February is hands-down the worst month of the year no-contest-don’t-even-try-to-argue-with-me, and for this good reason there are very few songs about it. Who would want to write a song about such a bleak, unendurable stretch of time? Better to just go ahead and slash your wrists and save the notes for something better like, say, July. Or October, that’s a good one too.
But this year is a Leap Year, meaning February has an extra day to maintain its grubby little grip on us, and since today is indeed February 29th I will relent to the lesson I learned from Bruce and Bono that sometimes the most obvious thing to do is also the right thing and write about my favorite February song. Though as I said, there ain’t much competition.
The singer here is stuck, stuck, stuck. She is in a dead-end relationship that she can’t find a way out of and the thrust of the song is her trying to goad her lover to leave first, predominately by taunting him (or her) they won’t be able to do it. That’ll work!
February is the metaphor, the cold, dark month that though short still manages, like the relationship, to seem like it’s never going to end. “28 stacks of day,” the singer says (29 this year), and also compares the month to burying a dog. Harsh but appropriate!
Why doesn’t she leave herself? This is unremarked on. Maybe she hopes circumstances will change. Maybe she hopes her partner will change. Maybe she loves the jerk. But even in a year like this one, where here in the Northeast there’s been little snow and only a handful of days below freezing, February is still going to suck and someone is going to have to leave eventually.
This is from 1997 and the music is dreamy and swirly and catchy. It shoulda been a hit and the album from which it comes, “Gun Shy Trigger Happy,” shoulda been a hit as well. Instead it effectively ended Jen Trynin’s career, which she writes about in her worth-seeking-out memoir “Everything I’m Cracked Up to Be.” I enjoyed the book but it also made me impatient the way I often am with memoirs/interviews from that grunge and slightly-after period. All this complaining about the music industry! Did you not think you were going to have to work with record companies? All this complaining about stardom! If you didn’t want to be a rock star you probably shouldn’t have worked so hard to be a rock star. Did you learn nothing from Bruce and Bono?
Tomorrow will be March. Some people I know hate March with the virulence I hate February. To them I say, good luck. I’m home-free for 2020.