My Sunday Song – “Used to Be” by Matt Nathanson

For My Sunday Song #218, we are going to discuss the song “Used to Be” by Matt Nathanson off his album ‘Sings His Sad Heart’ that was released on October 5, 2018 just a couple short years ago. The album is one of my favorites as it is one of the saddest albums you will ever hear, but the music doesn’t necessarily match that sadness. They are a beautiful contradiction.

“Used to Be”, however, is not that contradiction. The music and lyrics are both sad although that sadness is more nostalgia. The singer is looking back about an old flame and he is missing her so much. He is letting her know that if she is starting to forget those memories, he can help her remember. Basically, the person he is jonesing for has completely moved on, but he can’t move forward. He is stuck in the past. There is a line in the song that is so brilliant and one of the coolest lines I’ve ever read…

And if you’re having trouble, baby, holding on to memories
I’ve got a king-sized bed and a Ph.D. in the way it used to be

“King-sized be and a PH.D. in the way it used to be”, I don’t know…it just sounds so perfect. This part of the chorus just sinks in and grabs you and is so memorable, you can’t help but sing along and it starts to feel like an old friend you’ve known forever. Matt has a way of writing that sounds so familiar and comfortable. He writes for the everyday person and although his stuff is so personal to him, it is the same thing everyone else is feeling or have felt at some time in the life.

Musically, the song covers you like a warm blanket while sitting in front of a comforting fire. It is pop perfection and every note and every drum beat is so perfectly matched to the lyrics, I don’t think a song could ever be more perfectly fit together.

Give the song a listen and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a Happy Sunday!

“Used To Be”

Still got the same old number
Still drive the car you hate
Still fighting with my father
Still staying out too late
Still leave the back door open
Still let the dog escape
Maybe I’m deep down hoping
You’ll come back to yell at me like you used to do
You were right
I’m just a stubborn fool who’s living in the past

When we were young and we were free
And all your friends were friends with me
Swimming in our clothes when the beach was closed midnight on New Year’s Eve
And if you’re having trouble, baby, holding on to memories
I’ve got a king-sized bed and a Ph.D. in the way it used to be
I’ve got a king-sized bed and a Ph.D. in the way it used to be

And when you’re at your movie or autobiography
That carries the sweetest details
Feel free to call on me
Write how I made you shiver
The ground underneath us shook
The devil is in the details
He and I get on real good
Like we used to do
And you were right
I’m just a stubborn fool who’s living in the past

When we were young and we were free
And all your friends were friends with me
Swimming in our clothes when the beach was closed midnight on New Year’s Eve
And if you’re having trouble, baby, holding on to memories
I’ve got a king-sized bed and a Ph.D. in the way it used to be
Got a king-sized bed and a Ph.D. in the way it used to be

You know it’s ancient history
And if you’re having trouble, baby, holding on to memories
I’ve got a king-sized bed and a Ph.D. in the way it used to be

When we were young and we were free
And all your friends were friends with me
Swimming in our clothes when the beach was closed midnight on New Year’s Eve
And if you’re having trouble, baby, holding on to memories
I’ve got a king-sized bed and a Ph.D. in the way it used to be

‘Cause we were young and we were free
And all your friends were friends with me
Swimming in our clothes when the beach was closed midnight on New Year’s Eve
And if you’re having trouble, baby, holding on to memories
I’ve got a king-sized bed and a Ph.D. in the way it used to be
Got a king-sized bed and a Ph.D. in the way it used to be

Written by Matt Nathanson

2 thoughts on “My Sunday Song – “Used to Be” by Matt Nathanson

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