So “Mr. Brightside,” a song by The Killers, is on Sarah’s “New Workout” playlist, so called because when she created it in 2009, it was new.
Usually when I work out or run, I listen to podcasts, Watsky, or the Mountain Goats, but sometimes I will fire up the old New Workout playlist.
At any rate, the relevant information here is that I’ve listened to “Mr. Brightside,” I would estimate, 4,000 times. The song is (I think) about a possibly unfaithful romantic partner. And every time I’ve listened to the song I’ve been stopped by the lyric, “Now they’re going to bed / And my snowman is sick.”
Now I understood this wasn’t a literal snowman; I figured a snowman was slang for a drug dealer (cocaine, I guessed), and that the guy singing the song was doubly upset, because his girlfriend is (possibly) cheating on him AND his cocaine dealer is unwell, and therefore (presumably) unable to deliver cocaine.
This always seemed to me a strange thing to mention in this song about jealousy. Like, I found it much harder to empathize with the narrator when he can’t get through a single verse without mentioning his snowman’s illness, and anyway, no wonder you’re having relationship problems.
And so every time I’d hear the song I would just think: BREAK IT OFF WITH THE SNOWMAN, OBVIOUSLY. Now’s the perfect time: He’s already sick, and so you’ve got this great window to begin your recovery. And the narrator’s total blindness to his problem just really frustrated me. Obviously drug addiction is no simple beast to confront, but surely you recognize that your attachment to your snowman might be problematic for your relationship with your girlfriend.
But then this evening I was running and I realize the line is “My STOMACH is sick,” and I was like, “Oh. Right. That makes more sense.”
At night I come home after they go to sleep
Like a stumbling ghost I haunt these halls.
The Way It Was - The Killers
If we go on, can it be the way it was?
Battle Born - The Killers