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.

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