Sweet Guy Analysis

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Sweet Guy Analysis

Paul Kelly’s song “Sweet Guy” highlights the reality that concealed behind what may appear to be a picture perfect relationship are the pains and suffering that one must endure. Through the first verse we are presented a very misleading first impression, a picturesque romance filled with love, care and passion. The boyfriend, the “sweet guy” is depicted as caring, kind, loyal and loving whilst the girlfriend is portrayed as being helplessly infatuated, able to “give up the world”. Together these planted assumptions compose the façade of this perfection; it is soon discovered that the actual relationship is fragmented beyond salvation.

Varied lyrics in each verse concoct a vivid image of a relationship with contrasting extremes. The first verse implies an image of a not only success but also intimacy. “In the morning we wreck the bed” evokes an image of intense passion while “I wake up drinking from your lips” iterates that besotted obviousness. However this visualization soon devolves into a nightmare with the turning point of the third verse. The “sweet guy” is shown to be contrasting character, a reference to Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, at times a loving boyfriend whilst at others an abusive fiend. Stated is an oppressive male physically abusing a defenseless woman, “I was stitched by strangers”. Yet despite all the agonizing pain the sweet guy proves manipulative and feigns repentance, asking for forgiveness which is obviously accepted, “Now you’re down on you knees, begging me to forgive you please”. So beginning the entire cycle again.

The music nature of the song is mirrored in parallel to the events occurring. Rhythm and tempo of the first verse is outfits a wild relationship, hard metal rock. With the transition of the lyrics, from an (not so) innocent relationship to a twisted abuse, the music transitions also. The hard metal rock falters to softness then becomes sadder and slower. This is extremely noticeable during the...
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