My New Year’s Eve began by listening to an argument at the local mall. I was doing some last minute grocery shopping with my son. While choosing between the many orange juices the store had to offer, we found ourselves standing next to an elderly couple who were going at it full steam.
”You are disappointed at my attitude?” the man said. “Well,” he continued, “I’ve been disappointed at yours for forty years.”
”Well, in that case, you should have said something somewhere along the way,” the woman stated sternly.
“Maybe you weren't listening,” the man shot back.
“Maybe you need to talk louder,” the woman blurted out.
“Maybe you need a hearing aid,” the man barked back.
They continued to shop in silence, both glaring at each other. I glanced at my son and pointed out, “That’s marriage for you – something to look forward to.” He shook his head and smiled.
I don’t know why but that incident made me think of “Stuck With You” by Huey Lewis And The News. We enter relationships, especially marriage, with such high expectations that it’s no wonder we get disappointed. However, there’s a lot of security that comes from even a mediocre match that we tend to take for granted. It’s somehow engraved in all of us to think that we are entitled to continuous and undisturbed happiness, that it’s something the world owes us. This, of course, couldn’t be further from the truth. Another misconception is that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. Anybody who has been around the block a few times will tell you that it is not. Rather, the grass is greener where you water it. “Stuck With You” celebrates this fact and also, emphasizes that being stuck with someone isn’t necessarily unfortunate. There’s great comfort that comes from a long relationship. The lyrics of the song portray this well and remind the listener what marriage like for most people – not necessary euphoria 24/7 but not too shabby either.
We've had some fun and yes we've had our ups and downs
Been down that rocky road but here we are still around
We thought about someone else, but neither one took the bait
We thought about breaking up but now we know it's much too late
We are bound by all the rest
Like the same phone number
All the same friends
And the same address
Yes, it's true, I'm happy to be stuck with you
Yes, it's true, I'm so happy to be stuck with you
'Cause I can see that you're happy to be stuck with me
“Stuck With You” was the second chart-topper for Huey and the gang and presents them perhaps at their most confident. The chemistry of the group is undeniable. There’s nothing on this track that doesn’t work. Listen to the clever chord progression in the bridge and how smoothly it leads to the chorus. The lead vocal is one of Huey’s best and I absolutely love the Hammond solo. What’s more, with its Beach-Boys flavored backing vocals and a very strong sixties vibe, “Stuck With You” is a timeless gem. Even thirty years down the road, it sounds fresh and exciting. In fact, I remember hearing this song on the radio when it came out in 1986. My dad was driving me somewhere, perhaps to the mall, and we had the radio on. It was one of the few instances where he heard a brand new song in the car and actually turned up the volume. “Not bad,” he said and added, “This will be a big hit.” He was right.
Now let me take you back to my New Year’s Eve for just a bit. The most interesting thing happened when my son and I were in the parking garage of the mall, walking back to our car. The same couple who we had heard fighting at the store was walking hand in hand in front of us, smiling at each other. They stopped for an instant and the man gave his wife a gentle kiss. My son looked at me bewildered. I patted him on the shoulder, gave him a quick wink and stated, “Like I said something to look forward to.”
“Do Grandma and Granddad always fight so much?” My son asked.
Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you that my parents were at the store with us.
As I looked at my fifteen-year-old, trying to piece it all together, I got the sense that he couldn’t. Oh well, one day he’ll find out that the best part of fighting with someone you are “stuck with” is the security that comes from knowing that you’ll make up soon.
Track Sponsor Of The Month: Effigy by The Impersonators
“Effigy” describes that moment in all our lives, when we realize that we‘ve grown tired of protecting our ego, that moment when we are done worrying about how we appear to others. Rather than wanting to be cool or important, we want to be happy and discover our true identity. And the best way to achieve this is to kill our ego.
You can learn more about Huey Lewis And The News here:
About the curator - Tommi Tikka
Tom Tikka is a linguist, poet, professional songwriter, recording artist and a music aficionado. He started playing guitar when he was four and writing songs when he was six. Consequently, he doesn't remember a time when he wasn't playing or writing. It's fair to say, music and lyrics are not just something he loves to engage himself in; to him, they are a way of life.