As an English major, I’ve spent much of the last four years indulging in what many consider to be the greatest literary achievements in the history of the world. Now, weeks away from receiving my degree, I feel as if I have a pretty keen sense as to what is quality, and what is not.
I’ve read John Milton and Bill Shakespeare. I’ve studied Jane Austen and Emily Brontë, Chaucer, Salinger, Hesse and Rowling.
No matter how critically successful the work of the aforementioned authors may be, all pale in comparison to the lyrical brilliance and cultural importance of Carly Rae Jepsen’s autobiographical account of love at first sight, “Call Me Maybe.”
Jepsen’s unparalleled mastery of the English language creates a world so vivid with characters so real that it is near impossible not to listen to her story multiple times in one sitting.
She begins her tale of burning passion with a verse for the record books. It reads, “I threw a wish in the well/Don’t ask me, I’ll never tell/I looked to you as it fell, and now you’re in my way.”
Jepsen’s firm grasp of rhyme scheme and alliteration catapults her into the upper echelon of poetic greatness. Without warning, she thrusts listeners into a narrative arc so entrancing that it isn’t until the end of the second verse that we become attuned to her gritty diction.
“I trade my soul for a wish/Pennies and dimes for a kiss/I wasn’t looking for this/But now you’re in my way.” After hours of intense analysis, I’ve come to the conclusion that Jepsen is standing somewhere in a shopping mall between an Auntie Anne’s pretzel kiosk and a Spencer’s Gifts when she throws some spare change into a fountain.
Jepsen stresses the fact that she didn’t wish for love, but love is what she got. Also, it takes a truly brave writer to openly admit to having no soul.
Consistent with Jepsen’s storytelling style, she leaves her audience in the dark for a solid half-second before shedding light on the physical appearance of her newfound love interest.
“Your stare was holdin’/ ripped jeans, skin was showin’/Hot night, wind was blowin’/Where you think you’re going, baby?” In so few words, she describes her love as having magnetic eyes and jeans that many literary theorists believe to be part of the Abercrombie & Fitch “destroyed denim” collection.
Now I take on the task of approaching what I believe to be the most profound lyrics to ever grace the western canon.
“Hey, I just met you/And this is crazy/But here’s my number/So call me, maybe?/And all the other boys try to chase me/But here’s my number/So call me, maybe?”
Jepsen successfully puts into words her blatant confusion in the situation at hand. It’s almost as if she cannot wrap her head around the idea of immediate physical attraction. Brilliant. She eloquently intertwines her severe lack of understanding with subtle insecurities, rendering this chorus and the work as a whole an instant masterpiece.
Brava to you, Ms. Jepsen. Brava.