Okay, this song. It really gets to me that everybody is so comfortable with thinking they know what this song means in all its full glory. Now there’s nothing wrong with thinking you know everything about it, but really, how can you be so comfortable to adopt such a position when you don’t consider every particular detail? Look at the title people. Or is it just me.
So what does this song mean? You take a listen to it and you know it in a heartbeat. Oh, this one; it’s so Beyoncé! Another “Irreplaceable” or “If I were a Boy.” Girl power wohoo! She really knows how to dump a man with class. Oh that douche-bag, hah! It sucks to be him. Even the critics can’t help but jump and splash around in this public pool of myopia. Rolling Stone blindly dives in saying “I do” to the song and its video, sucking up to its matrimonial theme. Not surprisingly “a triumphant Beyoncé singing of no regrets” is what dear Billboard Music sees; Entertainment Weekly and the parade of others gladly follow suit.
Am I missing something, or have I found something?
Tell me then, for the love of music
, when you look at that title, what does that really mean? The “best thing” I never had. The song reinforces the idea, with its whole girl power wisp, that Beyoncé is the best thing he never had. If this is so why is it that he is the “best thing” she never had? If she didn’t have the “best thing” then she would be the loser, right? Why? Well because she didn’t have the best thing. Does this song then have another meaning we are not seeing?
The title is not “The Best Thing you Never Had” it’s the “Best Thing I Never Had.” What kind of meaning is being attributed to the “best thing” here to make Beyoncé seem all triumphant when the title implies otherwise? If I have missed something, and the answer is blatant, then wise friend explain to me the following two lines and how they create meaning in the song by being in the same song. I’m hitting Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V to literally show you that I’m taking it from the Official Lyrics.
And I’ll never be the best thing you never had (line 25)
And I will always be the best thing you never had (line 34)
‘Never be’ and ‘always be,’ opposites no? What the hell is Beyoncé on about? Now I might add that this song was also penned by Babyface. Is he from some higher order of Language? Does that explain his twisting and contorting the power of language to make it beyond my comprehension? Why is it that this “best thing” has no fixed meaning in this song? If the meaning is shifting, then at least allow us to see its evolution. The other lyrics of the song back up the commonly held meaning but these sentences and diction really wreak havoc I tell you.
I think, for the sake of sanity, one meaning could be that the “best thing” is dipped in sarcasm and then dried off with time. My time demanding interpretation tells me that Beyoncé is being sarcastic about him being the best thing. Because at one time, the protagonist of this ballad did believe this guy to be the best thing but now she doesn’t (duh), but since she is being reflective about it she refers to him as the “best thing”, even though she doesn’t mean it. Make sense? Thank you. But I’m sorry; I’m still at a loss for explaining those two very contradictory lines. Trying to hand wrangle them for meaning makes it hurt. Look at them, ouch! ‘Never,’ ‘never,’ ‘always,’ ‘never’ wait, did the first negation make a negation for the second. Two No’s means yes, right? Or no? (BOOM! Brain death*).
Apart from this peculiarity the song itself is an excellent ballad in my opinion. Loving the line, “Thank God I found the good in goodbye.” Don’t know which writer scrawled that one out but it’s almost as hot as Beyoncé. The “ass” joke is also clever. Ass as in turning his back on her; ass as in A-hole; ass as in seeing his naked cheating buttocks; the meanings overflow splendidly. The midtempo pace works well with lyrics that take aim at reflection, recollection and female triumph. “Sucks to be you” is an interesting choice of words. Quite sure Beyoncé’s snappy singing and emphasis of “sucks” really hits home with the female teen generation who get all inspired listening to the ballad; especially after dumping/leaving their boyfriends and the need that follows to feel good about themselves arises like body odor in need of deodorant.
As for the video, pretty much on the dot with the song. The two guys could have looked more distinctive I think; I actually got a bit confused. That Beyoncé directly addresses the camera instead of a third person makes the ballad even more powerful. Also, before I go I must say that her dream Baracci dress looked mighty heavy if you ask me. Must have been a workout running in a field with that thing on. Nevertheless the run needed to be run—after all she was running because she never had the best thing in the end. Ironic? Yes, well, it’s Beyoncé I guess. The woman who screams girls run the world so determinedly in the video and then has all the girls salute to the men in front of them. Whaat? Yes. Adieu.