Waiting for the Gap

The Story
"This next song is about street signs."

That's how I often introduce this song. It's even partly true. As a U of T student, I was always crossing Queen's Park Circle. They've got an unusual street sign there. It reads "WAIT FOR GAP". I saw it every day, as I saw it, it started to feel ominious. "THE GAP IS COMING. WAIT FOR IT", it seemed to say. "CHAIN STORES ARE TAKING OVER". "RESISTANCE IS FUTILE".

Now, I couldn't do a straight denuciation of chain stores, because I'm as guilty as the next guy. But I could do sarcasm.

I'm good at sarcasm.

And there's plenty to mock about chain stores, though I may wear a Gap shirt as I do it. The dreary sameness. Their exploitation of cheap labour. Chain stores are not our friends, but they are the logical consequence of our consumer culture. I haven't got the solution, but I can articulate the problem.

The Song
This song's got the standard chords. It's a quick-paced one, and it's got a proper ending, unlike some of my earlier works.

Its main oddity is that the chorus isn't free-standing. Part of the Chorus is "I'm waiting, I'm waiting for the Gap". But musically and logically, it's also part of the verse. The lyrics, of course, drip with sarcasm, and I'm surprised to note they're more-or-less iambic. My favourite line is "Their money grows on trees and I am just their sap", which is, of course a play on words, depending on how you interpret the second "their".

I contend that song lyrics are not necessarily poetry and vice versa. One of my reasons is that in songs, the emphasis of the syllables tends to match the melody. Poetically, "looking" usually has the stress on the first syllable. But in "Waiting for the Gap", I sing "looking for a sign", and the stress falls equally on both.

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Questions, comments or suggestions about this web site? Email me at aaron.bentley@utoronto.ca