaged his relationship, probably by cheating with “a dream made to order, south of the border.” There’s clearly some racial implications here, which adds another layer to deconstruct. It’s not the main point of the song, but Lovett is one of the few songwriters I would credit with creating such a complex world of race, class, sex, and privilege in just a few minutes. (Randy Newman is tops on the short list of others, and Lovett is clearly cut from the same cloth.) The guy knows he was wrong, but he can’t seem to bring himself to admit it, saying only “there weren’t nothin’ to it.” He might hate being alone on Sundays, but it’s clear that he’ll be spending a lot of time without the baby that knows him so well.
This song really pushes all my buttons: it’s smart and sad and perfectly constructed. The production is as muted as the vocals; anything else would’ve ruined it. This song is a perfect example of less being more.