I can't tell you yet why I'm asking you this but I want a bit of help unpicking the politics (musical/cultural/political/personal) in "Common People" by Pulp.
- It is impossible to live like 'common people' without being one.
- And it makes the singer quite angry to suggest this.
- So experience, or at least this experience, is non-transferable.
- Whether or not being a common person is desirable or not is open to question.
- Meanwhile the singer themselves is not necessarily a common person - the girl in the song is identifying him as one but her knowledge of CP is flawed.
- And Jarvis Cocker, who wrote the song, isn't necessarily one. (Does it matter whether the singer is or not?)
- He's trying to transmit an understanding of common people while arguing that possessing this understanding moves you no closer to their lived experience.
- And what does it mean that the primary audience for the song were indie fans and that it was a huge hit among students?
- Is there a paradox in that sympathising with the song - admitting that you cannot know the lives of common people - in fact positions you closer to knowing those lives than thinking you can? Is the song a big act of one-upmanship?
- What are its implications for the identity thefts and identification dreams that underpin a lot of pop's appeal?