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John Mayer Is My Taylor Swift

It’s a common theme among millennials and the generations under us.

“I feel like Taylor Swift is writing about my life.”

The themes in her music are universal. Falling in love and getting your heart broken aren’t unique experiences. Neither is wanting to exact revenge on those that have wronged you. So, it makes total sense that so many of us can relate to her music. Also, it’s catchy as hell. Who doesn’t scream-sing “Look What You Made Me Do” at top volume on the way to the grocery store? Honestly, it’s why my car has tinted windows.

However, another artist tops Swift as my ultimate “holy shit stop it” artist that gets me on the deepest level and can make me cry over shit that happened to me fifteen years ago.

John Mayer.

Take your bullshit “He’s a douchebag!” whining elsewhere because I do not care. Have you LISTENED to the man’s lyrics? Mayer also speaks on universal themes but in a much broader realm, touching on identity, self-awareness, failure, politics, loneliness, and alienation. Yes, also heartbreak and falling in love but in a way not many other artists are expressing. He touches not just on a breakup, but the point when you know it’s over and you’re still holding on, the aftermath of when you just wish you were over it already and that moment months later when you’re remembering all the good things and wondering why you left in the first place.

John Mayer is my Taylor Swift and here are 10 songs that make me fall into a heap of feels and wonder if he’s stalking me.

    1. New Deep | Heavier Things

      ℗ 2003 Aware Records
      [su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P80HHSUqNYo”]

      Mayer speaks in this song about his effort to create a new persona. He doesn’t want to be the deep, brooding type anymore but seems to be having trouble shaking it. I identified with this greatly when I was in high school. I had always been a very serious child and I transitioned into a moody, serious teenager. It was exhausting, all that self-actualization while sitting on the cusp of adulthood. Like Mayer, I was stuck in my own head and unable to get out of it.

      “And look at the stars Don’t it remind you just how feeble we are? Well it used to, I guess”

    2. The Age of Worry | Born & Raised

      ℗ 2012 Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment
      [su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oROeSNOe_o”]

      This song should be an anthem for people with anxiety disorders. It’s about not taking yourself so seriously, not beating yourself up over mistakes and accepting who you are at that moment in time and being okay with it.

      “Don’t be scared to walk alone. Don’t be scared to like it.”

    3. Born & Raised | Born & Raised

      ℗ 2012 Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment
      [su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwTK3vmNMos”]

      Born and Raised is a song I always listen to on my birthday. It’s about that rocky transition from child to adult. It’s about trying to balance your dreams with your responsibilities, the compromise between following your heart and being practical and how suddenly one day you wake up and realize holy shit I’m not a kid anymore.

      “Cause one of these days you’ll be born and raised And it all comes on without warning”

    4. Waiting on the World to Change | Continuum

      ℗ 2006 Aware Records LLC
      [su_youtube url=”https://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBIxScJ5rlY”]

      This song has one of my favorite lines of Mayer’s, “One day our generation is gonna rule the population so we’ll keep waiting, waiting on the world to change.” Released around the time when Barack Obama’s message of hope and change was really starting to get traction, it described the millennial mindset during that period. Yes, we were technically adults, just striking out on our own but we aren’t qualified for this yet so we’ll just wait.

    5. Walt Grace’ Submarine Test, January 1967 | Born & Raised

      ℗ 2012 Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment
      [su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrcMMyNeJJs”]

      First of all the storytelling aspect of this song is amazing “With a will to work hard, and a library card.” You should really listen to these lyrics. Mayer is at his best when he’s crafting tricky rhymes. The main reason I like this song is kind of dark but we’re all friends here so I’ll be honest. “When you’re done with this world, you know the next is up to you.” is a line that resonated with me and still does. As someone who has struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts since my early teens, I found something extremely cathartic about the idea of someone saying “you get to decide when it’s over.” The choice to stay or move on is mine and no one elses. There’s a certain power in that.

    6. Quiet | Outside Wants In

      ℗ 1999 Mayer Music LLC
      [su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zkcynoyu4Ko”]

      Teenage me who stayed up until four in the morning got super emo to this song. Also I’ve stolen “Daylight is climbing the walls” for SO many scenes.

      “3:02 Space in this room Has turned on me And all my fears have me cornered me here Me and my tv screen”

    7. Slow Dancing in a Burning Room | Continuum

      ℗ 2006 Aware Records LLC
      [su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MkfBNl_3pw”]

      This is my favorite John Mayer song hands down. I love the guitar part. I love the lyrics. I used it as inspiration for a doomed couple in a fanfic I wrote in college. It was not until I was slow dancing with someone in our own burning room that the song really hit home with me. Watching as your relationship slowly disintegrates and turns to ash is a bittersweet kind of hurt. You know it’s over, but you feel like letting go will kill you, as if being burned alive won’t.

      “We’re goin’ down And you can see it too We’re goin’ down And you know that we’re doomed My dear We’re slow dancing in a burnin’ room”

    8. In Repair

      ℗ 2006 Aware Records LLC
      [su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bq8SBDv7Wn4″]

      Another song I didn’t truly appreciate until I had my heart broken. I’d seen enough movies and read enough books to know that the crying and the Ben & Jerry’s and the calling your mom every. single. day. was standard breakup procedure. A lifetime of depression gave me the proper skills for pushing through emotional pain even when you feel like just laying on the floor until you’ve expired. What I was NOT prepared for was how long that bullshit lasts. Okay, it’s been a month now when does it stop hurting? Two months now when does it stop hurting? COME ON IT’S BEEN THREE GODDAMN MONTHS!!!!

      “Oh, it’s taken so long I could be wrong, I could be ready Oh, but if I take my heart’s advice I should assume it’s still unsteady I am in repair”

    9. In the Blood | The Search for Everything

      ℗ 2012 Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment
      [su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ob-jS7bqYgI”]

      This is another one of those coming of age topics that doesn’t get much attention. How much of our lives are determined by genetics and how much do we actually have the power to change? Will I continue to make the mistakes of my father? Will I always lose my temper like my mother? We can learn from our parent’s mistakes but what, if anything, can we do to not make the same ones.

      “Will it wash out in the water Or is it always in the blood?”

    10. Waitin’ on the Day | Paradise Valley

      ℗ 2012 Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment
      [su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8aHYnm9uk0″]

      This song to me is like a prayer for the future. There’s going to be a moment in my life when I find peace. When I’m satisfied with what I have. When I have a good man that loves me. And I’m just waiting on that day.

      “Waiting on a day When these words are in stone When the kids are all grown And we go dancing”

    11. Never on the Day You Leave | The Search for Everything

      ℗ 2012 Columbia Records, a Division of Sony Music Entertainment
      [su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1d5c1fVxSA”]

      Okay, you guys I could not ONLY pick ten songs I just freakin couldn’t and here’s why. I. LOVE. THIS. SONG. though it doesn’t have a lot of relevance to my own life (which is the theme of this post duh.) but it IS the way I hope every exboyfriend feels about me at some point after the end so it fucking counts, okay? Also just the absolute brilliance of the end of the song:

      “So maybe it’d be better off to write her And leave a little note right there beside her That says maybe we’re not perfect But I’ll be damned if I ever leave Damned if I ever leave Damned if I ever leave”

      The double meaning of “damned if I ever leave” literally made my head fall back against the headrest in my car and make the noise all writers make when they hear a beautiful bit of prose they wish they’d written themselves.

So what about you, constant reader? Do you have any artists that you feel are writing songs about your life? Or maybe it’s an author that wrote a story that hit really close to home. Share your stories in the comments below or you can @ me on twitter @dianneinwriting

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