(The title is barely relevant, but true nonetheless.)
So I was doing some lyrics quiz, and one of the questions mentioned that country song “Alyssa Lies.” Have you ever heard that song and really, really thought about it?
Let’s go through it. I will copy/paste the lyrics below; see if you can spot the general wrongness.
My little girl met a new friend
Just the other day
On the playground at school
Between the tires and the swings
But she came home with tear-filled eyes
And she said to me “Daddy, Alyssa Lies”
But I just brushed it off at first
Cause I didn’t know how much my little girl had been hurt
Or the things she had seen
I wasn’t ready when I said you can tell me
And she said
To the classroom
Everyday at school
To the teachers
As she tries to cover every bruise
My little girl laid her head down
That night to go to sleep
As I stepped out the room I heard her say
A prayer so soft and sweet
God bless my mom and my dad
And my new friend Alyssa
I know she needs you bad because
I had the worst night of sleep in years
As I tried to think of a way to calm her fears
I knew just what it was I had to do
But when we got to school on Monday I heard the news
My little girl asked me why everybody looked so sad
The lump in my throat grew bigger
With every question that she asked
Until I felt the tears run down my face
And I told her that Alyssa wouldn’t be at school today
Cause she doesn’t lie
In the classroom
She doesn’t lie
Anymore at school
Because there’s nothing anyone would do
Tears filled my eyes
When my little girl asked me why
Daddy, oh Daddy
Tell me why
Did you catch the obvious? It took me a while.
Let’s go through the first verse and chorus. His “little girl” met a new friend, in the school playground. She is young enough that she doesn’t really understand the concept of child abuse (she almost seems more upset that the girl is a liar, but that could be an incorrect interpretation). I’m going to infer, based on her level of understanding and the fact that she plays on a playground at recess, that she is early-to-middle elementary school. The titular character Alyssa has recess at the same time, and also plays on the playground, so we can assume she is probably about the same age.
The next verse fast-forwards to the nighttime, so I guess the narrator had more important things to worry about. Again, he is reminded that a small child is being abused to the point of physical injury, but he again just sort of ignores it.
Here’s the really weird part. He talks about how horribly upsetting this situation is for him, staying up at night, but remember, it’s only Friday night. We again fast-forward to Monday, when the unnamed daughter goes in to school.
Wait… what? The lyric says “I knew just what it was I had to do.” Well… I’m sure glad you knew, ’cause I’m definitely in the dark. Clearly, your master plan was to relax over the weekend, shoot pool, have a couple beers, then come in to the school to give them a heads-up. The school. When was the last time a school did anything about a child abuse case?! Are they the ultimate authority now? Do the schools now arrest the offenders, put them on trial, lock them up, offer counseling and a better home for the victim? Oh no wait… that’s the F***ING POLICE! I honestly still have no idea what the logic was here.
So they get to the school, and the narrator takes one look at the expressions of everyone there, and immediately deduces the little girl was murdered by whomever was doing the abusing.
So it’s not like he misinterpreted his daughter’s concerns. He knew perfectly well that there was significant danger, to the point where his first reaction on seeing sad expressions at the school was that the girl was dead. So… what was going on over that weekend? Did he just not even think about it, or did he just ignore it every time he did? He didn’t just make one single decision not to alert the authorities – he made that decision every single time he thought about it.
Then once they know she’s dead, the chorus changes, and ends with
Because there’s nothing anyone would do.”
Is he blaming everyone else for doing exactly what he did in that situation? Actually, he was 1000x worse, because as far as we know, he was the only one who actually knew about it. So the one he should be blaming is himself.
So by the end he’s crying, and all sad and stuff, and I get the feeling we the listeners are actually supposed to feel a bit sorry for him. Oh, poor country singer, you just didn’t get there in time to save her!
You know why you didn’t get there in time, you idiot? Because you waited for a whole f*cking weekend, and then took some pretty lame action.
I have no sympathy for the man. I’d like to know what he’d say when the daughter grows up, understands what happened, and wonders why the f*ck it took him two days to do anything.
I get that it was likely a fictional “what if” account of an abuse situation, but it was horribly done.
I’m not disappointed so much that it was written, because people write a lot of stupid things without really thinking, but this thing was a pretty big radio hit. The obvious stupidity of this song got past quite a few producers and record execs to get to that many radio stations. Did NO ONE notice that it was, you know, awful?
Okay. I’m going to sleep now.