Interpretations:Say Nice Things About Detroit

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One of Flansburgh's favorite themes[edit]

For as long as he's been writing songs for TMBG, Flans has revisited the soured relationship theme many times. The twist with this one is that the narrator is the one who normally skips out on the relationship, but in this case, he gets jilted, and he doesn't know how to handle it ("I had no rehearsal / For this role reversal"). It wouldn't surprise me if this were the same character from "Pet Name", as he was kind of the sleazy guy who somehow still managed to attract women--but now he's finally met his equal/rival, or as he puts it here, "I'd never known a libertine / But you sure were thirsty".

The only part of the song I can't parse is how the "Say Nice Things About Detroit" slogan fits in. The links on the main song page do a good job explaining what the slogan was all about: an attempt by residents of the city to project positivism in the face of withering commentary about its issues. I can't see how this song relates in any way to that particular American city (or any city, for that matter). Perhaps it's being used as an oblique metaphor, like the narrator is saying, "Come on, babe, remember the good times we had? Can't you pretend to pretend? Say nice things about me again, don't throw me under the bus!" But in the end, she was just a "big, big jerk" and left him standing there. --MisterMe (talk) 08:29, 29 January 2016 (EST)

The singer is named Detroit[edit]

That is all. The singer is using the "Say Nice Things" slogan a bit sarcastically and ironically. (Or maybe Detroit is a metaphor for their relationship, and the singer is just trying to convince themselves that things were good.)

Paintspotinfez (talk) 22:52, 9 July 2017 (EDT)

Interpretation 3[edit]

To me, this song sounds like an Elvis Costello song as interpreted by Flansy. I can especially hear the line "There I was anticipating/Some kind of love/I'm still waiting" in EC's voice. Knowing that the Johns are huge EC fans makes it even better. Kontrague (talkcontribs) 08:14, August 9, 2017‎