Friday, July 5, 2013

Lyrics (Over)Analysis – Growing On Me By The Darkness

Despite Justin Hawkins claim that this song is about "A sweet lady woman that you will never fully fathom or understand, but you love her so much that after a while it doesn't matter." In my opinion this song is about genital herpes or another sexually transmitted infection. Simply just read the lyrics and can you really seriously say STI isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. I guess he should have been clearer about his lyrics if he really wanted this song to mean something else.

Verse 1
 “I can't get rid of you’
Genital herpes caused by the Herpes Simplex virus is a viral infection that there is no cure for. Whilst antiviral treatment is available to reduce the symptoms and sometimes even make the person asymptomatic. However due to viral latency he will always have the disease and he could still spread it to another person and there’s always a chance that a symptomatic outbreak can occur in the future especially if the person becomes immunocompromised.

“I don't know what to do”
The protagonist is feeling powerless that could potentially be depression which is often the natural psychological reaction of having a chronic disease.

“I don't even know who is growing on who”
The protagonist also doesn’t know who was the source of the infection. Was it he the one that spread it to her or the other way around or perhaps the source infection came from another partner. After all tracing the source of STI is a tricky business that often involves detail sexual history. However disease such as herpes simplex are common enough and less severe STI that it is a non-notifiable disease and this type of contact tracing (identification and diagnosis of persons who may have come into contact with an infected person) is seldomly done with herpes simplex.

“'Cos everywhere I go you're there
Can't get you out of my hair”
The idea that the protagonist is always having her around because a part of her is always with him in the terms of genital warts. The person is frustrated that there he has difficulties with treatment removing genital wars from his pubic hair region.

“Can't pretend that I don't care - it's not fair”
This seems to be in the Anger phase of the Kübler-Ross model or more popularly known five stages of grief model blaming the unfairness of the situation.

 “I'm being punished for all my offences”
Continuing the anger phase of grief where he is blaming himself for the disease due to his sexual promiscuity.

“I wanna touch you but I'm afraid of the consequences”
This is the personification of the disease calling the disease “you”, He once to scratch the genital herpes but is afraid that this will cause greater inflammation around the area.

“I wanna banish you from whence you came
But you're part of me now
And I've only got myself to blame”
He once to get rid of the disease but the virus is permanently part of him and he is blaming himself for it.

“You're really growing on me”
Continuation of the personification of the virus. The virus from his partner is growing on him.

“(Or am I growing on you?)”
The backing vocals however put some doubt that perhaps it is him being the source of the virus and it’s growing on her.

“Any fool can see”
Any person who is foolish enough to want to have sex with him (a bit of self loathing) can see what is growing on him

Verse 2
“Sleeping in an empty bed”
The protagonist is abstaining from sex

“Can't get you off my head”
He keeps on dwelling on the disease and thinking about it.

“I won't have a life until you're dead
Yes, you heard what I said”
He is withdrawing in social isolation due to chronic illness and won’t have a (sex) life until the infection is cured.

“I wanna shake you off but you just won't go”
He wants this infection to go away but it is not going to as there is no cure and it’s possible that the infection is treatment resistance and the blisters and sores won’t go away

“And you're all over me but I don't want anyone to know”
It’s possible that the blisters and sores are spreading to other areas of his body. Touching the blisters and sores (so he seems like he didn’t follow his own advice of not touching “you”) can transfer the herpes virus to another location of the body. This could therefore be present in an area that is visible explaining his social isolation in previous lines because he doesn’t want anyone to see it.

“That you're attached to me, that's how you've grown”
The virus has entered into his cells in his body and is now replicating (see viral life cycle).

“Won't you leave me, leave me alone”
He wants the virus to go away.

The song than repeats the chorus where he wonders whether his sexual partner was the source of his infection or was it him that spread it to her and the song ends.

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