Destiny’s Child – Say My Name

First Hit #1: March 18, 2000

There’s something subtly sad about Say My Name. It’s performed like an empowerment anthem, possibly because Destiny’s Child is a group with strong voices and an inclination to discard any hint of vulnerability. But the actual song depicts a paranoid woman desperate to cling to a failing relationship. We don’t really get the man’s side here, just that he’s acting strange, but the lyrics on the woman’s side depict some industrial strength jealousy and paranoia. There’s no reason to think that the guy is acting shady because of her actions, or that he might be getting shady because he knows he has to escape from this crazy girlfriend who has changed herself. It’s the song of a relationship on life support, and the stronger the women of Destiny’s Child try to sing it, the more desperate it becomes. This whole thing is deeply sad, and it provides a twist on the girl-power focus on the ascendant girl groups. It’s difficult to tell if this is an intentional effect or not, but here’s a song that subverts its group’s typical vocal strength, and makes it a song about vulnerability and weakness.

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One Response to Destiny’s Child – Say My Name

  1. RBerman says:

    I love a lyric that paints a very clear vignette, as opposed to a more generic, “I’m worried that I’m losing you.” We also get the very Destiny’s Child herky-jerky style of compressing as many lyrics as possible into each measure. This “I’m calling you unexpectedly; where are you?” scenario wasn’t even possible before everybody had cell phones. Which raises the question of why he even answered the phone in such a compromising situation.

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