Pulling no figurative punches, this haunting melody tells the story of a poor, jilted lover who goes from rags to riches. A zero to hero, McLean finds himself on top of the world with gold chains, a fiery red Mercedes, and a gorgeous girl. Lo and behold, “what do you know”, his former lover wants him back.
Now that she’s alone and he’s got “enough of that dough”, she’s hurting to get him back. Longing looks and silent sighs are all that she has left. Phone calls left unanswered in the day, and texts ignored late into the night, she’s still determined to get her, now successful, man back.
“Does it hurt?”
Not yet. Not until McLean hatches a scheme to get back at the one who jilted him. In cahoots with his new sweetheart, the velvet-voiced, revenge-seeker texts the foxy lady of yesteryear and invites her over to his place. Over the moon, and dressed to the nines, she struts up to his door, only to be met by McLean’s latest lover: the one he’ll neither “play” nor “leave”.
Understandably taken aback, McLean’s foxy former stands, dumbfounded, as she is handed a box of what can only be assumed to be trinkets of their now totally severed relationship, and a pair of underwear . . . though I, at least, am unsure just whose they are. As the door is slowly closed in her face, the dolled up and overwhelmingly dumped ex glances up to see McLean, peering down from his loft, in triumph.
Victorious over an already-defeated past lover, both McLean and his girl cuddle up on the couch, relishing the completion of his revenge.
Aside from the uncertainties of whether or not McLean had indeed had such an experience, and regardless of the unwarranted pain inflicted upon the unfortunate ex who, yes shouldn’t have dumped McLean for having no money, but shouldn’t have been led on just to have shoved in her face what she already saw day in and day out, the song is wonderfully melodic and masterfully sung.
The chorus harmonies add just the right background for the fantastic flourishes McLean so easily dances with vocally, and the piano sets up that great balladic standard that all R&B artists work through eventually: that tear-jerking, love and loss, failure to fame gimmick that is always so well received.
And if you don’t like it…
“Well, baby too bad. . . Ha!”