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    John Mayer’s “Daughters”

    John Mayer’s song, “Daughters,” tells about a girl who he has given his heart to, but she hasn’t done the same thing for him because of past events that keep her from being open with people. This is easy to infer because in his lyrics Mayer says, “I know a girl / She puts the color inside of my world / ? And I’ve done all I can / To stand on her steps with my heart in my hands.” Mayer’s video gives the song an even deeper meaning to show how he is incomplete without this girl and how the girl is not completely whole.

    The video’s color scheme shows him in black and white throughout the entire video, singing without a smile on his face, whereas she is lighted with color, but not entirely. The light is blocked from showing her in full color, which makes her look incomplete and mysterious. The song gives a summary of why he thinks the girl isn’t able to be with him and he tells the audience that men must always be good to their women because they are more delicate. He wants men to appreciate how lucky they are to have women and not take them for granted.

    In the first verse of the song, Mayer says that the girl he loves puts color inside of his world. Without her, his world is boring, dull, and to him nothing special. Without her, he’s almost colorblind. He needs her because she makes life wonderful for him and he tries to show that in the video. Mayer also compares her to a maze whose walls continually change. What he means by the walls always changing is how it’s difficult to understand her. He says he’s giving his heart to her and is finally starting to realize that it’s not him that makes her act the way she does. It’s what her father did. In the video for this song, it’s easy to see how important this girl really is to Mayer. The video just isn’t looking at him the entire time. It takes different angles on the woman and at some points it makes Mayer and her seem as if they are one. The video made not only the girl somewhat of a mystery, but it made Mayer seem like he had some things to hide as well.

    In the first line of the chorus, Mayer says, “Fathers be good to your daughters.” He is sending out a message to all fathers to treat their daughters right and to respect them. He says the way fathers love their daughters is the way those daughters will love everyone else. Fathers should always be there for their children. Mayer doesn’t want any girl to have reason to not be happy because of something one person did. He hopes that his message will reach out to all fathers to be kind and loving.

    Mayer doesn’t only include fathers in his message, though. He includes the mothers as well. When girls grow up and have their own children, they remember the techniques that their mothers used and subsequently passed on. Because of that, he wants mothers to be good to their daughters so those daughters will be good to their own daughters. I believe the main reason for him telling all of this is so that no other man has to go through the confusion that he’s going through right now with his girl. He wants it so every girl can love when they choose and to not be afraid because someone from their past hurt them.

    In Mayer’s next verse, he sings about why the girl he loves is hurt. He says how she’s still standing in the same skin since the day her dad left. Now she has to figure out how to fix the problems that he walked away from. He doesn’t say what the problems were, but they were bad enough that they effected how she loves others. When he says, “the same skin she’s been standing in,” he means that she hasn’t changed how tough she has to be with others in fear of getting hurt if she lets someone get too close emotionally. Because of her father she will always question if the person she starts to care for will leave her as well. If her own flesh and blood could just walk away, she thinks it could be even easier for someone who isn’t family to leave as well.

    His next message is especially to the men who listen to the song. He sings “On behalf of every man / Looking out for every girl / You are the god and the weight of her world.” When he says “god,” I don’t believe he really means god. I think what he is saying here is that men are supposed to be women’s protectors. He doesn’t mean men are the end all, be all for women. He means they play an important role in women’s lives just as women play an important role in men’s lives.

    One of the more prominent visuals in the video is how the girl is lighted with color. It’s never just a regular light. It’s always a purple, red, green, or even a mix. This goes back to the lyrics of how Mayer says she puts the color inside of his world. She is never fully engulfed by the color though. There’s something blocking the light, only letting spots of color shine through. This visual shows how she is incomplete. Her father left and it scared her for life. She has never been able to get past what happened to her and so now she will judge in harsher ways against others. If her father stayed and was good to her like he was supposed to be she might be fully colored and even look happy.

    They both try to hide their emotions and deal with reality, when what they should do is let it all out because over time bottled up emotions only get worse and worse. Look at where the two of them are in the video too. They are set in a dark room. Everything is just focused on them like nothing else in the world matters right now but them. They are the most important to each other, but old conflicts are holding her back. He wants to reach out to her and she needs his love. He would make her whole again and she would color his world. They are incomplete without each other. That is both beautiful and heart wrenching at the same time.

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