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My Song: "Numbers" draws focus to the soda, not the can

Joined: 3/23/2012
Posts: 23
Andy Grammer’s song “Numbers”, from his EP Soft Lights on Bright Colors, showed up one day on my YouTube recommendations sidebar. It’s a quirky song that disapproves of our society that rates attractiveness on a 1 to 10 scale and then ignores a person’s character. With an acoustic style guitar instrumental, he sings “the value of personality seems to be dead” and says we “only talk to people we might be kissing/ That’s a lot of ideas to be dismissing”.

This song showed up at an appropriate time in my life. As a high schooler, I know, and to a point, understand, the obsession we have with fitting in. For some people, it doesn’t matter where they fit in, so long as they never sit alone. Mirroring the lyrics from “Numbers”, “threes want fours and fours want fives/ Eights think nines have much better lives”, many high school students want to be popular, respected and will be envious of those perceived as higher up on the social ladder. The nine’s and ten’s run the school, they win the student body elections. The five’s and six’s hang in there; they’re known, acknowledged, but they’ll never be Homecoming royalty. Ones and twos have it hard. Not only camouflaged into the background, at least in the eyes of a ten, but they’re also open to ridicule. They bear the burden of uncomplimentary labels: weird, freak. It doesn’t matter what the personalities of the one’s are like, because as Grammer puts it, the value of personality seems to be dead.

I have a friend, or more fitting, I know this girl who became so wrapped up in the numbers that I hardly recognized her anymore. She decided she was a nine in comparison to her friends; we probably scored about a five or six. So she bought a couture wardrobe, ditched us, and inserted herself into a circle of nines. And every week, she never fails to somehow to insult one of her former friends in front of those nines.

It might have hurt less if we had had a falling out, if
there had been a reason other than a disparity on an arbitrary scale. But a self-perceived nine hanging around a bunch of fives is unstoppable in her quest to rise in rank.

“Numbers” doesn’t exactly bring back positive memories. But it’s nice to listen to Grammer poke fun at this twisted complex where “six feet with a pair of blue eyes brings me back up to a five”. It gives hope to extraordinary characters who’ve been held back by these hypothetical ratings. I can’t wait until they’re free from high school’s pressures, can’t wait until they prove to the world that looks mean nothing without a good character inside. This song reminds me that I should never put too much stock into how others may rate my looks. Because, as the last line of the song advises, we need to “focus on the soda/ Not the can”.
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