10 Things Carole King Has Taught Us That Ke$ha Never Will

For better or worse, the music industry is ever-changing. The days of owning a single album where every track was at some point a #1 hit are seemingly on their way out. It’s tough to pinpoint who’s to blame — a culture centered on instant gratification or technology that allows us to pick and choose — but rarely do you hear full albums lauded in any sort of public sphere. Not in the way that they used to be, at least. Not like Carole King’s Tapestry — an album that my mom wore out when I was a kid. An album that would take time for me to understand. An album that raised me.

Now, I’m no snob and will admit freely that there are plenty of songs whose lyrics may not overwhelm me in depth, but that I wholeheartedly enjoy. I’ve still got “We Can’t Stop” on repeat and I’ll break it down to “Talk Dirty” with the best of ‘em. But, to put it plainly, they just don’t write lyrics like they used to. There are simply some things Carole King has taught us that Ke$ha never, ever will.

1. “I feel the earth move under my feet/ I feel the sky tumblin’ down”

It may only happen once, it may happen every weekend — but eventually, you’re gonna meet someone who grabs you by the tips of your toes and turns you on end. Your chest tightens when you look at them. Your feet go numb when they approach you. An elephant-sized lump takes residency in your throat when you see their name pop up on your phone. Logic, reason, and gravity are no match for your love-induced trip. You just lose control, down to your very soul.

Ke$ha’s take: “Your love, your love, your love is my drug.”

2. “You’re so far away/ Doesn’t anybody stay in one place anymore?”

Chain yourself to the things of your youth. Damn your 401K to hell. Fight it all you want, but everybody grows up. And, even worse, everybody moves on. The blessing and the curse of time is that there’s not a thing you can do about it. Be it physical distance or emotional distance, time inevitably slips in and leaves you so far away from those you love or once loved. (Don’t worry — people don’t always drift apart, just wait ‘til you get to number 6!)

Ke$ha’s take: “D.I.N.O.S.A. U R a dinosaur.”

3. “Something inside has died/ I can’t hide it, I just can’t fake it”

This song is one of the bluntest ways to say that things. just. end. Whether it be a relationship, a job, a friendship, a trial run with ombre, you can’t deny when something — or your love of something — has truly died. Forgive yourself for trying for too long, accept that it’s too late to go back, and move on to something new.

Ke$ha’s take: “We R who we R.”

4. “I won’t be happy ‘til I see you alone again/ ‘til I’m home again and feelin’ right”

Your childhood home. The arms of the one(s) you love. A couch you bought on craigslist with your besties. Home is different for all of us, but one thing’s true — there’s nothing that feels more right than knowing you belong.

Ke$ha’s take: “I don’t need you and your brand new Benz/ or you bougie friends”

5. “You’re gonna find, yes you will/ That you’re beautiful as you feel”

Ah, Carole. Wise, noble Carole. We needed this reminder. Who will be able to see how beautiful we are if we skulk around with frustrated frowns all day? Acting like you’re beautiful makes you feel beautiful. Acting like others are beautiful makes them feel beautiful, too. Some days are the pits — and I’ll be the first to plead guilty to shoving on the metro, scowling in line for coffee, and answering emails abruptly. But there’s a lot of love in these hearts, so let’s make a conscious effort to get up in the morning and show it.

Ke$ha’s take: “I’m talkin’ pedicure on our toes, toes/ Tryin’ on all our clothes, clothes”

6. “Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall/ All you have to do is call”

As we learned in number 2, life happens and people grow apart; but there are some friends that time and distance will never separate. Whether it be a phone call, a cup of coffee, a shared memory, or a gchat, you can reach them in any season. Carole’s right — “ain’t it good to know that you’ve got a friend.” I’d like to think her album is a friend, too.

Ke$ha’s take: “Warrior, -rior, -rior.”

7. “If you need, you need me to be with you/ I will follow where you lead”

This song taught us that GILMORE GIRLS IS THE BEST SHOW IN THE HISTORY OF SHOWS and never, ever will it be topped. The episode where Sookie and Jackson have to ditch ten kilos of weed that was accidentally planted in their field? Genius. When Rory and Dean break up at the 24-hour dance marathon? Gut-wrenching. I could go on. (No seriously, I could. If you ever want to talk about/mourn this show with me, email me).

Ke$ha’s take: “Stop ta- ta- talkin’ that blah. blah. blah.”

8. “Tonight the light of love is in your eyes/ But will you love me tomorrow?”

Oh, man. This one gets me every time. This is one of those songs you have to grow to understand, and to appreciate. Every woman who has ever been with a man who is emotionally (or maybe physically) unavailable has stood exactly where Carole King stands in this song. You hang on to stolen moments with this person, because you know they won’t last. You cherish the instances that he “gives [his] love so freely,” because deep down, you know he can snatch his love back in the very same breath. This song so poignantly outlines the pain that comes with a love you can’t be sure of.

Ke$ha’s take: “That magic in your pants, it’s making me blush (for sure)”

9. “A wondrous, woven magic in bits of blue and gold/ A tapestry to feel and see, impossible to hold”

That’s some poetry if I’ve ever read it. Our memories, mistakes, hopes, and experiences all work to form the fabric of our little existence. We may not be able to roll them up and toss them on our backs, but we take it all with us, everywhere we go.

Ke$ha’s take: “We are, we are, we are, we are, we are the crazy kids/ we are the crazy people”

10. “You’re the key to my peace of mind/ ‘Cause you make me feel like a natural woman”

I’d like to think that this kind of love is the goal. After the ones who shake the ground beneath us, move on without us, and play us hot and cold, this type of love — it could be romantic love, friend love, or even self love, I believe — sets us free. I can’t think of a description of love that sounds more appealing than the state of feeling natural.

Ke$ha’s take: “I like your beard.” TC mark

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